I've known for years that our interests don't always align. That I want more, and she wants less, or at the very least, different.
I kept trying. I made sure there were other horses at each arena or XC hire. I held her hand through our first SJ comp as her little mind was blown.
In my heart of hearts, and sometimes right out in front of me, I know she's happiest when the pressure is off.
The pressure I put on her, because I didn't get the chance to compete as a kid and it’s been my secret dream ever since.
Galesa likes long rides with her friends, she likes polework and feeling fancy - but not too often - she loves fun rides and jumping -but not travelling or being alone. She especially loves clicker training, learning tricks, being smart and getting
rewards. Our slow time together grooming and scratching and sharing our heartbeats over a pile of hay.
I love all those things too, I just want to do them way more than she does. I don't want to go into the stable with her bridle and watch her turn away. We had one winter off work due to human injury, and all we did was chill and clicker train and be together. She came to me in the field each day, eager to play. Lined up at the mounting block by herself. Thrust her head into the bridle when it was time to start again. But when we did start in earnest, that all slipped away, and I ignored it.
But when a change of scenery and work and hock injections didn't dramatically change her interest, I could ignore it no longer. That’s not how I want to live my life, pushing her to do things she doesn’t enjoy, turning my head from her lessening joy. So, when the financial stars aligned, I opened my heart (and internet browser) to look for our Third.
I'm a fast mover, so within a fortnight I’d found Beanie.
I thought the hard part was over, but dear reader, sing it with me... 'it’s only just begun...'
I cried into her mane the day Beans passed her vetting. My relief and excitement at having found her evaporated and the reality hit.
The guilt hit. The worry that she would Know. The fear that I was betraying her, that somehow the love I would feel for Beanie would lessen the bond I had created over the years with Galesa. Beans is here for a good time, that's her job with me. To get me out experiencing all the excitement I've dreamt of since I was a little 7 year old in my first pair of jodhpurs. But what if all that excitement left my quieter life with Galesa feeling a little flat? She always knows everything I'm feeling (lets' face it, everyone does 'cos my face is an emotion display screen and my unwitting motto is 'feel a feeling say a feeling').
What had I done?!
Follow Rhiannon, Galesa and Beanie's story more closely on their instagram page: @ride_a_roo