Two big, beautiful bay mares in my backyard.
I have leased Bella for almost a year now, and am so thankful to have the opportunity to have her in our lives. She has been the most wonderful companion for Estella, they are definitely the best of friends, and for that I am so incredibly grateful. But few months ago, I started to have the feeling that it was time for Bella to go back home and for me to find a horse of my own. We all love Bella dearly and will miss her sweet face, but I hope that she can find a human of her own, too.
With those thoughts in mind, I casually posted on OTTB Connect for what I was looking for. I say casually because it really wasn’t my intention to find anything. My requirements weren’t difficult… not the typical “searching for a unicorn” post. My only requirements were: mare, good feet, no issues loading, able to be trail ridden, and safe for my husband to handle. Size, color, breed, skill level and so on weren’t really a concern. I found tons, and I mean tons, of horses who fit my description. I half-heartedly messaged a few owners about them, but more than anything it was more for the fun of the search. We all know how much time can be spent looking at sale ads, regardless of if we are actually looking or not lol!
As I looked through comment after comment of horses that fit my description, there was only one that stood out to me. A beautiful solid bay OTTB mare. Her description was simple, but her photo was stunning. It’s no secret that I have a serious love for bay mares, but when I found out she was located in Michigan, I moved on. There were literally hundreds of suitable mares that were much closer to North Carolina.
But a few days passed and she was the only one I could think about. Feeling foolish and ridiculous, in an impulsive act I sent her trainer a message asking for more information and videos. The videos were simple, just some trot and canter, but I was sold. For whatever reason, she was the one I needed.
There was the issue of her being in Michigan, though. I have a very small budget and that was never going to be enough for me to travel to Michigan to see her, pay her purchase price and have her shipped down here. Feeling silly and ridiculous again, I posted on Facebook to see if I had any friends in the area who could go look at her for me. It was already a risk (and a huge leap out of my comfort zone) to buy a horse sight-unseen, but maybe if someone could look at her for me I would know if it was truly meant to be or not. The blogger community pulled through for me and Kristen put me in touch with a dressage trainer in the area. The trainer was kind enough to drive an hour and a half to go see the mare for me, an incredible act of kindness. After her visit I got lots of photos and videos and sweet words of approval. She was exactly what I was looking for, and the deal was made.
I officially purchased her on December 19th (ironically, my husbands birthday… Happy Birthday to him! 😉 To be fair, the 20th is my birthday, so basically the best birthday gift I have ever gotten myself). Due to the holidays and weather, she was finally delivered yesterday, January 12th.
As soon as the trailer pulled in, it started pouring rain. Another young mare had to be unloaded before her; she didn’t want to back off so we had to take a bunch of stuff out the trailer for the young horse to turn around. On top of the rain and all of the commotion with the young horse, my two horses were screaming and flying around the field behind her. My sweet girl stepped casually off the trailer, waited patiently as my husband held her and we loaded the young horse back up, followed me into the field, and walked right into the barn. It was like she had always been here. She took a big drink and headed straight to her hay, settling right in.
To be continued :).