After seeing Olivia’s blog post on “The Horse You Bought”, I hopped on over to Two and Half Horses, where the hop originated. Since it has been nearly three and a half years, I figured it would be fun to look back. I have zero media from our first trial ride, but I do have the wording of her ad:

Belgian/QH cross….UTD on everything. Has been shown and placed well at larger shows! Jumps up to 3′ courses. Trail rides alone and in a group, crosses water, trailers well… Literally does nothing wrong. Easy enough for an advanced beginner to handle!

To be honest, our first trial ride was not some beacon of hope where the clouds parted and angels sung. I could barely keep her on the rail, and at the canter, we basically careened around wherever she wanted to go. She leaned so badly that I was concerned she would trip and go down. The trot had no rhythm, and my first thoughts were “I could sell her as a trail horse for as much as I was paying” and “she’d be easier to sell than my c current horse.”

Seriously… so many people have this amazing AHAH moment when they buy a horse, like buying a wedding dress. BUT I didn’t have that. I had “this will probably work” and “I just need to ride something different.” She had really no personality and any jump we took that day was under 2′, and we got to it sideways. With all those romantic images in my head, I loaded her onto the trailer with a smile on my face anyway. Pure joy? Maybe not. Relief and terror? Probably more so that.

Hilarious part? I still have this ENTIRE outfit except the breeches.

She was sort of easy to load (once food was involved), and we took her home. Then, I attempted to get a beauty shot of her at home, and I got this.

And I wondered for a moment what I had done…

My first lesson? She couldn’t do a 20M circle and ran out the gate of the arena. Our canter transitions took more than a dozen trot steps, and my saddle really didn’t fit.

And this was as good as our trot got. 

May was a lot greener than even I had anticipated, and I had ridden A LOT of green horses. I had started a couple horses from scratch, and this was even more difficult than that. There were moments of real promise… and moments where I couldn’t even figure out what was causing everything to go Oh So Wrong.

During one of these moments, I turned to my trainer at the time and just told her I was completely stumped. I knew we weren’t straight, thorough, or forward, but I couldn’t seem to get any of those things to work together. That day, I paid for my first pro ride on my horse, and it seriously helped us move forward.  I wish I had more media from those first few months because they were… not friendly to me.

We added to her education with gymnastics and formal XC schools

I think this was our first “course” together:
Video Link

Overall, she was green but a fun horse to work with and every ride was engaging… even when I was mostly failing at accomplishing anything.

Fast Forward to 2018?

May has proven herself to be a really reliable partner. I have spent COUNTLESS hours ALONE riding at different barns. We have seen deer, bicycles, strollers, small children, quads, and, most recently, sheep together. We have done horse trails, Dressage, SJ, XC, clinics, hunter paces, trail rides, games days, and many bareback rides together.

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May has been the horse my friends get on to ride something “other than a schoolie” before they set off horse shopping. She is also the horse that has, in slow motion, run away with more than one person in the arena. (never faster than a medium trot, just without willingness to walk)

We even did our first BN together… Which wasn’t the smoothest… But we got it done.


Her personality has come out of her shell. While naughty is probably never the right word, opinionated is probably a better one. She has broken cross ties, simply because she was hungry. She had decided that certain farriers should not be allowed to work on her precious toes. AND she has learned how to express to me when she feels a saddle does not fit to her standards (crow hopping).

However, now, I wouldn’t trade her for the world… Although, I could still definitely sell her for more than I bought her for!

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  1. the_everything_pony

    Awwww May! I feel that your story is like a lot of stories tho. Sometimes there is that aha moment, but most other times I would say there wasn’t one. I certainly didn’t feel that with Amber. She was the first horse I started from scratch, so I was mostly petrified, but she hated me and I hated her. There was a lot of mutual hate haha. It was only after riding her for 3-4 months that I really wanted her, so you’re not the only one that didn’t feel the aha moment! lol

  2. nadsnovik

    this is great! I feel like I know her so much better now!

    1. Emily

      Thanks! The running joke is that she’s a bit like an onion… lots of layers hahaha

  3. L. Williams

    I love when horses’ personality blossoms.

    1. Emily

      It’s one of my favorite parts of getting to know a new horse. I used to work with horses that basically came off a truck from Mexico. They started so dull, but most of them turned out to have amazing senses of humor!

  4. eventerinprogress

    “Her personality has come out of her shell. While naughty is probably never the right word, opinionated is probably a better one”, dear god I know what you mean here haha

    1. Emily

      Right? She’s not BAD. She just sometimes disagrees with me ? (and sometimes she’s right)

        1. Emily

          Yes but the cheeky ones make it fun ?

  5. roamingridersite

    Awe 🙂 I only recently found your blog and it is nice to se show far you two have come. I’d never have guessed the beginning from the present.

    1. Emily

      Glad you found us! It’s been a long but amazing road for us. I just wish i had more media from those first few months!

  6. KC Scott

    Awww, look how far you guys have come!

    1. Emily

      Thanks! She’s totally my girl now ?

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