So, why was he a $5.00 horse? This is a great story! I’d had other horses before him, but at the moment (in college and newly married) I was "horseless". I was taking riding lessons from a woman who taught Equestrian courses at my University. I’d met her through the program there and really liked her. One day she suggested I attend a local show, just to observe, because she was hoping I’d be showing soon. So, I drug Alan out to the show. It was an all-breed show, hunter-jumper show, but at the lunch break they were going to raffle off a horse to raise money for their horse club. Of course I had to check it out! Turns out the horse they were raffling off was an Arabian gelding! I adore Arabians! In fact, all but one of the horses I’ve owned have been purebred or partbred Arabs. They just tug at my heart. Well, the tickets were going for $5.00 each. Alan said, "well, we have exactly $5.00 (remember, college students, newly married!) We can either both have a hot dog for lunch, or buy a raffle ticket." What do you think I did??!! Of course I bought the ticket! Now, I’d never won anything in my life. Right after I’d gotten the ticket, I heard a lady ask "Is the horse that yearling over there?" Okay, because I had no expectations of winning – and maybe I’m not so bright – I hadn’t even thought to ask to see the horse! Duh. When I heard it was a yearling, I almost went and asked to return my ticket! I’d never raised a young horse, and what I really wanted was a horse to ride. But, I figured, I wasn’t going to win, so it wasn’t worth the embarassment of asking for my money back .
Skip to lunch time. I’d been having a great ol’ time watching the show. Alan, not so much. Back then, though, he used to humor me, and at least pretend he enjoyed it, lol. Then they led out this beautiful little grey yearling gelding, and trotted him around the arena, and read off his pedigree. He had really nice bloodlines, and he sure was a pretty guy! (I have pics of me and him at that very moment, but couldn’t find them today) Then, they call off the winning number. People all around me are looking at their huge long strings of tickets they’d bought. No one responded. Number called again. Quiet in the stands. I pull my ticket out of my pocket, and realize I’ve got the winning ticket!! What do I do?? Do I want this horse? Do I keep my mouth shut and let them call another number? That would be the sensible thing to do…. Sensible-Shmensible!! I just won a HORSE!!! Of course I jumped up and yelled "it’s me, it’s me!!" Wow. Simply wow. I was offered money for him within the hour, lol, but by then I was in love with him.
I have to tell you the folks who donated the foal were a bit concerned. You see, I didn’t have a trailer, no way to get him home….lol. I arranged for them to bring him the next day to my parent’s house, as they had a half-acre zoned for horses. I know they thought I was some doofus "backyard horse owner" who didn’t have a clue. By the way, being a "backyard horse owner" is a huge insult for anyone who knows horses, lol. I didn’t care what they thought, I was on cloud nine.
This picture is about 5 years later. As a 2 year old, he’d won Grand Champion Gelding at the local fair, with Alan actually handling him in the class!! (That is, a halter class, no riding.) This picture was our first show under saddle. I’d done all his training, with some riding lessons on him from a really great gal who helped us a lot. He did so great!! (I competed against a gal whose parents owned the big stable where we’d boarded him before getting our own property, and her horse was the same age as mine, and she’d done the training….so when I placed above her in both of my classes, well, you can just say I was puffed up and proud, lol!!)
Okay, he looks a little ratty in this next picture (he was tired and it was windy) but those are our ribbons – a 2nd place and a 3rd place!! I was so proud of us!
I’ll wait for another post to tell you what happened to this wonderful horse of mine – I don’t feel like crying tonite.