Miss Tea was my 'Babygirl'.
When my husband and I first bought our little farm, I rushed back in to horses and bought two geldings. Little did I know what we were about to face.
One of the geldings had a problem no one knew about - There had been an infection in his gutteral pouch and had left the main artery damaged and prime for a bleed at any time. Two months after I purchased him, that happened and we lost him.
Now in a position of needing a companion for the other gelding, the search began. I was adamant to be more careful this time. No hidden illnesses or dealing with other people's bad training, I wanted a weanling I could raise and train myself. And what better place than the breeding farm where my mom got her Quarter Horse mare from when I was a little girl?
|My mom's filly, Princess|
So we found our Miss Tea there.
She was there through my struggle with anxiety. We walked through it together and both came out better on the other side.
|Miss Tea's first day home|
She was my teacher. I learned to listen to a horse from her. Although I had ridden all my life, it had always been about what I wanted. The idea that you 'make' your horse listen was the common training approach I grew up around.
|First run in her paddock|
Miss Tea forced me to stop, see her as a being with actual thoughts and opinions that mattered. There could be a conversation if only I slowed down to listen and partake. And what a fabulous conversation there could be! This opened the door for me. The more we learned together, the lesser my anxiety became.
|Miss Tea with her grumpy big brother|
But she kept telling me something that I did not want to hear. She simply could not take the shape of my hunter/jumper dreams. I tried for so long to help her reshape her body, build different muscles to hold a frame and canter without tripping (*sigh*).
|Our solo horse show adventure 2014.|
Last fall I finally came to terms with letting go of that dream and I was okay with it. As the weeks of not riding her turned into months I could see this may have been the best choice for us, but was there something out there better for her? Was a life in a rectangle pasture good enough for her?
|Adventures in trail riding|
I made an add for her and posted it several times, and several times promptly took it down before anyone could respond.
|Learning to jump, together|
A young woman, with her neighbour who was going to help her with learning to ride. She just wanted a horse she could ride in the field and help him with cows, trail ride, toodle.
|Our first fun show|
A life without collection and correct leads and letting her be long and straight and happy? Hu. Maybe.
I handed her Miss Tea's lead rope and I was walking away from them both to get the brushes. I looked back over my shoulder and the lady laid her head on Miss Tea's side and wrapped her arms around her. Hu. Possibly.
I told them more information about her than anyone would ever want to know; how she likes to stop, look and think when she is worried and this works best for her, where her favorite scratch spots are, how much she hates being out in the rain, and her favorite treats.
|Our best moment|
I hope it was the right decision.