Today we have a guest blog from Nancy Di Fabbio - a horsewoman who didn't get to satisfy her passion for horses until later in life, but who now owns four of them.
She also has a new book out called Midnight Magic - Be Careful What You Wish For - which is a spooky thriller about a haunted painting, a mysterious Morgan stallion and the girl that loves him.
Please enjoy this tongue-in-cheek blog post about Nancy's purchase of a very green horse, and their first horse show together (which she actually lived through.)
WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?
As a 42-year-old rookie, I met Trinity and was immediately enchanted by his beauty, diminutive stature and fun-loving personality. He was a four-year-old Morgan with a pinch of Arab, as green as a prized emerald, and had more energy than a nuclear reactor but he sure was cute.
I bought him on the spot, and even though all the professionals thought he was my ticket to the hereafter, I loved him and gleefully sped around the ring on him at warp speed. When I finally sucked up enough courage to participate in my first horse show, I chose him to be my partner, even though I already owned two tried-and-trued show horses.
My best friend, Georgina, who was also a late-bloomer, accompanied me to a local 4-H show. While she sauntered off to sign me up for my pleasure classes, I asked a nearby horsewoman to help me unload The Meenster. (Yes, his name is Trinity, but he earned this nick-name, short for "mini-monster.") As I let down the ramp, puffed up with pride, I told her that this was my first horse show. (I was 45.) "Good for you!" she said - until Trinity blasted out of the trailer like a rocket off the launch pad.
She blanched and asked, "Ummm - does he lunge?"
Completely at ease with my little maniac, I replied, "Yes, but he'll be fine under tack. Lunging will only rev him um." Cringing, she slunk away - probably to alert the EMT's.
When my friend returned, even she looked a bit wan as she witnessed him in full stallion mode. (He's actually a gelding, but nobody has ever convinced him of this sorry fact.) I knew he was no pleasure horse, but I had chosen this class because it was held in a huge field, not a ring. I knew he was going to be booking, and I wanted room to avoid the other competitors. I entered the field and slowly walked him around as the other riders trotted, cantered, or galloped by. I learned long ago that you can't wear him out; it's better to keep him calm, allow him to scope out the area and prepare himself for what is to come.
As soon as the twenty-five competitors entered the field, (yes, 25!) the judge's voice blared, "Walk, all riders, please walk."
Admittedly, I was a nervous wreck, but The Meenster performed perfectly at the walk and trot; the canter was a completely different story. The thundering of one hundred hooves awoke the wild beast within the horsey beast, and soon we were flying past Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses like they were standing still. My poor friend, who was watching from the sidelines, looked like she'd just eaten a bucket of bad clams, as riders flew off their mounts like popcorn kernels on a hot griddle.
When they mercifully called for the walk, The Meenster immediately responded and we lined up in the center of the field. Not surprisingly, we didn't win a ribbon, but I felt amazing. It's one thing to get a blue on an experienced show horse at the age of 14, and quite another to survive pandemonium on The Meenster as a middle-aged rookie!
Thanks so much for dropping by and visiting Nancy, and sharing that great *cough* show experience! We are glad you both survived! To learn more, as well as Nancy's other interesting occupation, please visit her website at http://www.nancydifabbio.com/