I was working on a post of a more positive tone than the last few. I planned to go over the constructive things I've learned from my horse shopping experiences. Unfortunately I kept leaving it not-quite-finished and then when I'd come back to it, I had to do a bunch of edits.
Then, last Monday, I got to the point of deciding to have a pre-purchase exam for a horse about 3 hours away. I'd been out to try him and he was very, very cute. Quite lazy in the arena but had more forward outside. I was fairly confident that I could improve his response to the aids through training and that he had a pretty great brain to work with. The vet check was a big fail - he was lame. Plus he did some funky things with his hind feet walking up and down a slope (the slope was incidental, not officially part of the exam, but yeilded information all the same). I really liked the vet I hired which was great since I had to go with a clinic in that area. She was very professional and also very much looked out for me. I was much better prepared this time, having gone through it once before, so I didn't have a complete mental lurch, lol. It totally sucked to waste a whole day driving and more money on an exam to once again end up with nothing.
I have to admit that even though it was disappointing, I mostly felt relief. In hindsight, proceeding to vet check on this horse really stressed me out. Partly it was the money but now I wonder if something was telling me he wasn't the one (aside from the laziness). I don't know, it just feels that way...but that could also be a defense mechanism to make the disappointment ok. Doesn't really matter, this horse is out. :-(
That makes 16 horses that I had actually gone out to try myself at least once, a few of them more than once. So what to do?
I happened to stay home sick last Friday. I was going on 3 weeks of a nasty cold that twice looked like it was almost over, only to have a resurgence. Normally, I can't take calls on my cell phone in the office because the signal is interrupted. I also don't give my work number to many people for personal calls. I would have totally missed this call if I had happened to be at work that day.
As it was, I was home and took the call on my cell. It was my coach, calling to mention that the fancy 3 year old I tried back in August was still for sale. She knew I had liked him a lot at that time but also agreed with me that he was on the green side for what I want. Of course, back then I found the grey who was further alongt in his training and was also a gorgeous horse. I had cancelled my second visit to this 3 year old in favor of the 5 year old who was much further along. Of course, then the vetting didn't work out but I guess the greeness factor over-took the fact that I did like this horse.
So I tried him that very night and quite liked him. I was a little concerned because he is somewhat fussy in his head/neck and quite honestly it makes me worried about what people at my barn will say. It doesn't feel anything like Willie but I know it might look that way. I know this horse is like that because he's used to being held up by his mouth and he hasn't really learned to carry himself yet. As much as I'd like to believe the opinions of others don't matter, the fact is I've learned that judgements really do hurt me and undermine my confidence. Still, I know a good horse when I ride one; all that much more since the last time I saw this guy.
I requested a proper lesson on him so I could get a proper feel for where he's at. For now, I'm just going to say that it went very well and I am going to vet him next week. I just want to finally finish a post, so details will have to wait! I want this horse to work out more than any of the others, by far.
I'm off to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair tomorrow!!!! I grew up watching the RAWF equestrian events on TV every year and now I am *finally* going to be there in person. Pretty sure some serious shopping will happen!