We all hear about love at first sight when it comes to teenagers or even grade schoolers who have their first crush. THAT, almost everyone can relate to -when all of your senses become hightened and there is this continuous state of adrenalin and your heart becomes a puddle of wussy-mess. All of a sudden, the basic essentials for life are no longer food or air or shelter – they revolve solely around this one being who you become almost infactuated with. And you can simply stare for hours into space happily recounting memories of a smile or of a ‘look’ or even a perceived ‘look’.
If you’re a horse girl, well I should say horse *person* in case guys feel this way too, you know exactly what I mean when – horses make your heart skip a beat. Yes, that’s me, the crazy horse girl from school who, when all of the other kids were playing house, I was pretending to be the Loan Ranger’s Silver or the Black Stallion, or a My Little Pony, or well you get the picture. Somehow I thought I was the only little girl in the world who loved horses but at the same time it would absolutely KILL me that I couldn’t have one of my own. We lived in a small town which, although unincorporated and most likely no one would have done a darn thing IF my Mom and Dad had brought a pony to live in my back yard, but I digress, it just wasn’t going to happen. So I pacified myself with Stallion Flyers from the QH Congress, pin-ups from Horse Illustrated, and lots of Breyer Horses. I didn’t doodle in circles. I doodled in manes and tails on elegant Arabians. Well beyond elementary and teenage years, I still become completely enthralled with the sight, smell, and sound of a horse to where I’m this rediculous mess of teenage obsession. Or at least that’s what happened to me when I first saw Kiloton.
I’ve browsed through the NV website for years now, just looking, and mainly curious to understand how these amazing Thoroughbreds can come off the track and end up in videos several weeks or months later to where they are obediently walking, trotting, cantering, and STOPPING willfully for their riders. So I thought, after going to an equestrian college I’ve seen Zippo line Quarter Horses who acted crazier than some of these Thoroughbreds. Heck my OWN pleasure bred Zippo Line QHs acted crazier at times. What was their secret? I kept watching the website thinking, okay, once I hear about a bad experience, that will confirm the fact that these glorious creatures are indeed off-the-track thoroughbreds and you really need at least 100 years of riding experience to be able to handle these large magnificent gloriously fast creatures… or you need to be a jockey. I didn’t hear of any bad experiences though. In fact, several times when I visited their site, I saw these success stories where I wanted to be one of them. I heard about their show at the fairgrounds in Ohio so I dragged my husband and children there so we could watch these beautiful horses and see them in person. Having just a small bit of horse sense I can normally tell a horse’s personality within a few minutes, although for whatever reason I’m probably not as good at judging a human character in such a small amount of time – funny. So I figured, okay seeing them in person will cause me to stop this silly obsession with wanting an OTTB. I’ll see one with the lookeys and spook or will see one dump their rider or bite at people walking past the stall and that’ll be that. I’ll be cured of my *need* to have one. Wellllllllllll it never happened. I went home that day with my DH talking all about the horses currently on the site (this was MONTHS before I saw Kilo). I kept looking at the print outs that I’d made to show DH of the horses available for adoption. There were a couple that I may have considered but I wanted to find that ONE horse that I knew was the one for me. Hard to explain, but after owning several of my own since I was old enough to buy my own, there are just some that you end up clicking with more than others.
So a few months go by and I’m checking the site here and there. Called a few times about some Standardbreds but I knew in my heart I really wanted a Thoroughbred, and although it was not easy to be patient, I had to wait on my heart to choose.
Then one day several months later, I saw him – on facebook of course – which has become my only social connection to the equine society lately with my non-horse career, kids, Border Collie stuff, and everything else going on. He was a beautiful black gelding with kind eyes and a white star with a strip and snip. He had one short white sock (maybe I’d call it an anklet if he were a mare but he would probably not like that too much) and amazing muscleing. He appeared young but willing with his ears constantly forward, and slightly immature – greenish – in the video of him being ridden, but he was only 3 and just off the track. My heart just skipped. He looked like my favorite horse Shoe that I rode as a child – I’ll have to talk about Shoe later. I called DH and told him I had found a horse that I wanted. Of course, he laughed and said ‘honey do you really think we need a horse right now?’ He had a good point but it wasn’t about what we really needed. It was about a dream coming true, as sappy and silly as that sounds. I mean, who buys a horse because they NEED a horse? Later on that day, I wrote to the person who was adopting him out. We exchanged a few messages and I was set on seeing him sometime soon. I didn’t hear anything and then a week later or maybe two weeks later, I found out he was already spoken for… I just knew it was too good to be true 😦
Bummed about my missed opportunity, I stopped looking at NV for a while. I figured it wasn’t meant to be. Christmas came and went and then spring was just around the corner. Something one early morning made me want to check out facebook. Much to my surprise, there was a video on there from my NV friend about a ‘wild crazy just gelded Thoroughbred’ I clicked on it and watched this completely docile black gelding following the trainer around as she called his name. She mentioned “Kilo.” My mind raced as I put two and two together. Was this THE Kiloton that I had wanted months ago? Why was he there? Was he boarded there or in training? What was he doing there? I searched further up and saw another video of him, along with like 10 or more comments of how many others thought he was beautiful and all that jazz… so I thought holy crap, he’s back and I can’t miss out again.
I said a prayer that morning that God could help me realize my dream. God answered my prayer and by the end of that afternoon, my husband was saying to me, “well do you want him?” as we stood beside this gorgeous creature. This really wasn’t happening was it? Next thing we know we’re signing the agreement and that was that.
It was surreal. It really still is surreal. As much as I would like to think I know about horses, I’m always still learning, and I’m always thinking of what I’m doing and what I need to be doing. With Kilo I probably over-think because I see this horse who to me, is perfect and I’m soooooooooooo scared to do anything to flaw his perfection. Obviously he isn’t perfect and I need to be super careful not to spoil him too much but really, DH told me the other day that “if he were any more spoiled by me he’d be wearing a diaper.” He’s not disrespectful at all though, so for anyone reading who is into Clinton Anderson (as I am too!) and understands that there is nothing worse than a spoiled disrespectful horse, don’t get me wrong because he does have respect. He is just well loved. And he always will be! And what is even more cool-er than that is that he really seems to love us too. Now that I’ve gone through boring the world with my pony-in-the-sky dream come true story I might be able to be a little less mushy-gushy in the next coming posts. Well, maybe.
(Photo by Audrey C. Crosby)