The Boy is (mostly) on board, and I feel really good about Prair so I've been let off the leash a bit with respect to seriously perusing a potential new Hunter.
In general, I think I do a pretty decent job of posting the highs and lows of my horsey adventure on this blog (extended absences not withstanding), and I try to be honest and straight forward with my opinions without being a total ass on the internet and disrespectful or intrusive to those around me.
Which is why I have found it a tad strange that I've struggled with regard to posting "potential" horses on the blog.
I think some of my reluctance is that this current shopping process is unlike how I've ever shopped for horses before.
In the past, I've either known the horse personally, or done a fairly straightforward and direct search on my favorite sites (both ad lists and barns I like), then just gone to see the ones that jump out at me.
This time however, I am relying more on my Trainer's contacts and working with riders, brokers and other trainers that she has spent the last few decades networking with. The result is that she is able to forward a lot of horses that aren't necessarily "listed" for sale, or the pricing, or situation is somewhat sensitive and because of that - I'm not sure I have the "right" to post pics/videos/etc publically.
Also, on a more personal level - it sort of feels like when you just start dating a new guy and you send your friends cute pics and all the fun details and are all obsessed like, "OOOOOOH, Brad, look how tall and cute he is! and he's so polite! look how great with kids he is! and he's got this great job.. he's perfect"
But then you go on a couple dates and all your texts morph into something closer to, "UGH BRAD, what a jerk, can you believe he slapped a server's ass in front of me!? I don't care how pretty you are, BYE BRAD."
I can give myself whiplash over how quickly my mind changes, and it's not the most flattering trait to necessarily highlight in a public format.
The other thing that's tricky about posting some of the "potential ponies" is that while in theory the search should be directed by a budget and some well defined goals... both the goals and the budget have been varying widely depending on the horse. (I'll stop the dating metaphor here, though I'm sure my friends and family could probably make some apropos comments...).
As such, I don't have a good apples-to-apples list to show you. I've got some hideously expensive imports. A few less hideously expensive prospects still in Europe, and then some really lovely, but in-a-totally-different-price-category options that are considerably more local.
It doesn't really seem fair to post two videos of horses when horse A is literally 10% the cost of horse B, but that is an accurate portrayal of the range of options we're considering. (oops).
If all of this sounds a tad disjointed and dizzying - then good. I am accurately paralleling my mental state :)
Anyway, when I distill all that jumbly-brain-thought down a bit, I decided that I also don't want to miss out on everyone's thoughts and opinions, or deprive you of some of the serious eye candy that I've gotten a chance to look over, so I'll share the horses that I think are appropriate and won't step on toes by posting...
(also, I should mention a word of thanks to my poor friends who are on my "shortlist" and have been inundated with all the "BRAD IS HOT" and "BYE BRAD" mood swings of every potential horse. They are patient, patient people and I appreciate that they tolerate my slight insanity)
So, with that I proudly present one of the early contenders, who is no longer being pursued.
Ultimately, I think this horse is gorgeous, and lovely, and very athletic, but probably not meant to shine in the hunter ring. Great jump, but I think he looks more like a jumper - and realistically has the talent to succeed at a higher level in that ring.
The Pretty Gray Horse:
5yo, bought at auction in 2014 in Belgium and imported to North America, currently competing in the Jumpers. 17h, and lovely.
So after a few weeks of waiting on details and building this one up as potentially being "the one," I literally sent out a text saying:
"Gray's out- Bay's In."
But I'll have to wait a moment longer to see if I get to the point where I can share a bit about that lovely gentleman... still waiting on some video...