Brian and I just returned from spending two weeks in Arizona, visiting my family. While it was a lovely vacation, I must admit I was missing Steen like crazy the whole time. Part of it is the setting. My parents live in a beautiful valley at the base of the Catalina Mountains, surrounded by the land and trails I grew up riding with my first horse.
One of my fond hopes is to someday be able to take Steen there. Right now this isn’t possible for a variety of reasons. Brian and I went for a lot of walks, and I couldn’t help thinking about how great it would be to be riding instead of walking.
Now we’re home, and saying hello to Steen was a kind of relief. Climbing into my saddle and riding off felt like getting back some part of my body that hadn’t been functioning. I’ve had Steen for almost seven years now. I don’t know exactly how much time I’ve spent on his back because I didn’t keep track the first few years, but I know it has to be at least 600 hours. That’s a whole lot more time than I’ve spent on any other horse. The relationship I have with him is unique in my life.
Now that 2014 is over, we’re looking at what we want to accomplish in 2015 with the horses. While we were in Tucson, someone called about Aiden. He’s listed here on our website as for sale, even though we’re not actively trying to sell him at this point. The caller thought he sounded perfect for her riding student, and Brian and I spent a few days thinking we might sell him shortly after getting back. It turned out the timing didn’t work out, though, and the student bought a different horse before we could return to Iowa and show her Aiden.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the near miss. On the one hand, the idea of selling Aiden and getting a new prospect was exciting. On the other, I really like Aiden. He’s fun to ride, and he’s great for Brian’s student. I’m going to miss him when he’s gone.
Part of it is I need to decide what I want to do next. With Steen getting older, it might be time for me to find a promising youngster and start the horse that will be my next Steen. On the other hand, I do enjoy finding horses who need a little help, getting them all polished up, and sending them on to good homes.
Fortunately, whatever happens, it should involve a lot of time on horseback. Our first day back in town, I rode three horses, one after the other. That felt really good.
Horseback Hours YTD: 2:50