Four years ago yesterday, I drove an hour south to try out a horse I thought maybe I could lease for a year or so while I was in school. The directions got me slightly lost on the way there, but I did arrive at the barn and hopped up on an unfamiliar horse in the fading evening light.
The light in the photo? Camera flash. It really was that dark before I got off. I was hooked. I don't think I stopped talking about how adorable the Haflinger was for the entire hour drive home, much to my boyfriend's dismay.
Four years later, I still find myself talking about how awesome and adorable she is, and he still puts up with it, dutifully nodding and smiling along.
She's the best first horse I could have asked for, and then some. I've been bucked off and came off when she bolted with me. Blood, bruises, and occasionally slightly worse :) But I trust this horse to get me home in the dark on a loose rein, to navigate unfamiliar terrain (also sometimes in the dark) that by all rights I should be off and walking - yet usually I'm not, knowing she'll be better at staying upright than I am. She's a generally honest and willing partner who tolerates all the crazy things I ask her to do and rarely objects.
August 2010. First or second ride.
November 2011 (apparently, no photos were taken in August 2011)
August 2012. First ride with QSER.
And since I seem to take photos mainly from the right side, here are two contrasting her mane then/now:
|August 2010. Note the rubbed out chunk. Also: wow, my hair really has grown!|
Honestly, the most obvious difference I see? Compare these two photos, almost 4 years apart.
|Second ride, 8/10/10|
|Fireworks 25, 7/12/14, photo by Gore/Baylor|