Monday, April 4, 2011

Searching for my “perfect” horse.

I thought I was home free.  It's a buyer's market for horses, right?  HA!

Todd found the first possibility - a mare.  She seemed pretty cool.  A 12 year old, big Palomino.  He brought her to his ranch and we tried her out.  She hadn’t been ridden in a couple years.  She’d been a broodmare.  She had a blue ribbon trot that had me in heaven, but her lope was “off.”  Something wasn’t quite right but we thought maybe a bit of work would get her in shape and resolve the issue.  Or maybe a visit from a chiropractor.  Starting in November I leased her for 3 months and put her in training with Todd.  And I continued to look for my “perfect” horse.

Long story short, I didn’t buy the mare.  I’d had private lessons through the winter on her and she was nice, but was developing some unwanted “mare-ish” tendencies the more fit she got.  And in January I had my first group lesson.  Suffice it to say that the mare wasn’t partial to another horse being within 30 feet of her.  I had an “interesting” ride.  It wouldn’t do.  Not for a show horse.  So I decided to send her home.

During those months I’d become an almost daily visitor to BAEN and  Both sites are great for horse classifieds.  I had my frequent searches saved and I started my email quest.  Each time I found a horse that matched my criteria I’d send off an email.  There seemed to be lots of possibilities.

I ended up creating a spreadsheet to keep track of the horses I was inquiring about.  I had lots of pictures emailed to me, a few videos, countless email conversations, and about 6 in-person visits.

I learned to look carefully at what was listed on the websites.  Once I went to see a horse that was 14.2 hands (I wanted at least 15.3) because I didn’t read the ad carefully enough.  I did get to see an Akhal-Teke cross.  That is one of those breeds I’ve liked since I was a kid.  They have a metallic sheen to their coat.  But the mare had never been in an arena, she was a trail horse exclusively.  One of the other funny things was “color” (That’s what it’s called when a horse is “flashy” or has lots of white, or is a color like Buckskin, Palomino, Pinto) because color wasn’t on my “list” yet every horse I saw in person (except for the 14.2 horse) was Palomino.  What’s with that?

As the months went by and the reality of each horse came and went I realized the search wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. 

I met some very nice people through the search.  One woman with a Palomino mare in Reno was great.  She showed me all her horses, introduced me to her trainer and her friends and spent a couple hours with me.  I really liked her, and really liked her mare.  But the mare had a very slight club foot which gave her a different type of movement.

I went to see that mare on January 15th and when I got home I started feeling pain.

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