Buying Paddy is by far the craziest thing I've ever done in my adult life. I wasn't even looking for a horse - I had just lost Echo, and earlier that year we'd lost Saga and Oberon. I was questioning why we even HAD horses, since I seemed to be doing a great job killing them off. And then Lauren asked me - hypothetically - if I were to get a horse, what would I want. I told her gelding, NOT bay (Echo, Oberon, and Saga were all bays). Kind. Lots of miles. Fun to ride.
She told me I should get a Haflinger.
I immediately scoffed at the idea. I'm 5'8, and at the time I wanted to event. Haffies are short fat ponies, without an athletic bone in their bodies, right? (Let's ignore, for the moment, their impressive ability to escape.) But, because I'm a moron, I looked at Dreamhorse that day while I was eating lunch. Here are the pics from Paddy's ad:
How could I even think about resisting? He was athletic, adorable, and had good conformation. I called the owner and the trainer, and the more I talked to them, the better he sounded. He vetted fine. And none of my (more or less) responsible adult friends dissuaded me from trying him out. Including my husband.
There was one slight problem though. Paddy lived in Michigan. I live in Texas. I pointed this out to Lauren, who said two words in response: ROAD TRIP.
This is where the crazy comes in. I cashed in some frequent flyer miles and got a one-way ticket to Detroit for after work that Friday. BFF FuzzyPony, because she loves me (I have no idea why), agreed to DRIVE THE RIG SOLO from Austin to Detroit. Then she picked me up at the airport Friday night when my flight got in at midnight. We drove to the hotel, got a couple of hours of sleep, and were at the barn at 6:30 the next morning to try Paddy out.
By 7:20 a.m. we were on our way back to Austin, one adorable Haflinger in tow.
How can you even resist? You can't. Obviously.
And I will luff him and hug him and squeeze him and call him Paddy!
PS. Thanks MC for reminding me of the Haffie-versary!