From the moment I got on this horse I felt a connection. I felt meaningful. I felt a breath of fresh air and new goals that I had never before considered. We floated around together in harmony, feeding off of each other with slight cues. I was soft on him. He was soft on me.
I want to introduce to you me new horse, of course. I am so excited to do so I am writing before my typical Thursday article in a Sunday special.
Everyone, I would like you to meet the newest member to our family….
R Tom Cat
My trainer put my in touch with R TomCat’s owners. I was given some incredible photos of him at the Thoroughbred Makeover in Kentucky, his medical history, and his impressive pedigree.
We talked back and forth and at first the family wasn’t certain how R Tom Cat would feel about living outdoors 24/7. I was disheartened but understood. I explained to them my situation having 3 thoroughbreds that live outdoors; two of which we older and had bad teeth. They spoke with my trainer and theirs and got back to me within a week to invite me to meet their horse.
I told you a bit about our first meeting on Thursday’s article The Green Horseman’s Latest Quest. It was during this first ride that many visions flooded in my brain. Visions of hunter paces with him. Visions of cross-country with him. Visions of possibly taking him to my very first show. Visions of riding him with a famous clinician at Equine Affaire. I honestly had so many goals for him and I wasn’t even sure what our future would be.
While my friend drove us away from the farm I emailed the family right away to tell them my interest in R Tom Cat. I quietly held my excitement. Terrified to be let down by rejection or anything else that could have come up. I don’t like to get my hopes up. I was told there were other people interested in this horse.
Of course, there were, Stephanie, how could there NOT be?
I thought for sure I lost him already as it just seemed too good to be true and he was out of my league. I have worked hard to get where I am and I have worked from the bottom up my entire life. I wasn’t going to fool myself into thinking I could own such a well put together, young, well trained, sound, sane horse…not like this one…for my budget. He is quite possibly a unicorn. Certainly, there must be some great home willing to take him and pay good money for him.
I did my best to explain my own history and experience level while sharing some photos of events that I have done so far. I really could not do much more but hope and pray. I even asked my friends on Facebook to help send positive vibes my way.
R Tom Cat came home Friday morning. He loaded quietly. Unloaded quietly. He was alert and unsure. We put him in his own paddock across the lane from the boys. He could see them but he couldn’t reach them. Not yet.
He didn’t agree with that. He paced a bit and wasn’t too interested in his lunch. He picked at the alfalfa I had lain out. I spent some time with him and he enjoyed that time. He followed me to the opposite corner of the paddock away from the other horses. Already he and I were bonding.
I had a few outdoor projects to work on so I left the paddock and stayed within sight. Continued to pace, showing no signs of stopping.
Finally I put Blade in the paddock with him. He instantly became attached to Blade.
Being the saint he is, Blade quietly and patiently showed Tiger the ropes. For once he wasn’t the one being clingy he was the one being clung to. He was the teacher. The leader. He looked at me like, “mom, he keeps touching me!” but he never acted out. He understood Tiger needed a big brother to help him adjust.
Everyone was quiet and happy by dinner. Happily ate dinner and began their nightly hay. I separate the horses to eat meals, but when they go back in together they are allowed to “wash the dished” and licked the buckets clean. They did the dishes together side by side.
When I came out the next morning it was as if R Tom Cat had always been part of our family. He accepted our morning routine of hoof picking during breakfast and a brushing. He happily ate and nibbled his hay. When it got sunny they happily went into their shade structure.
One thing doesn’t sit right with me though.
Of course I’ll keep it for shows, but it just doesn’t sound nice for daily dealings. I don’t like Tom for a horse name, nor do I like Cat for a gelding.
This morning as I greeted everyone with breakfast I uttered the words “Good morning, Tiger.”
Without hesitation the words came out…and just like that we may have a new barn name for R Tom Cat.
…Tiger the TomCat
Welcome to the family, Tiger. I am so excited for our future adventures.