A Decade With Hafl

I can hardly believe that ten years ago I decided to buy this never growing up babyface. I had no idea that he would change my life in such a way.

10 years ago, I bought my first horse, a standardbred off the track. Intended for my back then-boyfriend, he quickly became a younger brother as I was always longing for having my very own Haflinger. I was searching the internet for a two-year-old, such that I can work the standardbred while the smaller brother was still growing up. What a perfect plan. Only two months after buying the standardbred, I found Hafl as his previous owner was the only one to answer my request. I met him on national holiday of August 15, as we needed to drive to his young horse hideaway - a perfect trip for a day off. As soon as I saw his cutie pie forelock, I knew he had to be mine. And did not even see him move, I just checked if head, tail and legs were in the right place. Hafl was delivered later that year in October after the grazing season and I could not have been any happier with him as he turned out to be a real gem. Hard-working, always curious, always happy, never stupid or dangerous (let alone the one time we had our big accident), he has been by my side for the last 10 years now. And he has seen a lot.

He was part of my first young horse test where I have never ridden a young horse test. We came in third qualifying for the Haflinger Nationals - coming in last but who cared. He was cute. He allowed me to ride through all the levels - even though our fourth level/FEI YR was a disaster, I probably would not have had the chance to even entering such a class with a horse like him (read: non fanzy-schmanzy Warmblood). He was never the biggest mover, he was never the brightest star. But such a work ethic and a huge heart brought us to where we are now: a happy couple who almost spend all of HIS life together. Speaking of couples: Hafl has also been my most stable relationship - and one that will go on for many more years to come.

Even though we cannot always count on his health status with all those damn sarcoids haunting us, he never shows weakness just because of them. He still wants to work and even though we might never show again, we will still train like champions. Or just do nothing. We won't hug or cuddle as he hates it the way I do. We won't talk that much because we are both not the talkative types even though we do not seem like it. Sometimes I think we are happy just being together. Just spending time and doing whatever we like. Because barn time is quality time. Especially when you spend it with your partner in crime. I am so thankful for the last ten years and those memories will never fade.

Hafl had his regular day off today, just drove there to feed him his extra bucket of yummy mash and told him that I would be back tomorrow. Like I have been doing it for almost ten years now...

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