Sunday, March 6, 2011

My On-Going Saga

My decision to bring Larry (an Oldenburg I tried out the week before) home two weeks ago was probably a knee-jerk reaction to wanting a horse to show. I made a hasty decision to lease him for 45 days to see if he would work out for me. No harm, no foul.

Sometimes life conspires in ways we can’t predict and for the short-term wouldn’t agree with. But in the long term, we’re glad things worked out the way they did. Things have a way of twisting and turning and trying to balance themselves despite our most misinformed directions.

So two weeks ago, Larry came to my barn. My trainer was to ride him a couple days a week to evaluate him as was I. Well, the Monday after he arrived, I lunged him, and he was an idiot. He finally calmed down on the lunge line, but it became obvious to me that this was a horse that hadn’t been too many places and wasn’t used to adjusting quickly to strange situations. I’d thought he’d be more bomb-proof than that.

Considering I’d broken my collarbone and two ribs years ago on a horse that was represented to be dead broke, I met Larry’s crazy antics on the lunge and the ground with fear and trepidation. He, too, was to be dead-broke, a school horse at a hunter barn. Well, Larry was an insecure soul, and perhaps, not quite what I was ready for. You see, I’d been through the ringer with my current mare, Gailey. Over the years, we’d built a definite bond and learned to deal with each other’s idiosyncrasies. And no, she wasn’t the horse who broke my bones. That was her predecessor.

Yet, I’d had to do so much with Gailey that I was looking forward to an uncomplicated, dead-broke horse. Larry was not quite that. He could be with some time and effort, but I wasn’t sure I was the person to put in the time or effort. I’d expended all my energy on Gailey.

Anyway, after my trainer rode Larry the first time, she was not impressed, but she felt he needed to have another week or so before she could determine what she had.

A week later, I had a lesson on Larry and was surprised how green he was. He was also so underweight, I felt like I was riding on a board and very unstable, nothing like my couch of a mare. I was certain if he shied one step to either side, I’d be on my butt in the dirt.

In the meantime, Larry was starting to win over my trainer. He tried hard, had an excellent attitude under saddle, and was moving better every day. He had a few physical issues which concerned her, so she suggested I have him vetted before I spent any more money on board and lessons.

The vet came out on Friday. After a short exam, he suggested I pass on Larry. He flexed lame on the front leg which had the previous injury. Also he felt he had an odd motion in his left hock. The evaluation was the horse wouldn’t hold up as an upper-level dressage horse. As a result, Larry went back to his owner. I felt bad, but I was happy that another person was waiting in the wings who knew and loved Larry from his previous barn. She wanted him for a trail horse.

In the meantime, my mare seems to be relatively sound on her arthritis medicine. My trainer is going to attempt to breed her. I’ll continue to ride her, and we’ll split the board. Once I can no longer ride her, she’ll cover all her expenses. Up until then, we’ll split them.

Remember the mare I tried out? Well, she’s now in my trainer’s barn, too. She’s taking her on as a broodmare and continuing to ride her to see if she really has soundness issues.

I’m still horse hunting, but I’ll probably wait until next year when I’ll be able to save a little more money. For what I’m looking for, I’m only having about half the money I need.

So even though I don’t have a new horse to show, things are probably working out for the best.


Alison said...

"Saga" is definitely the right word for your horse hunting, Jami. I am glad that you have relaxed a little bit and taken a deep breath. Eventually the right horse will come along, probably when you least expect it.

Laura Crum said...

Wait for the one that feels right, Jami. Sounds like you're doing all the right things.

HorsesAndTurbos said...

The right one will be there...when you least expect it! That's how I got my second horse...I had given up for the season (winter) saw someone I knew posted him up for adoption; I followed up on him, and brought him home for Xmas.

Good luck with your search!


Jami Davenport said...

Ladies, I know I need to wait. Everything is falling into place as far as the rest of my life, so I need to have patience--something I'm not good at. Gailey is sound enough to ride, but irregular enough I don't dare show her. I'll find the perfect horse when the time is right!!!!

One thing I love about dressage is you can do it into your very old age. I have a ways to go...