Little did they know that I would finally find my passion.
When I beggedbeggedbegged my parents for a horse of my own, one of my dad's coworkers offered him two free horses. (My horse friends will know that there is no such thing as a free horse.)
Remind me to do a post at some point about Horses Past, but for now we'll skip forward.
At some point, my brother decided he wanted to ride. So OF COURSE we had to get another horse (duh). Sue spearheaded the search...I only remember looking at two horses, Dunny and Tanner. I loved Dunny and really wanted him, but he failed the pre-purchase vet exam. And then we went to see Tanner...I remember meeting him, and feeling "Meh."
I don't remember the conversation around the decision to purchase him, but in 2000, (Spoiled Brat Syndrome warning) my parents shelled out $4,000 for a 3 year old palomino quarterhorse, Mr Skips Golden Boy.
At my lofty age of 25, I look back on this and am shocked. I know that the horse economy was a lot stronger back then and Tanner is a colored purebred, so that price isn't super crazy. But combine that with his young, unproven age and my young, unproven age....all I can say is that I'm obviously really grateful my parents and Sue made the decision and whoever/whatever aligned the stars to make it happen clearly knew best, but holy crap.
I am so thankful for my parents for being the financial (and emotional) backers for my addiction. They didn't give up on Tanner when at the tender age of 6 he was diagnosed with ringbone* in his hind leg.
They didn't give up when I went to college 8 hours away, leaving Tanner behind at Sue's. They gamely drove him down to me in Missouri and paid for his board and vet care (even when he got a nasty cut that required a cast up to his hip). They continued to pay for his care when I moved to Delaware. Through all of this they supported my desire to keep him, both ideologically and financially.
On the surface, I got to keep a really great horse.
But oh how much more I have gotten from it. Sappy post alert!
I have met incredible, amazing, loving people that have had a huge impact on my growth and development as a person and rider.
- Sue, who was my second mother through middle and high school
- Dr. Anne, the vet who let me shadow her for an entire semester in high school
- Heather S, who became my best friend in high school after discovering we both had horses (oh man, remember the Mailbox Bandits??)
- Janine and Emily, the barn owners who looked after and worried about Tanner like he was one of their own
- Casey, who was just looking for a part-time horse lease and is now shackled with my friendship
- Audrey, who through no fault of her own now has an Auntie Kelsey and a yeyo horse who loves her
And that list is still growing as I meet new horse people through search and rescue, trail riding, and even online (*waves to Amanda*). And it's not limited to meeting new people...while I was looking through pictures of Tanner, I found so many of friends riding Tanner that it's now going to be its own page on the blog.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that Tanner got me through middle school.
He was my inspiration for dreaming about having my own farm, and realizing that dream together has meant a lot (duh).
And he's my inspiration for my future. I was determined to be a vet when I was in middle and high school, even picking out my college because it had a pre-vet program and a horse farm (I didn't even apply to any other schools). But I chickened out before I even started, panicking about having to make the decision so early (senior of high school, according to vet school websites). Since then, I've told myself (and others) that I didn't do it because I didn't like science very much.
The time has come, my friends, to gird up and do it. I have a few pre-requisites to take, but in a year or two (probably two) I hope to start vet school. Somewhere. Wherever they'll take me. I'm taking a genetics course right now and have a disgusting amount of chemistry to take, but I'm started on my way.
Basically my entire life has revolved around a dopey yellow gelding.
SO..............long story short, THANK YOU to my parents for taking a crazy chance on an expensive 3 year old quarterhorse and a spoiled 11 year old kid.
I probably owe you a firstborn child or something. This blog post shout-out is pretty much the same thing, right?
|Yup, I brought Tanner into school for a project.|
|2001...the first Adventures of Tanner's Ears??|
|Our very first camping trip!|
|Our crazy college days|
|Tanner & Heather's horse Tanya|
*Ringbone is a calcification of bone around a joint, that usually occurs in old, arthritic horses and causes debilitating pain. Thank the centaur gods that Tanner's ringbone fused painlessly around his joint, causing no soundness issues up to this point.