Quick everyone pull out your atlas! Sorry about that.
Yes I live on a island just off another island. Find
Vancouver, B.C. and I am a two hour ferry ride to Nanaimo
and another 20 minute ferry ride to Gabriola Island.
My name is Lydia and I became horse crazy after watching
the tv series Fury (guess that dates me) and Bonanza.
I also pleaded constantly to go horse back riding and the only
thing that was available was at a pioneer village located
quite a distance from Medford, Oregon. This was a place
where you ride at your own risk and go around and around
on a track for an hour. I thought I was in heaven!
I pleaded and pleaded for a horse and finally I got one
when I was 15. It had to be a pinto (just like little Joe's)
that's all I cared about and believe me I knew nothing about
horse's. My mom sold a minature schnauzer puppy and she told
me I could buy a horse with the money. Of course she had
a different horse in mind one that had lots of ribbons and
was now that I think about it I would have been totally
over-horsed! Anyway I held my ground for a pinto and
found one, a 12 year old overo mare who I instantly fell
in love with. Her owner told me how to feed her and that was
about it. We put up some fencing and a run in shed and she came
home to her 1/2 acre pasture. Now that I think about it she
was a terrific kids horse and I had no fear at that age.
And very lucky for her I didn't make any drastic mistakes with her.
Sadly I had to give her up when during Christmas time we were visiting
Canada and my parents decided they liked it so much they decided
to stay. I never did find out who bought my mare and it still haunts
me to this day even though she is now long gone and dead but not in
Then I was horseless for many years until I went to University at the
University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. there was a riding stable
close to the University grounds so I took up English Riding (Flat) till
the stable was sold for townhouses to be built there.
I got my degree from UVIC in psychology and philosophy and decided I didn't
want to leave Victoria so I got hired at the University library and
stayed there 15 years.
During this time I married, got divorced, got married again(to Tony).
He is a man of many talents, boat builder, cook, janitor, and at the time
was working for a computer outfit writing educational programmmes well
the company went bust and we decided to change our life style. After
seaching for property for six months we finally bought five acres
on Gabriola Island, I continued to work at the university while Tony
built our house and barn and I started looking for a horse!!!
And of course it had to be a PINTO!!! Here we go living that
childhood dream again. Through the help of a director with the
Canadian Pinto Horse Association I found her or rather Red found her.
I had gone over to Vancouver to go to the Western Canadain Nationals
to look at horse's for sale and to look at horse's on the mainland.
Well we only found one horse for sale at the nationals and yes she
was a pinto but had splints and a attitude problem so we continued
looking and I fell for a gelding who had a great temperment but not
a lot else. Red talked me out of him since he said all he every would
be a was a horse I could hack around with but I protested" that is
what I want!" He said" no you will want to show."
I thoguht he was nuts! So we continued to look so far we had seen about
five horses and had one more to see (there were very few pintos for
sale. We went to this farely large arab barn and there in this stall
was a pinto and she was scared to death. They brought her out of her stall
and all I wanted to do was stay away from her. Then Red said to me
"If you don't buy her I will" This man was 78 and had been horseless
for years due to a back injury. I just looked at him in amazement. He
wasn't even going to see her under saddle! The mare was three had lots
of training but still was green and her I was almost totally green
and he is telling me to buy her! I gulped and said "okay" and
Oriah Dawn came to live with me. A very pretty sorrel and white
tobanio, 3/4 arab (Egyp) and 1/4 saddlebred.
And now four year's latter yes Red did know what he was doing and
he has been over many times to see us and somehow he knew we would
work any and all problems out. Which I am glad to say have been
few and far between.
The first couple of years we had problems gettting an instuctor to
come to the island and I ran the problem of everyone trying to buy
her , lease her you name it till last year I found Kathy Paine
a quarter horse person who's daughter qualified for the Congress
this year and I was able to talk her into working with us.
This year we went to our first show and yes we do english, western
and dressage we did very well I am pleased to say and she
finished her R.O.M. in colour. Our next show was the Western
Canadain Nationals and I am pleased to say we placed in every
class but two and Red was there watching us the whole time!
So in this case a green horse green rider has worked but only
because a man with 70 years in horse's saw the match.
So, I wil be back in the ring again this year and continue
working at the Malaspina College Library to support my horse
habit. Good things come to those who wait!
Lydia & Oriah