One year ago, my life changed forever.
I drove to Lewiston, ID and acquired my first pet.
Not a dog.
Not a cat.
A six year-old, 16hh Appendix named HarleyDoneGone.
His sales ad looked like every other horse’s:
Great for farrier.”
As we attempted to load Harley into the trailer for the first time, we learned that people lie.
He threw a fit and refused to get in the trailer.
We looked at his recently former owner with quizzical expressions.
“Oh yeah. He pulls back. He’s broken out of a halter before. I don’t recommend tying him once you get him in there. I just let him trailer untied. Byeeeeeee.”
Upon returning home, delirious from driving for 24 hours straight, we noticed something wasn’t right.
Dani: “Uhhh. Why can I see Harley’s face in my side-view mirror? Shouldn’t I see his butt?”
Hannah: *Expletive* “Yes. Yes, you should.”
That’s when it began to sink in that this relationship would be a roller coaster.
We put him in a little pen in the pasture where he stood like a total space cadet.
Didn’t acknowledge any of the horses poking and sniffing and trying to say hi.
Just cribbed constantly on anything he could find.
(Despite his previous owner saying he wasn’t a cribber, if you remember.)
On the second day, we had our first real ride together.
The cutest face. So innocent on the outside. Plotting discontent and destruction on the inside.
I asked him for a trot. Wildly insulted, he threw his head back and busted my lip open.
This was the first time I seriously considered lip injections. The swelling evened out real nice. I actually didn’t hate it.
On the third day, I was afraid of him.
Hannah hopped aboard and asked him for a trot.
Wildly insulted at the request, he gave her 38 seconds of bucks, rears, spins and kicks during which I didn’t breathe at all because I was sure one of them was going to die.
And he earned 45 minutes of cardio.
A couple weeks later, he broke a lead rope while tied and escaped into a field.
Hannah spent a full hour trying to catch him.
(As I stood crying in the driveway being of no help at all.)
Finally we had breakthrough!
He warmed up to his new herd, and began making friends.
We don’t know that gray horse. But they seem to have an understanding.
He learned that good boys get lots of kisses and cookies.
He slowly turned away from his life of creating chaos and began showing us his cute personality.
He learned that snuggles are pretty great.
He made a tiny best friend.
We met some creatures we didn’t trust.
He handled this one better than I did, as proven by the blurry and panicked photography.
That spider was on his foot. It was huge. Horse for scale.
He learned to politely communicate his feelings.
Like when I made him a unicorn and he was less than pleased.
Yet my face was not smashed by the back of his head.
He learned how to photobomb QUITE well, and is proficient in ruining almost every picture that I try to take.
(I was trying to get a good shot of that shelter that I built..Got a cute, squishy nose instead.)
He learned that water isn’t so scary, and splashing is very fun!
We wore matching outfits to our first race.
Our goal was 25 seconds.
We ran a 25.65, so I count it as a win.
We bought our first house.
(In matching outfits, of course.)
And we kept our composure when he wandered a little too close for comfort.
Cheers to an eventful year.
A year with my soulmate in equine form.
(Hannah also pictured because she’s as much work into him as I have.)