I have some news!
First, in case you haven’t scrutinized pics of our place very closely, we live on a hill with a pretty steep grade. Also, we’ve named the farm Blackberry Hill for a reason. Even though there are supposed to be a thousand acres of trails out behind us, I can’t get to them thanks to our brambly namesakes taking over all trails on the property. We’ve already dulled a machete blade in a short time and wore ourselves out trying to hack our way anywhere. Someone wielding a brush hog on a tractor is in our future. If it weren’t for the coyotes, I’d turn our goats loose to “have at it”.
So, I now have a place to ride! The vineyard owners below us have graciously agreed to let me ride on their acreage, of which, most is cleared. While not flat, it is flatter, safer and open! Now, to find a trainer that will come to me! Yay!
My next news is… Well, it just IS.
Maddie’s owner popped up after months of radio silence, saying how much she missed her. We haven’t paid for her because of the radio silence. She’s here without a contract, I’m footing the bill. That’s not a problem per say. BUT, I’m not willing to buy a mare that isn’t a good fit for us. *GASP!* Did I really just say that? Yep. Without Kitty showing the slightest interest in horses any more, Maddie is NOT a good fit for the rest of the family. That’s become very clear over the winter. She’s a bit too much for the little ones and too short for Bad Pants or I to ride. She has quirks I don’t care for. She’s too quick to spin and point her butt at me when she spooks. Now, she’s never kicked or offered to, but I don’t like her rear pointed at me. Nor do I want the fight to change that. She doesn’t bathe, she doesn’t want to be touched, she’s pushy on the ground, she doesn’t back up on the ground unless you whack on her, she doesn’t back up under saddle at all. There’s nothing that couldn’t be fixed, but I don’t want to fix her. I want a steady-eddy for my little ones to learn on and for Bad Pants to ride occasionally.
So, I told her owner. And guess what? So far, more radio silence. I wonder if it was an attempt to squeeze some money out of us? Or if she’s had a turn around with her finances and wants her mare back maybe? But, the radio silence tends to lead me into thinking that the former is more likely.
The big breakthrough here is that I can say that Maddie isn’t a good fit for us. I don’t feel badly about it and I’m ok if she goes. This is a first for me. I don’t feel guilty! If we don’t hear from her owner for a while again, I guess Maddie will stay put and just be Casey’s companion for a while longer. I wonder what Oregon’s laws are regarding abandonment and ownership?