I’ve never owned a horse that felt like a job. When I got Simon, he was green and wiggly and zoomy but every trip to the barn was an exciting adventure to me. I thrived on every single accomplishment, whether it was a nice transition or jumping our first oxer. Getting Simon to where he is now was hard, but it never felt like work.
Roman is a lot of work. It’s not because he’s a bad horse. He doesn’t spook. He tries to do what I want him to do. He greets me every time with the same kind eye and pleasant, “What are we doing today lady?” expression. I should adore him, but I’m not there yet. Lately I’ve been pondering if I’m ever going to get there.
He has so many qualities that I want in a horse – hell, that’s why I bought him! His stride goes on for days and days. He’ll be the kind of horse I’ll be able to walk down the lines on, and y’all know how much I love going slow. He’s shown no signs of being shy to new fences or stopping since coming to my barn, and he’s huge. Roman’s put on weight easily, so he quickly has become the “hunter fit” horse that Simon never was.
But I don’t have a sparkle in my eye when I’m with him. I’m not counting down the hours to get to the barn. I’ve only had one ride since I bought him where I thought, “This horse is so cool! This horse is so fun! This horse is much more quality than Simon!” While I don’t expect every ride to be that way, I was hoping for a better ratio than 1 day out of 60.
Right now, he’s a big green horse that I need to go ride because these animals are too expensive not to ride. Plus I know that whether I want to or not, I’ve got to ride him and get him forward to a better place no matter what my feelings are.
Luckily I’m not doing this alone. While I’ve always been pretty budget conscious when it comes to horses, I’ve decided to put Roman in a month of boot camp with my trainer. Whatever she says we should do, we’re going to do. That might mean multiple training rides a week and more private lessons than I can afford long term, but I’ve decided to ante up and pay for some hand holding in September. I feel like if this horse and I are going to jive and become partners, this is a necessary step in that process.
And if at the end of September I still feel this way? He’ll probably go on the market. That says more about me as a rider and an owner right now than it does about him. I’ve got a few theories as to why I can’t get into things as much right now with the new guy, but that’s probably worth a post of its own.