Sunday, January 23, 2011

The New Horse Bug

Earlier this week, a fellow rider posted an ad for a horse for sale on our barn Yahoo loop. For the heck of it, I clicked on the Craig's List link. That was my first mistake. Now, I'm not really an Arabian person, but this handsome fellow looked like a small warmblood with a quality head, nice big body, and was about 16 hands. He'd had some professional dressage training (very little, but some). He'd been shown at Arabian regionals in various classes and done well. Even better, he was only $3000. A major bargain for the bucks. But then, in this economy, there are most likely tons of bargains.

I fell in love. In fact, I fantasized over having a sound horse again. For the first time in 13 years, I got the new horse bug. I mentioned my by now future horse to a co-worker of mine, who is constantly trolling Dream Horse and Craig's List for horses. She knew exactly the horse I mentioned then proceeded to burst my new horse bubble. Unintentionally, of course. It seems I overlooked one very large fact. He's ten years old.

Maybe that doesn't sold too old for many people, but for me, it was the deal breaker, not that I'd even seen the horse to make a deal on him. Especially considering he'd really not been trained in dressage so he was probably 4-5 years behind the curve for his age. Nope, not going to work for me.

A few days later, I had a lesson on Gailey. She was stiff and felt a little off. Not enough to quit riding her, but enough to know she isn't ever going to recover enough to do upper level dressage, even at home. I talked to my trainer (who is also a long-time friend) and mentioned I'd actually considering the Arabian posted by one of her students earlier in the week.

We talked at length, since the lesson after mine had cancelled. We discussed what I'd do with Gailey if I bought another horse. I have options. One is to bring her home, but then I'd need an additional animal to keep her company, and I really don't want to take care of two horses. Another was offer her as a lease to someone who might be interested in breeding her. Even my trainer said she might toy with the idea herself as Gailey is such a nice mare.

Then she told me about a fellow student of hers who is having a "fire sale" because of a divorce. She has a well-broke five year old going 2nd level I might be able to get for cheap or at least on payments. I immediately went to the student's website and looked at a video and fell in love again (I know, I'm fickle). Here, I made another mistake. Instead of calling on the horse, I emailed about it. A few days later, I received an email back stating two others were already looking at the mare, and she'd let me know if it didn't work out.

I'm pretty sure I lost out on the chance. :(

I can't decide if it's a message from a higher being to forget the new horse for now or if I should keep plugging along. It's really bad timing for my hubbie and I. He has recently found out that he may possibly have a debilitating disease. We'll know more next month when he goes to Seattle for 2 days of tests. Our kids have asked for our help in buying a house for their growing family, so any cash we have will be tied up in that, which we're more than happy to do. Is it really the time for me to be horse hunting?

I've avoided looking at Craig's List or Dream Horse or the local horse magazine, Flying Changes. I fear if I do, I'll be obsessed with purchasing a new horse even though I have no money to buy one.

I'm trying to convince myself I'd be better off buying some Arthri-Eze to help Gailey with her arthritis and ride the horse I have. Such is my life right now.

Yet, for a brief moment in time, I got excited about riding again, about showing, about giving all of this another shot. If nothing else comes out of my brief foray into purchasing a new horse, at least, I now realize the horse bug is still alive and well inside me. I'll just have to live through Francesa for now as she hunts for a her next dream horse.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

It may be a sign not to get a new horse no matter how hard you want one. I know what you're going through. I've been there. Best wishes on whatever happens and I'm praying that your hubbie will be okay.
I have always felt that Arabians are slower developing than other breeds so a horse in it's teens is much younger than it's age. That said, it depends on how hard that horse was campaigned in shows.

Francesca Prescott said...

Oh Jami, I feel for you, I really do. I don't know what to tell you, except to hang in there, that things evolve, situations change. I pray your husband will be okay; you must be in such a lot of stress at the moment, and I'm so terribly sorry.

Do you have any friends with horses you could ride? I'm sure there are plenty of people who'd only be too happy to have a good rider help them out a couple of times a week. I know it's not the same as having your own horse, but it might be worth considering for the time being. If you lived a few thousand miles closer you'd be more than welcome to come and ride my next horse when I find him. Sending you lots and lots of love.

Laura Crum said...

Jami--I sure understand that feeling. I bought Gunner when I couldn't really afford him. These days I try very hard to resist that new horse bug, but given Gailey's soundness issues, I can see why it could bite you hard. I hope things work out for your greatest happiness, and also that your husband does not turn out to be seriously ill. Good wishes to you.

Alison said...

I'm adding my best wishes and agree with Francesca about a horse to ride, or share or lease while you are in this transition stage with husband and family. I think there are way to many horses out there not getting enough time and attention due to the economy, owners working full time etc. Not a forever solution, but one that may work for awhile.