(Boots, bubbles and a precious mileage seat up front)
Well, it didn't take long to get off plan. Our broker in Germany thought we were arriving a day earlier, and upon realizing we wouldn't hit the ground until Tuesday afternoon declared, "oh.... Hmmm.... No problem! Long nights, but don't worry, we have good coffee."
Good wine too I hope..
Only other snafu is that my carefully planned 4 hours of sleep (aided by exactly half an ambien) didn't happen either. Instead I zombied out in my seat and watched the sort of movies I can't con The Boy into at home (cough, cough Pitch Perfect 2, cough)
Side note- Magic Mike XXL was an option that I chose not to select. Even in the relative privacy of my mini "suite" it seemed like an awkward selection for passerbys to notice.... And in fact there were others that seemed even less appropriate - though I'm not sure when I turned into such a prude!
Anyway, flight to London was easy and lovely, as was the layover and meeting up with the other client also shopping on this
As a side note- traveling in my boots was not as difficult as I thought. They're probably the most comfortable shoes I own, and they are a nice warm layer in chilly airports...
Our flight into Germany was slightly delayed so we didn't hit the ground until an hour after we were supposed to and by the time we rented a car (hilarity, omg). And got going we were square in rush hour traffic coming through Hmaburg.
But we made it! I chickened out and made N drive the stick shift. I can drive one (and take pride in the ability), but foreign country + no idea where I was going + rush hour + signs I can't read? Yeah no. I grabbed my Adult Ammy flag and pleaded for mercy much like I do during lessons with the crazy good juniors.
The "quick 35 minutes" to our first barn crawled into an hour + and I was starting to question the organization and sales skills of the guy we were there to shop with.
He's a new contact and more the hours stretched on the louder a tiny voice got in my head that we were flying somewhat solo into the unknown...
But, fears were put at immediate rest when we finally pulled into the farm and found our way to him and the first two prospects.
A 5 year old Quaterback and a 3 year old... Something. Both geldings. Both, not that impressive standing in the crossties.
However our initial conversation was encouraging. I like how he introduced the horses and the background he gave on them.
Plus, when we headed to the indoor ring, they were exactly what he said they were.
Which is to say the 3 year old was Dead. Quiet. In the face of a jammed indoor full of jumpers and a course initially set for 1.30m or so.
He just walked around like a dude, pricked his ears at the froth-mouthed jumpers scampering by, but didn't scoot or get nervous or anything. He hacked out on a nice loose rein - and while not the most impressive mover, cute enough and a very balanced and soft way of going. Jumped ok. Nothing huge since he's... Three, but definitely an Ammy friendly brain and a cute face to go with.
The 5 year old didn't interest me at all. Not flashy, not a careful jumper and his breeder (who rode him for us) was so irritated that we were late in arriving that it showed.
The surprise of the evening was a 5 year old gray that our guy had, but wasn't for sale yet. HOLY CUTE JUMP. I mean, wow. (He's in the blurry pic)
His change is still a little sticky to the right, and for that reason he won't even consider letting him sell yet, but man that thing was adorable.
We walked away from the first barn with a good sense of how he evaluated the first three horses. And he had a better idea of what we were ultimately looking for.
We followed him a short ways to our cute hotel (I think we are in Hanstedt?) and shared dinner in the small restaurant downstairs. (And wine, duh). While discussing horses, the US market, other industry people etc.
Gossip is gossip is gossip, but I have to say it's a great way to feel out how someone fits into the industry and how they work. I was pleased to see that while he has relationships with lots of BNT, his way of doing business and his style has limited which of those he will actually work with. My little opinion doesn't matter much with regard to what BNTs do, but it was reassuring to hear who he stays away from and who he works well with.
After much chatting (and not that much wine) we poured ourselves into bed to be ready for a full day of visits. Brad #1 is on the roster for Wednesday (squee!) along with done others that I'm excited to see... Stay tuned!
Here Bradley, Bradley, Bradley!!!
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