It’s a tight schedule at Lendon Gray’s Winter Intensive Program. After the fitness class the riders get busy preparing for their lessons. I often have a gap of time before Jack has to ride so I take my bicycle out of the bed of my truck and tour the neighborhoods of Wellington. There are paths all over the “village”. It’s fun to see through the enormous iron gates elegant dressage horses floating in a perfect grand prix frame in their front yard arenas. Occasionally, I see polo practice, or jumpers perched out of their saddle making tight turns aiming for a jump. I can’t count how many hackers are on the trails enjoying the fresh morning, or dressed in their whites on the way to a show. It’s amusing to see someone cantering along a path beside a road. I lament the riders, mounted, and heads tipped towards their phones, not even looking where they are going. (the emergency room if they don’t get smart.) There’s something about seeing others taking a walk in the neighborhood on their horse that creates an itch in me I search to satisfy.
I try to imagine living in a community unique as Wellington. The whole village of Wellington is small enough for me to ambitiously bike anywhere. (and I do.) There are neighborhoods with “normal” houses without horse facilities. But I am captured whole by the neighborhoods with two or more acre lots efficiently designed to fit five paddocks, a barn, an arena, and a nice house connected to the 57 miles of trails. That is the order in which I would prioritize the suitability of my real estate search. Horses grazing in paddocks, barns alive with activity, and arenas freshly dragged and ready for some lofty trotting. Friends exit the driveway and meet on the paths to hack together and give their equine friend a change of scenery and some break from the arena work.
I haven’t seen a hitching post at any of the local convenience stores. That’s because this place is posh, there are grooms to take the horses while the riders zip over in their sports cars to do errands or lunch. That’s not appealing to me. I only desire to be steps away from caring for my horses and working in the barn. I have an old standard jeep to do errands if Amazon can’t deliver. Mostly I love to take my bike wherever possible. When I realized this was possible here in Wellington, I approached my husband with “those” eyes and suggested we should retire here. Please. Pretty please. I’ll do anything for you to say yes.
After a long day enjoying horse activity in the WIT barn with Jack and Mica’s barn with our other two horses I’m too tired to concentrate or move another muscle. But I’m not too tired to do an internet search of the equestrian properties for sale. We have moved eleven times all over this country and to the UK in our 28 years of marriage, so understanding local real estate is something I do when I’m a visitor. Can you imagine there are over thirty properties in Wellington that cost between ten million and thirty-four million dollars? It’s unreal. Way down the list I compare value for what we can buy at home and my head shakes in disbelief. Nevertheless, I find some interesting homes and I jot them down so the next morning I can ride my bike past them. It’s just how I get to know a community.
The weather, the horse amenities, excellent trainers, farriers and equine vets, tack shops, feed stores, horse trails, the accessibility by bicycle to local errands, and friends who enjoy the same activities all sums up to the way I would love to spend my days. Sigh. I’m not saying I experience discontent with my home set up, I have just entered a world that couldn’t be better designed for the way I wish to use these precious days God gives us on this earth. I’m thinking life is too short to live a half hour drive away from my horses.
If anything were possible I’d pick a modest property in a great area here in Wellington, keep Kira in the Ideal School of Leadership where she attends and not look back. But I’m patient and I’m flexible. And I trust God has the exact right place for us just waiting. When we retire, Wellington here we come. Until then, the door is open to winter here for the season. But first we still have six more weeks of 2018 to enjoy in Sunny Welly World before we head home to San Antonio, TX.