Sunday, January 16, 2011

Next step?

I went to see the horse that I hoped would be "the one". Piled the whole family in the Explorer, took the almost 3 hr. drive to get there and met the owner. She was very nice and we got right to business. She answered my questions about the horse as she tacked up and brought her in the indoor. Then she rode her for me first.

This mare is cute in a super-chunky kind of way. She looks like she could be Rugby's littler big sister. She has the same big, nice bare feet, same thick jowls and chubby mouth. She's almost all black except for a big white blaze, two white socks and a white splash on her belly. However, she's much closer coupled, 4 inches shorter and has more work put into her.

After the owner walk, trot cantered her for a few minutes, I mounted up. Her walk and trot work is really nice, she likes a steady firm leg and a good rein contact. She actually seems to prefer you ride on contact instead of with a loop to the rein. Her canter is not as nice as her trot. For a close-coupled horse, she can really move! Her stride is huge. She's not strong and responds well to the bit but she is very forward. She's not as connected through the canter and I had to sit deep and ask through the seat and leg to keep to a canter without breaking. Her left lead is better than her right. Her owner said she's better cantering in a larger arena and the canter is where she needs more balance. I thought it odd such a lovely trot and walk didn't flow into a great canter. She willingly trotted ground poles but I didn't take her over any jumps.

I did like the horse. The owner said she has a few more people lined up to look at her. I told her I wouldn't buy the horse without a vet check. She agreed but if I plan to do it she would like it scheduled sometime this week to get a "yes" or "no" from me in case she gets another firm offer. I have a friend getting me the number of a vet from the same area in NJ to call.

But part of me is leery. And I'm not sure if I'm just gun-shy or really unsure. I can see this horse being a good hunter pace, field hunter, trail and fun kind of horse. Isn't that what I want? But that less than relaxing canter had me kind of worried. Can I "fix" it? Or is that just her? Will she be a freight train galloping in the field? And I wish I could ride her again before I decide but she's not close by.

And to top it off, I leave again at the end of this week for my second business trip, this time to Houston so the pressure is on. No time to focus on anything. In addition, I have a broken tooth that hit critical mass just before I left for Las Vegas and it is KILLING me. My dentist gave me 800mg ibuprofin but it's not helping. Tomorrow I go in to start the root canal that will hopefully relieve some of the pain and start me on the way to a post and crown. Great. I'm not fortunate to have dental insurance, so this tooth will cost me about half of my horse budget.

Maybe I should give it up. I just don't think I'm going to find another good horse.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ten together - Two apart

Ever in my heart, always on my mind. Two years ago today, Monty crossed the Rainbow Bridge. In memory, here are some pictures of my sweet boy and I in some of our happiest moments that I haven't shared before. Above is us at our first horse show in May of 1999.

This is in the Adult Amateur Hunters flat class at that show. All I did that day was the one flat class, LOL!

And the results were great, we won that flat class, out of about 8 or so horses.

This is just a sweet picture of us taken back in 2001. Notice the little pink diamond on his nose? I called it his "kissy spot" because it was the perfect place to plant a smooch.

And the horse I mentioned in my previous post, the one I hoped would still be for sale after I returned from my trip? The snow has kept the other prospective buyer away and I have an appointment to see her tomorrow. Wish me a little luck!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

That time again

January is not my favorite month. Mostly because I have a lot of travel for business in this month and it makes everything feel rushed and hectic and I don't like leaving my family. But also because there's an anniversary in the middle of the month that is especially hard to deal with. Two years ago I was in Las Vegas for business when I got that phone call that Monty was not doing well. And two days later I came home to find him existing on pain medication and mushy food with his tumors compromising his normal bodily functions.

The next morning, I said goodbye and the vet euthanized my sweet boy.

I miss him so much.

My trip to Vegas is once again fast approaching and this year, there is no horse of my own waiting for me to love through the pain of my remembrance.

But there is a tiny hope.

My horsey blog friend "On The Bit" gave me a lead to a horse she found out of the blue. I have contacted the owner and this lovely horse has my heart in knots. Everything about her seems tailor made to a perfect fit for me. She's not too far away. She has no vices. She has a loving owner and has been properly cared for and is up to date on all her vet work. She's nicely broke to ride and looks like a comfortable horse to work with. She's in my budget and she's the right size.

I want to see her NOW. But I can't because of this business trip. There is another person scheduled to look at the horse next week and because of my trip I can't get there first. I've seen pictures and video and have this feeling in my heart that she is the one. It will kill me if I come back and find she's been sold and I lost my chance because I had to be away.

Please, send a wish my way that this horse is still available when I get back. I just want my luck to change.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year - whatever.

2009 sucked. 2010 sucked some more. Just praying I don't pull a hat trick of suckiness.

But there was a bright spot yesterday. Both of my boys jumped a cross rail for the first time in their riding lessons yesterday. I will never forget the look of surprise on their faces the first time the pony hopped over the cross rail, then the huge grin of sheer joy when they realized that they finally got their wish and actually JUMPED over a fence! Two years of lessons and they were finally getting air time!

The second time over they tried harder to keep their heels down and hold mane when they released. By the 3rd and 4th times they were tight and smiling the whole time.