Weekend Recap: Mystery Horse

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a week. I got a cold right before coming home from vacation on Tuesday, and I’m still functioning at like 75% of my normal energy levels, plus it rained all weekend, and basically I haven’t seen my horse in way too long. But there is always a way to work horses into even the most dreary of weekends. Before I get into that though, let’s take a quick step back.

I finally got Val’s papers from my trainer a couple of weeks ago (only a year after buying him but who’s counting?) and since he squishes his little lip as tight as he can whenever I try to check his tattoo, I’ve never actually known the number. So I was really excited to get his papers and finally have it. Except. His foal registration papers didn’t have the tattoo (Some of you are shaking your heads. Gimme a second to get there.), and when I searched his name in the Jockey Club registry he didn’t come up. I eventually found the actual tattoo number on a medical record that was included but that number pulled up a filly by entirely different parents, and I was stumped.

As it turns out–please tell me I’m not the only one to have this revelation this late in my riding career–his registration number is basically his tattoo, with just the letter used for the year of birth substituted in for the first two numbers. Even after realizing this though, I couldn’t seem to find him. Fast forward to today, when I finally realized that the tattoo number on his medical record was wrong, and two digits were swapped. I felt a little silly for taking a few days to figure all of that out, but hey, I rode a bunch of horses as a working student. I was never in charge of their papers.

And that’s the story of why I opted for his registration number instead of his actual tattoo number on my new tattoo, and boy am I glad I did.

I actually chatted with the artist and made my appointment about a month ago, but I was waiting for his papers to work the number into the tattoo. Since the tattoo number was a bit of a mystery I went with the registration number (minus the zero) and I’m happy that I didn’t end up accidentally getting the wrong number entirely done!

It definitely hurt more than I expected but it was also absolutely worth it, and I’m so in love. I’ve been trying for years to find some version of a horse tattoo that was just what I wanted, and what the artist drew up from my photos couldn’t be more perfect. I love this horse to bits, but I didn’t want just a portrait of his face or his name, and instead wanted something that was a bit more symbolic of horses and their spirits in general, and really you guys it’s just perfect and I’m a little obsessed.

When I told my father he replied “pics or it didn’t happen” and I’m sure my mother will still love me one way or another.

I guess I did other stuff this weekend like go to a cool book club with mostly barn friends hosted by Lauren (who always gets the best cheese and wine for these things) where we sort of talked about the book and how it was awful for a few minutes and talked about horses (because, duh), and that was a highlight of the weekend as well for sure, but y’all. I got a tattoo.

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