Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Almost a Year Since we Adopted Ronin

I was helping move my best friend's sister into her dorm room last winter when I got the call about a horse that had been abandoned and was in desperate need of a home.  I'd been thinking about getting a horse.  It was more like wishful thinking, really.  I rent a house in a little suburban neighborhood in San Jose.  I have a yard the size of four office cubes, and we were already the proud parents of a 3 year old myers parrot and a 2 year old catahoula (a large, athletic dog that is meant to live on a rural farm and have a real job).  We had our hands full.  "Well, he probably won't live more than a month if he doesn't find a home." my friend was telling me over the phone, "If you want him, he's yours for free, but we'll have to go up tonight to take a look at him."  Tonight?!  I rushed home to grab Rogér and my friend who had called about the horse.  We drove to Sunol that night and hiked a big hill to find the tall, bedraggled mess of a bay thorouhgbred horse.  He was skin and bones, but he was sweet natured. 

Rogér with Ronin a couple weeks after we got him

He was supposedly 8 years old.  There were no papers. The rules I know about horse trading are: 1) The horse is never as young as the seller says it is, 2) Don't buy a horse before you try riding it, 3) Make sure the seller gets on the horse before you do, 4) Have the horse checked out by a vet before you purchase, and finally 5) there's no such thing as a free horse.  Of course, I disregarded pretty much all of these!  I made the call the next day that I would take him.  Turns out, he was only about 41/2 years old (What?!), which I found out thanks to the helpful people who keep their horses at Indian Hills Ranch in Milpitas.

It took Ronin a long time to put on weight.  We did a lot of slow exercise to build up his muscles.  For the first few months I didn't even put a saddle on him because I didn't want him to have to carry the extra lbs.  Here we are almost a year later and I can't even believe the difference!  He looks great and he's doing great!  We've also been taking lessons which is really helping me to become a better rider and helping Ronin learn what's expected of him.  He's turning out to be an amazingly good horse and he seems to be pretty happy in his new environment :)  A very gratifying success!

Rogér with Ronin about a month ago

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