When Jet died, I had a very hard time dealing with the fact that he was no longer a part of our lives. I was heartbroken and felt like I had lost a dear friend since he was such a foundation of our horse lives. He was the one T and I turned to when you just wanted to tool around bareback with a halter and reins, the one that would cross any water or any terrain, who you could lead by a chunk of mane, who you could put a small child on and he would step under to balance the child. You could pony off of him, ride with one hand and a very light touch, he would jump the moon and do any pattern you asked, the one I completely trusted would pack me anywhere and take care of me. Diego was a babysitter too but Jet far surpassed Diego as a riding horse (in fairness to Diego he was older when he entered our lives and we were very inexperienced). For the first time in 10 years, I was without a "steady Eddie", seasoned horse in my life. It felt like a personal turning point. Zip is a great riding horse but he will need time to become that quiet, easy going horse that every wants to ride. We are working with him on the ground, added a calming supplement to his diet and have been bombproofing and he is blossoming into quite the nice horse to have around. He is no longer hard to catch and has finally figured out that humans aren't so bad after all (he is like Jet in that he hadn't had an easy start to his life). Kali is also a fantastic horse and is well on her way to being "that" horse but she lacks the age and experience. Don't get me wrong, I treasure each of the animals in our lives for their unique personalities and abilities but I was really missing having my lead horse. It's hard to put into words (and I didn't realize this was going to be such a long post!). So we sat down as a family and decided that we would look for another horse that was around Jet's size and older than 10 to be my primary riding horse. We found Annie through the same person that we got Zip from.
Annie is Paso Fino mare that is about 15 years old. She had been bred by a vet who had her for a while then sold her to an older gentleman who rode her all over the small town in the Poconos mountains where he lived. When he passed away, Annie went to an older couple in the same small town to be used as a trail horse for the wife. When the wife was injured by a boarder's horse, they decided to downsize and Annie became available through the farm where we got Zip. Craig and T went up to look at her and thought she would be a good fit and she reminded them a bit of Jet. She is sure footed, well behaved under saddle and has very nice gaits. Somewhere along the way, Annie had been professionally trained.
Annie was pretty stressed out when she arrived since she hadn't been off the mountain where she had been for years and years. Zip didn't really like her at first but spent an evening banished in the barn while Kali and Annie became instant friends. Once Kali and Annie bonded, Zip is just fine with having her around. We added another doorway to the run in shed to allow space and plenty of exits for all three and there's plenty of space in the pasture. They are getting along peacefully, even laying down to sleep in a group. Annie's on the thin side and has been sitting for a while so we are going to work on fattening her up and building muscle. I'm really looking forward to getting to know her.