One year ago today I scrounged together $1,000 and brought the biggest beast I’ve ever owned home.
Two years ago, in June of 2016, I screamed my 20 to 1 longshot to victory down the homestretch of Emerald Downs, completely unaware that Raglan was cruising along at the back of the pack. Was my presence at the racetrack that day part of some great cosmic twist of fate? I like to think so.
Looking back, I don’t recognize the person that I was when I purchased Raglan. The fears that I had have been replaced with so much joy, and everyday he reminds me not only of what a competent rider I am, but that deep down I am strong and brave. He’s helped me find the person that I used to be, the one that picked the biggest horse in the barn and always wanted to ride longer, harder, faster, better.
Raglan has improved a lot, too. The difference between the horse he was during our first few rides together and the horse he is today is almost inconceivable. I take so much pride in how all of those little daily improvements have stacked up to make him into the horse he is now.
I’ll admit to having a somewhat cavalier attitude when I bought Raglan last year. He was cheap, tall, handsome, athletic… I knew that if it didn’t work out I could just sell him for three times his purchase price and be done with it. But now a year has passed and I don’t really think about contingency plans anymore.
It’s looking likely that Raglan is going to be with me for a very long time.
As of last week, the Miley is officially #SOLD. Check out these before and after pictures:
I ended up getting less $$$ for it than I wanted (isn’t that always how it goes?), but honestly after spending so much time marketing it on Facebook/Craigslist, I’m just glad to have the whole thing done and over with. Here are some of the most important lessons that I learned from the Miley:
════Don’t settle for something that might work. Having a project didn’t bother me, but it was super sad to end up putting a lot of work into a trailer that I couldn’t keep.
════Floors, lights, and frame—know what you’re looking for! I had no idea what I was looking at when I went to see the Miley. Now I know that I don’t want to buy a project that involves any welding, but I don’t mind replacing tires! Next time I’ll have a check list to take with me when I look at trailers.
════Everything looks better with a fresh coat of paint. As much as I hated putting paint on the Miley while I was doing it, the results were so worth it. I wouldn’t mind painting another trailer.
I’m hoping to have the resources to look for a new trailer by the time that winter rolls around. In the mean time, the money from the Miley is going towards something pretty awesome… but more on that later. 😛
Since our last lesson with InstructorA, I’ve made it a point to focus on improving the quality of Raglan’s canter. I’ve been stretching him down into the bridle, letting his head drop so that his neck is level and then using my leg to lift up his belly. Right now his head gets too low, but I can feel him getting stronger and soon I should be able to start raising his poll up while keeping his back engaged.
In the mean time, I’ve been setting up jumps at least once a week. Spending more time jumping has been good for us; I’m feeling pretty confident over 2’0″ with Raglan!
My main goals are 1.) no refusals, 2.) land softly from jumps, and 3.) PLEASE HAVE BRAKES. Raglan’s been going above and beyond to meet those expectations. I can’t wait to be in a position to take him to another schooling show for some actual over fences classes! 💓