Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fame's Story: In the Beginning

Last summer the same summer I turned 20 my entire family went on vacation and left me to my own devices. I decided to look into riding lessons and I found I fabulous show barn right in my town. They offered apprenticeships, stall mucking in exchange for lessons. I began riding lessons there shortly after. The owner and trainer noticed that I was a person of promise and after only a couple months my apprenticeship was extended to the groom room where I learned the in's and out's of being a groom. But these are not just any horses. These are show horses, national level show horses. My days were full of wonder, amazement and horses. However I was doing much more work than I could be compensated by lessons alone and my trainer purposed a lease.The horse I ended up leasing was a pure-bred Arab mare named On My Miend(pictured left). Everyone just called her Girla. However I didn't ride Girla, I drove her!! I discovered country pleasure driving and fell in love. I drove Girla and maintained a full lease on a horse from September to March. We were doing very well and my first real show was looming on the horizon. Then the man who actually owned Girla called. He had bought a breeding to Baske Afire (a stallion which auctioned for 2.8 mill a the Scottsdale show) she was to be artificially inseminated, and while I could have continued to drive her I wouldn't have been able to show her, I was paying for a show horse, so I terminated my lease. It nearly broke my heart. But the loss of the mare had cemented the idea of purchasing Fame which had been bopping around in my head for months. Fame was first offered to me as my new show prospect by my trainer. Fame belonged to a former client of his and was for sale only to a good home. My trainer had trained this horse since he was young and knows him inside and out. He thought that Fame an I would be a perfect match. He dug out old show photos of him and I began a lengthy e-mail correspondence with his former owner, arranged to have a vet look at him and even found a local fellow that would make the drive up to get him.After weeks of waiting my new baby boy had arrived. He is a bay, half Arabian, half saddlebred gelding, 17 years old and 15 HH. Another gal that works at the barn called me that afternoon to tell me that my horsie had arrived. I rushed down to meet him! I still remember the anticipatory drumming of my heart. I walk into the barn and my trainer smiled at me."You look like you are looking for someone."
"Where is he?"
"He's not here yet."
"Jacque just called and said he was."
"He's here." He walked over to Fame's stall and called his name. Fame abandoned his snack to see who was talking to him. I opened the gate and steped in.

Fame was hairy, covered in caked on mud, a little underweight but to me he is the most fantastic looking horse in the barn.
I extend my hand, he sniffs it and snorts at it, then lips it. I dare to touch him and I stroke the white star in the middle of his forehead. He then rested his lovely head against my chest. I was smitten. "Love a first sight," My trainer teased. My stall work went slow, I had to stop every five seconds to go look at him again to make sure he was real. Once finished with my duties I took to the task of mud removal. I got most of it off him and gave him a good grooming, and wrapped his tail, gave him a handful of pellet treat and put him back to bed. He sighed circled and layed down in his fresh pile of fluffy bedding that was mounded in the center of his stall. I let him rest, after a very long ride from Oregon he deserved it.

Well it's 5:30 I think I'll make myself some breakfast and get ready to go down for my morning ride.


mugwump said...

I hope you keep writing.This is an interesting insight into the show horse world. Many people don't get to see this side of things. Do you ride or drive Flame?

J. Hatchett said...

He shows driving, I ride him at home becuase I'm dying to learn everything. >.> But I'm told he becomes way to much for an amature to handle under saddle in the show ring.