Sunday, March 16, 2008

A new family in the fold

Yesterday morning, Slygirl met her new family, and so we have a new family in the Onn-A-Wym Farms clan. These are the Shaws from Illinois (but not close by any means)...Slygirl has her own little girl named Vanessa--and I think she knows it, as Vanessa was the one that Slygirl wanted to sniff on as I tried to take their photo.

This deal has been in the works for quite some time, and we have emailed several times a week (heck, several times a day lots of days) talking about their plans for her, and her Boot Camp experiences. It has really been a lot of fun, but there was also a lot of anxiety on my part after the last error in judgment on my part on the horse experience and sense of the purchaser (the Radar debacle).

The plan for this horse is for mama to put hours and hours and hours of saddle time on her, while daughter Vanessa gets to know her, and learns the ropes. Vanessa will take lessons on her, and she is going to start 4 H. This is another family where mom is horse experienced and the dad is new to the experience--what a sport though. Not everyone would haul the whole family many hours south, stay in a hotel and stand there is really cold rain as we gabbed about it, all with a smile on his face. There is also a little bitty man that will I bet will be fighting to share with Vanessa when he gets big enough.

Vanessa was pretty excited about her "first horse" (not the first one in the family), but I could tell it was almost overwhelming for her. I could not even allow myself to think about how I would have felt in her position, or I would have just started bawling right there on the spot and made an ass of myself. This photo is her first second in the saddle--she was concentrating HARD even though her little legs would not reach the stirrups. She was a trooper though, and I notice in the pic of her being led on Slygirl that she already has the cutter's slump. Go Vanessa!

It was such a relief to finally meet them in person and realize that Stephanie gets it. She gets it that this is a young horse who knows the skills and can and will perform them pretty dang consistently, but because she is a young horse, she will quite often throw new tricks into the mix. We have learned a lot about her through her Boot Camp experience, and one thing we have learned is that she is pretty dang reliable about how she learns. Slygirl is obviously very intelligent, likes the attention and tries very hard to please people.

For example, Friday nite, Barry noticed that when he asked her to stop, she would dip her nose a little as if the noseband was bugging her. So he changed it and she was great. We started her in that Saturday morning, and it was a mess. Stephanie rode her in that bit, then we changed her back to the Myler combo bit she had been using throughout Boot Camp, and felt the difference right off the bat. That was a relief, since she hunted forever for the combo bit online and those things are NOT cheap--I would have hated for her to have wasted her money on my recommendation. She really seems to understand that animals are tricky, and that the more time she has on her the more solid she will be and that as she comes up with new tricks, she will just have to work through them. That is the kind of owner I want-- one living in reality that these are animals, not robots of motorcycles, and that with that comes a need for adaptability. I think Stephanie has it in spades, and I know she can do this. She had a horse related injury in the not too distant past which has given her some nerves she is not used to, but even I could see her relax the longer she rode on her---maybe this will be just the ticket for bringing her back to full steam too. I sure know that feeling!

They came over to see Sly, who was pretty boring. As they pulled out, I actually kind of got choked up, but I think it is as much excitement for my horse to have a situation where she will be fawned over and loved by her own family as anything. I am trying not to think about how this was the first Slybaby we ever had and all the memories that go with that. She likes the attention and I have no doubt that she will get it there. Barry mentioned when they left that he heard Vanessa asking about could she ride her when they get home, could she be the one to lead her, could she.... could she ...could she? She even said when we loaded her up that she wished she could ride in the trailer with her.

That makes my heart happy.

I already have updates about how happy they are with her, and I hope I keep getting them. Just thinking of the years they can have together, and the things they can do as they both learn made for a very satisfying day.


Amanda said...

Can you imagine what it would be like to get your first horse at her age? i would think the heavens had just opened up and rained down on me. That is one of the most exciting moments in a little girl's life, I bet. They'll have such a good time getting to know each other.


Paige said...

Well I am sure I would not have 40 horses now had I had one then.

Just thinking about how wired I would have been chokes me up every time, and I have no idea why

Holly said...

I love that Vanessa wanted to spend all her time with her new best friend. What a lucky lucky little girl she is and SG is lucky to have a .whole. family to love her and take her places and do things with her and feed her special treats and....

C said...

Reading this made me choke up too. Probably because it is every horseloving little girls dream and this mom made it a reality.

It is great that the entire family seems to be involved in all this.

Slygirl is definately one lucky girl.

Ellen T said...

Your Dad would have been so Proud.
Congradulations on your DREAMS coming true.

Aunt Ellen

Sherry T. said...

Stef, you and your daughter are going to have a lot of fun! Just like we did when we were kids, riding bareback around Soaring Hawk Ranch. Way to go Vanessa!

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