I first saw Fox on-line as I was browsing through horses for sale on Trademe as I did on a regular basis. I was smitten. Fox looked like my dream horse. A 12 year old 17hh chestnut Hanoverian x Thoroughbred. And even better, he had a big blaze and four white socks. I wasn't in a position to buy a horse at that stage so I looked wistfully at his photos and moved on. I couldn't stop looking though. Every week I would check to see if he was still for sale. Then one day he was gone. I was gutted.
I kept browsing and waiting till the right time came for me to buy a horse. I never saw one that grabbed my attention like Fox did though. Then one day, nearly a year after I first saw him, he was back on there. I had a deep sense of conviction that he was supposed to be mine.
A month later everything fell into place and I was able to start thinking about buying a horse. The first thing I did was e-mail his owner with a long list of questions. He had mostly been used as a farm hack and had was only just back in work after nearly a year off but the only bad thing she had to say was that he could pull a bit especially when he was going fast. No problem I thought, I can handle that. So we organised a time for me to ride.
The day came and the weather was wild and windy but we couldn't postpone as he lived quite a ways away in Golden Bay. When I saw him in real life, he was better than his photos. He had a real presence. I wanted him.
I knew it was the wrong thing to think, I should be shopping around, trying lots of horses out. But I didn't want any other horse, I wanted this one.
He was a little head shy about being bridled but nothing major. His owner said he had always been like that, just didn't like the bridle being put on. No worries I thought again, I can handle that.
The ride was fantastic. We rode for two hours on Pakawau Beach. We trotted and cantered and galloped and jumped logs. Fox was awesome. His paces felt great, powerful and flowing. His jump was bold and strong. If I hadn't already been hooked, I would have been after that ride.
We organised a two week trial and after some trouble finding a truck to bring him over the hill, he arrived at the place he would be living. I was so excited and couldn't wait to ride him again.
When the dressage instructor first saw him, I was opening a gate on him. She gave me a look and said 'I hope that's not someone's fancy dressage horse you're trying to open a gate on.' I laughed and said 'no he's just been a farm hack for the last 5 years'. But inside I was glowing. My horse looked like the real deal!
The two weeks flew by, the decision was already made. Fox would be mine and I would be the proud owner of my very first horse!!
We had about three weeks of bliss hacking round the farm and doing some basic arena work then the first signs of trouble started appearing...