About five years ago I made the decision to buy a haflinger.
Now, if you know nothing about haflingers, I will fill you in...
Haflingers are small, 13 to 15 hands, draft horses from Austria,
with an undeniable people-oriented personality.
They are gentle, hard working, and eager to please.
They are quick learners and are calm and sensible.
They are always a light chestnut color with flaxen mane and tale.
The thing about Haflingers is...
they will do whatever you ask of them....with a smile on their face.
Moonbeam at ten years of age embodies all of the wonderful qualities
for which haflingers are known....
which is why I love this horse so much!
In his previous life he was an Amish work horse...
pulling wagons and farm equipment from sun-up to sun-down.
Having never been used as a riding horse,
he was in need of a bit of training.
Being a green rider, myself, our first riding encounters were tenuous...
with a few ending in injury (always mine).
As a result, fear set in...
and once fear gets a hold on your psyche, it is a hard thing to shake.
I toyed with the idea of selling Moonbeam, thinking that he would be better off having
a home where he could be worked.
The thing that kept me from selling him, though, was the fact that he was a very kind,
The accidents we had were never his fault...but always mine.
So selling him was not the answer.
For some reason at the end of last summer, after a couple years of no riding,
something in my soul just changed.
I was tired of feeling defeated when I spent time with Moonbeam...
tired of feeling guilty for giving him less than he deserved.
Don't get me wrong, he had a great life...what horse wouldn't want to graze and play all day?
But, horses also need work to keep their minds sharp.
And so, I got back on.
S. L. O. W. L .Y.
With my courage growing day by day,
I realized that the only way I would truly progress
and develop the relationship that I longed for with him,
was to take lessons, and practice, practice, practice.
We are still just beginners,
but our relationship has blossomed with mutual trust
and better communication than I thought possible.
Please excuse the wordiness of this post,
but the point I wanted to get across is this...
don't let fear keep you from doing something you like.
Get help to get started if you can.
Take baby steps, but keep walking in a positive direction,
knowing that there might be a few bumps in the road along the way.
Don't give up on yourself...
don't give in...
and when you trip, pick yourself back up and keep going.
Life is short and I am convinced the only things we regret in the end
are the things we DIDN'T do.
PS: Moonbeam and I had another lesson yesterday...
we are trotting with regularity and having a blast!
(Increasing speed was a large component of my fear.)
As you all are my witnesses,
I will continue to learn and practice and grow...
someday I will show you a video of our progress.
PS...Sid and Moonbeam are very happy to be doing this together!
Sid had a great lesson, too.
And traveling is so much easier with a friend!