For 27 years of my life I dreamed of a horse of my own. While my parents were not animal lovers they did allow me to take riding lessons for the better part of my younger years. I took some years off from riding for college and was bitten by the horse bug intermittently throughout my 20's. After I married my husband, Matt, I leased a few different horses and then became pregnant with my daughter.
A few months after having Addison I started leasing again and the idea of horse ownership did not seem like such a distant dream. We had a house, stable jobs, a place to keep a horse, and the funds to care for him. I casually started looking for "the one". The first horse I looked at was a young, too small, quarter horse. I then looked at a fresh-off-the-track 17 hand Thoroughbred who flew around the round pen in wild fury with me on his back... I quickly realized that a Thoroughbred was probably not the horse for me, especially with a young daughter at home that depended on my mobility. Until Shrimp.
"Shrimp", was a 7 years old 15.3hand Thoroughbred that had been in the MSPCA's care for 2 years. The MSPCA was promoting Shrimp on it's blog with a video of him doing just about everything- crossing rivers, jumping cross rails, trail riding, and dressage. And all with an attitude of a horse that was much wiser beyond his years. I could see me and Shrimp doing anything together, I could see my daughter riding him when she was older.
In snowy February 2012 my husband, barn manager, and myself, drove down to Shrimp's foster home. We pulled up to the barn, drove past the paddocks, and one skinny, fuzzy little horse-- the only one without a blanket, looked up at us as we passed. I said to my husband-- that's him. He had the kindest eyes I had ever seen. He wasn't the tall, beautiful, majestic horse galloping up to me, but our first meeting was just as special. I loved him from the second I saw him and knew he belonged with me. Shrimp came home with me on February 29th, 2012-- the day before my 27th birthday. Shrimp stepped off the trailer, snorting, taking in his new home.
The day "Shrimp" came home
After 27 years of dreaming I still couldn't take in the reality. Shrimp was mine. The little girl that used to pretend her bike was a horse didn't have to pretend anymore. I had never felt such a deep and instant connection to another animal in my life and I knew from the moment I saw him our relationship would be special.
In the next few weeks we took to choosing a new name for him. Shrimp was clearly not regal enough for him. Shrimp's jockey club name is Delaware Bound, which we liked, and decided to keep as his show name, but we still needed a shorter barn name. My husband came up with the name "Finn" which we both thought suited him.Finn and I had a very rough first 7 months which I will detail in following posts. Rough patches that made me question my horse, my abilities as the right owner for him, and horse ownership in general. Only in the past few months have we really turned a corner. I started this blog to detail our growth together and hope everyone enjoys reading about our journey together.
Marissa and Finn- 9/1/2012