Ernie is a 2009 model thoroughbred, sired by English Channel, and originally from Canada. His registered name is William of Orange, but he shows under the name Earnest. Ernie raced only three times, with his best placing being a fourth.
I originally met Ernie in October of 2019, when he was one of the horses on our list of several we were trying. The first horse I tried that day had freaked out after hitting a rail and left me a bit on edge. The second horse was nappy off my leg and then jumping I just could not see a distance on him to save my life. The third horse I didn’t even bother to get on after my trainer. So Ernie was the fourth and final horse to try that day.
I had seen his sale video and really liked him, but assumed he was probably too small for me since he is a thoroughbred and was listed at 16.3 hands. In person that day I had the same perception that I was too big for him. I enjoyed riding him though. He was forgiving of my tension and mistakes and happily went around.
Looking back it kind of reminds me of early on with my husband funny enough. I thought he was great but I kept trying to set him up with my friends. Note to self those are the ones you actually want to keep…
After that day no horses were really popping up to try (at least not in my budget!) and eventually in late November my trainer put out the idea that I could lease Ernie as an option. It was a good lease price, and if I decided I wanted to buy him the lease fee went against the purchase price. So we went back and tried him again and he was delivered a few days later in early December.
In those early days Ernie was a saint as I worked through some bad habits and fears as well as softening my riding up after getting used to a tougher and stronger ride for the prior couple years.
Despite how much I enjoyed Ernie and how much confidence he had given me back I still hesitated for a while on the idea of buying him. In my mind I needed something bigger first of all, but maybe a little younger too.
Throughout the summer though my mind began to change. Ernie continued to not only be a great partner in the ring and over fences, but I could ride him alone out in the grass field or ride him bareback for fun. I hadn’t had a horse like that since Phoenix’s riding days, and I missed it greatly.
So that’s how in July of 2020, Ernie joined the family.
Looking forward to seeing where life with Ernie takes me in my riding journey!