I ended up going a day earlier to pick up Rose. I had originally planned on this morning but due to the winter weather that had been forecast for today, I called TBG and asked him if we could come Wednesday morning (yesterday) instead.
So yesterday morning was the bittersweet/swemisweet day. I say semi sweet for Rose is now part of a "blended" family and bittersweet for I know TBG and his crew will miss her being there. His granddaughter absolutely adores her and calls Rose "her horse". I know she'll be heartbroken when she discovers Rose gone.
Halie and I arrived at the farm with our basket of Christmas goods that I bake every year (Mental Note To Self: quadruple the amount of chocolate chip cookies next year!). We all chatted a bit then TBG went to change his boots and Halie and I headed out to the barn for Rose.
We unblanketed her for TBG as he came through the barn doors. As he brought her out of her stall, he left her in the aisle to grab her saddle pads. He showed Halie how he arranged them and made sure to point out where points of the pads should land to help take the pressure off. As he saddled her, it was then I asked him a HUGE question.
I'll go back a bit to the beginning. Returning to the month of October. The kids and I volunteer for our local Relay For Life team every year. During one of those nights of volunteering, I suffered an anaphalyactic reaction (I have severe allergies). I've had a few throughout the years but as you grow older, the mortality reality really sets in. After this last trip in the ambulance I knew I had to finally make a decision about what is to happen to my horses in the case I'm no longer here for them.
Rose's placement was a no brainer for me. Even though Halie would love to have her, being a young adult, she faces an uncertain future and already has her own horse to worry about caring for. After making my decision, I was just waiting for the chance to talk to TBG face to face to ask him.
As TBG saddled Rose, I asked him if in the event of my death, I could leave Rose to he and his farm and if so, I'd like it so Halie could be able to visit her. He quickly responded he'd have no problem with it. I told him I'd make it so on paper and informed Halie that she will be responsible for making it happen and getting her back to TBG.
With that taken care of, TBG handed the reins to Halie and we all set out to the arena.
He instructed Halie to get on and jog her around. Halie had to have been a nervous wreck being as this was her very first time on Rose. They jogged around a bit then Halie tried to get a feel of Rose loping. Rose was feeling very fresh as she kicked out several times. I immediately thought Halie was being a tad bit to heavy with the spur but Halie stopped and walked towards us flabbergasted about what Rose was doing. She insisted she didn't touch Rose with her spurs whatsoever and TBG grinned and said she's just really fresh. He then got on and loped Rose around a while. After stopping, we threw Halie back on and had her try it again. This time was much better and they looked great loping around that arena. Halie brought her to a walk and walked up to us. She wanted Rose to walk forward but Rose wouldn't move. Halie asked TBG "how do I get her to walk forward?" TBG chuckled and said "use your legs and keep on clucking." I had to laugh at that joke (mind you Rose is deaf and cannot hear any verbal cues).
Halie definitely has her work cut out for her. She says Rose is unlike any horse she's ever rode. She rides different, she responds different and she feels different and to quote Halie "she's strong as crap". There's alot of little horse under that saddle. I told TBG that for the time Rose is home, I'll have to haul the both of them down to him to watch her ride and see how they continue to get along.
We walked back to the barn and unsaddled her, TBG handed us her saddle pad concoction (he insisted we keep it with her since it was just for her), handed me the bit that Halie's to keep using, we sheeted her up and it was time to load.
She wouldn't load.
Obviously she was quite content with where she was and she flat out refused to get on the trailer. It took Halie at her head and myself and two of TBG's riders to convince her she had to get up in that trailer. Didn't take but a couple of minutes til she finally hopped in but it was long enough for me to feel bad about "taking her away".
We met TBG back up at the office and talked a bit more with his family and crew, wished them Merry Christmas and headed home.
We arrived home at 2p.m. and I put another blanket on her and turned her loose in a field to stretch her legs. She jogged around a bit, loped a circle, kicked out once then just stood and looked around. Halie and I had to leave to rush to the tack store to pick up her heavy blankets to bundle her up and get a few more errands done then I was able to get back home and spend a few moments with her. We brought the horses in for the night and as I led her into her old stall, I wondered how much she remembered of the old place. She nickered to all the other horses and turned around to dig into her hay.
This morning however, I turned her out before the snow and she tore the field up! She ran and ran and bucked and kicked out her heels then raced herself back across the field again. I would have loved to have run for the camera but I was in a rush to get the stalls cleaned and and a few more errands done before the winter weather hit.
With this weather, Halie's going to be hard pressed to find a minute to try riding her new project all over again. This will definitely be an interesting chapter.