I married my husband the summer that I finished earning my teaching credential. I left my college town and joined him in Bakersfield, far from my own family and friends. I was lonely, but I made friends quickly, and dove into my new career. Within about six months, the horse bug resurfaced. I am certain that my husband believed the horse thing was just a childhood passion, but I knew better. One afternoon I opened the phone book to search for a nearby stable in hopes that I might at least find a rental option. Just minutes away from our apartment was a place, and after a quick chat, the owner told me to come on down. He pulled out a large appaloosa gelding and asked if I'd like to try him out. After a quick ride in the arena, I asked what it would take for me to get to ride him whenever I wanted.
I didn't tell anyone that I was buying a horse. Not even my new husband. Sound familiar? I wrote the man a check for $800 and told him I would be back the next day. The problem was that I had no truck or trailer, no halter, no tack, and no idea where I might even keep her. Even so, I wasn't worried about how I'd get Sassy home. I had a horse again and that was enough. When I got home, I had an enormous smile plastered on my face. No amount of effort on my part could subdue it. My husband knew what it meant immediately. His first words weren't even a question. "You bought a horse!" Yep. And my already wide smile got wider still.
[A side note: I should have known even way back then that he was a keeper. How many young husbands would be "okay" with a wife making such a large purchase without even the courtesy of a consultation? I love you, sweetie!]
When I arrived at work the next morning, I found a co-worker who had horses. She and I had just started a new friendship, and I felt comfortable asking for her help. She doesn't remember this, but she quickly called her barn manager who arranged for a truck and trailer to go pick up my new horse. I gave the address where Sassy lived and agreed to pay the driver $50 for his time and effort.
That co-worker who helped arrange Sassy's transport is Taz's mom. At the time, she had a gray Arabian mare named Abby. We rode those two little mares hours and hours and mile after mile. Thanks to those two Arabian mares, the friendship that grew between us has lasted almost two decades. The most important lesson that Sassy taught me was one about building and maintaining friendships.
I am glad I never did find that big quarter horse. My life took a very different path than what I had planned when I bought that Arabian.