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When one door closes...

It's been awhile since I posted, and I'll say that life is to blame. I'm still adjusting to our new town and new responsibilities as a stay at home mom (something I never wanted or envisioned for myself). My house is a constant state of wreckage, and add to that the fact that we just got a new puppy, Lady, and you get an idea of the chaos I'm trying to coordinate.

But that hasn't stopped me from going to the barn. I'll save you the gushing I've done before, but I cannot say enough about Talaria Farms in Newnan, GA. From top to bottom, this place is amazing for anyone who comes through the doors. They care about their horses, and do everything they can to ensure success for people and horses.

Somewhere along the way in my five or so lessons, Heather Spies, the trainer at Talaria, convinced me to sign up for a show. In her defense (and a lot of laughing after she found out) she didn't know until after I'd signed up that I'd never actually done a show before. When she found out, we both kind of laughed and went back to work. And between her and Jazmin at Talaria, I was ready for my first show. I don't know what I'd do without them on a constant basis, but, oh my, how they helped me during the show (and Jazmin's dad, Jose).

We were doing well at the show, keeping an eye on the time of the classes. There was supposed to be a five minute break before my class, but for whatever reason it was skipped. Because of this, Huey had to be tacked up pretty quickly, and Jazmin all but stood in front of the gate to keep it open for us. I didn't have a warmup, and we went in without a second thought of nerves. To be honest, I kind of prefer it that way as weird as that sounds. The less time I have to think about it, the less time I have to let my brain overreact.

Huey did excellent in this class. There were a total of 10 competitors, and I never once even spotted the judge because I was so focused on Huey and keeping him calm and collected. Before I knew it, we were being called to line up. Then, the ribbons came out. Allison, Jazmin, my mom, my niece, Heather, and the rest of the Talaria team let out a giant round of applause when TF Senzational and Mary Kate Allen were announced as THIRD! Might I add that I'm glad they announced our names with the number because I had no idea what number I was wearing. The second class was a huge one with 23 competitors. We didn't do quite as well in that one, but Huey was so tired he fell asleep and didn't wake up until he was basically being loaded onto a trailer to come home.

But that wasn't all that happened. To continue, I have to let the cat out of the bag.

The foal I posted about before? The one who is from the same bloodline as my beloved Sofie? It was lost. And when it was discovered, Bette (the breeder) and I were devastated. Then things hit a rocky patch for me, and long story short, we have decided to not pursue that avenue for awhile.

That brings me to the present. I went looking for a horse of my own.

When I set out, I looked at everything I could find in my price range. But my one stipulation was that this horse had to tolerate Maddie, my four-year-old daughter. Odds are that Maddie will be starting lessons this spring, and I have to have a horse I can bring her around.

Jazmin and I went through every horse Talaria had for sale, and one in particular kept nagging at me. When Maddie saw her in the paddock, she was one of the first to come see us. She and her buddy, TF Gracia, came to us every time we were near them. Then, we saw her little sister who was just as nice as she was. Then, we saw her mother, who is also just as sweet. At that point, I was pretty sure I liked her. But I looked at Huey's little half brother (Huey is by Enzo, and this gelding is by TF Royal Shabaz) just to be sure I really liked her.

At my last lesson before the show, I went into this filly's stall, and she not only remembered me but let me cuddle on her. She never once acted rude or spooky, just like she was with Maddie and me when we visited her in the pasture.

I told Jazmin she was my choice.

All of that brings me around to last Saturday at the show, when I signed the papers to officially become this little (re: big, considering she's 14.3 hands already) lass's owner. To celebrate, Allison bought me a carrot cake at the show. It was the best day ever.

I've finally found my dream horse, and she is everything I ever wanted in a horse. She's tall for an Arabian, a gray filly who will become a beautiful white. Dear readers, I introduce you to TF Mahalia (Hailey as I call her).

This two-year-old filly didn’t bat an eye at the kids. We turned her loose in the arena, and she was all snort and trot. Then she turned it off and was cuddly with the kids. I have no words for how excited I am to see where things go with her. For now, we will be working on bonding until I start her groundwork this spring when she's three.

There's a picture overload coming, and I will not apologize for it. There are a few pictures of me getting Huey ready to school the day before the show, a picture of us during the show, and one of us with our ribbon. The rest are of Hailey. Enjoy!

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