Maverick arrived at the farm late on a Sunday afternoon. I took a day off from work that Monday so that I could meet him. I was excited and nervous and poor Maverick was adjusting to a whole new place to live and new horses, people and routines. We didn’t ride that day but we did at least meet for the first time. It was just wonderful to see him in person. I wasn’t sure when I would feel confident enough to ride him but it didn’t matter. He was my horse and I would wait as long as I needed to wait.
Elizabeth rode him a couple of days later and in the pictures she sent me, he looked so beautiful and so calm that I knew I would ride him sooner rather than later. Sure enough I rode him less than a week after he arrived at the farm. I watched Elizabeth get on him first and even though I had read other Success Stories, I could not believe how calm he was. It gave me the confidence to say, I can do that. Elizabeth asked if I was ready and I knew it was time.
Although he is an OTTB, when I first got on him, all I could think about was that I was sitting on my very own horse. We hadn’t even moved yet, but I felt like I was on top of the world. We took it very slow, with a lunge line on Maverick and me sitting while he quietly walked around. It was enough. He was so calm and so comfortable that while I remained both nervous and excited he was a true gentleman.
We practiced basic skills which probably helped me more than him. I certainly noticed that the calmer and clearer I became, the better he was. Even though all I did was walk on a lunge line I felt an amazing thrill. The most surprising thing was how calm and collected he was. Even though I had read about it on the website, there was a part of me that still finds it hard to believe. It was only after my ride was over that I thought about the fact that I had just ridden a former race horse. Oh my gosh, what a an amazing experience.
The next day, I was on him again. It was even better than the first day not because he was any different, he was still great, but I was more relaxed and felt more in charge. Maverick and I are going to move slow together because we have the rest of our lives to get “there” wherever there is for us, and I intend to love the journey. I am learning how to communicate with Maverick. He is incredibly smart and wants to please me. He only becomes confused when I confuse him by sending him conflicting messages. I am learning to be clear in what my body tells him and we will celebrate each small victory.
I am looking forward to my next ride and getting to know Maverick better. I think we will make a great team and I thank Elizabeth and Debbie, Maverick’s first mom, for allowing me to experience this wonderful dream. If you have ever dreamed of having a horse I encourage you to at least take a look at an OTTB. They are smart, they are sensitive and from what everyone who owns one says, they truly want to please and bond with their significant person. Even in just a couple of short visits, I can see all of this and more in Maverick. My dream has come true!
Thank you Bits & Bytes!
Brat Maverick and KO River Crossing were former pasture mates at “Maverick’s” breeder’s farm. We often sell horses directly from their breeders. The buyers of these horses know the entire history of their ex-race horse. Read KO River Crossing’s Success Stories on this site.
Read more about Jodi’s venture into buying her first horse on our Spotlight Stories.