♪♫ Happy Owniversary to Me. Happy Owniversary to Ax. Happy Owniversary to Us! HAPPY OWNIVERSARY TO US! ♪♫
A lot has happened in the three years since I wrote that check, handed if off to my dad, and impatiently waited at school for the call that the papers had been signed in my name. We haven taken leaps forward and steps back. In honor of our third owniversary, I’m reflecting on three of our biggest accomplishments together.
One of the reasons Ax was sold was because of his stopping problem. A random hissy fit of “Nah, I’d rather not jump anymore” was, from what I was told, the norm and whatever he deemed “too big” was slid into as opposed to popped over. I, having a bit of baggage over fences myself, was probably not the best fit to buy a horse with a history of nasty refusals, yet I got the approval from multiple people and the check was written. I was well warned of his issues and charged ahead. To say we have overcome that problem would be a stretch–he will still throw me a stop every now and then seemingly out of nowhere–but our rate of refusals has lessened significantly.
Over our three years, my goal has always been to try and get us to 3′–to be able to compete in the regular Adult Amateurs, not the Modifieds, health permitting. While we haven’t gotten there yet, we got close in the summer of 2015 and after some of our best jumping schools, we finally conquered three feet that July 4th. This was a feat for both of us, but probably more for me than him. Since then we have had some setbacks that put us back to 2’6″, but those days when bigger fences were easy remind me that it is possible.
Basically the entire time I have had Ax it has been a battle to get him to travel correctly–from the hind, over his back, into the contact. We have dedicated a huge amount of time to flat work and dressage basics. This is something that, the majority of the time, we have mastered. Of course there is still much to be improved upon–my hunter horse currently goes more like a dressage horse than a long and low hunter–but I will take what he has given me so far.
Buying a horse halfway through college isn’t exactly the gateway to financial stability—heck, buying a horse at all doesn’t set you on that path. I may live paycheck to paycheck, have a shockingly small amount of money in my bank account at times, and have some help in other ways, but we are somehow managing to do all of the horse expenses on our own.
Happy Gotcha Day, my derpy buffalo.