Just two weeks ago,I left Aiken for Holland to look for horses.I have looked and looked in the US for something to ride for a very long time and nothing worked out.Without question,I love the Irish horse but this time I chose to broaden my horizons and go to Holland,,,,,just 'cause.
I drug my great non horsey brother over there to be my protector and film director.He didn't want to go at first but my mother stepped in and "changed his mind".No body messes with Nanu.Off we went.
We left on a Wed.night,arrived in Amsterdam at 8.40 am their time and I was in the saddle by 10 am.I rode 12 horses in a row. All braided up. All terrific jumpers except for the fact that I could not really ride any of them.They went in a different balance than I was used to . Long story short,there were two that I like the most and we agreed to take them far away from their comfort zone of the jumper ring and go cross country schooling with them the next day.
After a delicious Indian dinner,the hotel bed was a welcome sight.Early the next day we zoomed off to a farm to go jumping again. It was windy and wet.The horses thought were crazy.But they jumped and jumped well.I could at least ride them in the field and started to feel a bit better about things.The jumps were harder than I would have jumped for a first XC school and they went.
My brother filmed it all through the gales and wet feet and basically froze his ass off while I was happy in my normal element of mud and tornadic conditions.The show jumpers we were with wanted to shut the American up and get back home to the six footers,while little Lellie could not tear herself away.
It was time to go.Off we zoomed to the train station where the two American tourists had 3 minutes to make the train. I am used to running from place to place and people often make rude remarks about how fast my fat little self can waddle when in a hurry(years of constant practice)You should see how fast I am on crutches.....
we rode in the first class upper level of the train down to the south . Whereupon my brother met a philosophy teacher at one of the universities. He immediately left my side and went to have intelligent conversation about the worlds education issues,while visions of Dutch horsey's danced in my head.......What else.....
We were met at the train station by a TRUE kindred spirit and whisked away to look at more Gigi's.Anyone thinks I drive fast has NO IDEA>>>>>>>>
First stop was the stable where Zidane lived.Out he came. Walked around for 5 steps,trotted for 6, cantered on each leg and started jumping.The Dutch don't waste any time.Bada Bing Bada boom!Ok ,,,my turn,,,,,,,,,,Got on did it........Got off and my comment was in the car after polite thank you's,"this was the first horse I have been able to ride in Holland"He was the first one that let me in...NO critisim to any of the preceding horses as they were SERIOUSLY nice,,but I did not ride them well.....
Zoom Zoom...two more that night.Dinner bed.
Next day off we zoomed all over the place,me with my notebook.Splint here,short neck there,pulled too much,not enough,bay ,grey had to take notes and my brother filmed everything with our trusty flip camera....Too bad we had no way to watch the films...
The only non show jumper that was presented to us by an eventer,,,I didn't even jump it. Go fiqure! Nice horse...not for me. But it was that one that I didn't like at all and spent the least time with that led us to THE HORSE!!!!!!!!!!Oh there's one down the road about another hour away....Out of our plan. We were down to the minute on our travels and this was not in the book at all.
We drove and drove and walked into this enormous facility and I saw him....I saw him before the stall door was even opened up.....ZAP.....Lightning struck.Done deal........
It was Peter Pan on steroids.A five year old mirror image,three times the size with that same ,let me eat you up look in his eye. Why do I like that so much??????I can deal with it in horses ,trouble is I tend to choose that in men too and then they do and then I cry.......I digress.
OMG>>>What a mover. OMG OMG what a jumper.Didn't steer that well and pulled like a train to the jumps but WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!Only 5. This was it.
BUT,,,,and theres ALWAYS a BUT......He paced in the walk and I had to turn him down for that after 2 trys and a sleepless night.The walk is just too important for our game.Rats.....
There were too many wonderful horses to talk about.The horses were great,very different. The people even better.We laughed more in 5 days than I have laughed in the past 5 years here in Aiken.I felt normal again....
We tried horses into the night and at 11 PM the only place to eat was at a Egyptian Pizza place.
Next day cross country for Zidane and a grey I especially liked but Zidane won.More hail,hock deep mud and training level jumps off blind turns was his maiden experience to XC. What a trooper
My brother went off to visit my uncles grave from WWII and a Hapsburg Princess, while we looked and more horses.About 11 PM before the 5 O'clock wake up call before our sad departure back to the states ,a glass of wine and a handful of hotel peanuts,the deal was done. Handshake,price ,,,,all wrapped up. I bought Zidane.
Came home on Monday night,went to The Fork with Peter , Intermediate, came back taught all week. Jumper show on the weekend on Sunday and left for Newburgh ,New York to Quarentine Monday afternoon at 1 pm.
I arrived this morning at 12.30 am with Zidane. He is here. He is beautiful and so far sensible.35.5 hours later. I love my truck Jack and Red Bull. Listened to great music and dreamed away like a kid again.
Dressage lessons today,Jumper show tomorrow with Peter and Harry.Who knows what after that?
Catch me if you can . I am on a rollll..............Good Luck at Badminton everyone!