Another huge farm, though it was dark when we pulled in so I didn't get to oogle giant jump fields or gorgeous grounds quite as much...
The trainer at this place was definitely tall, definitely German, and definitely traditional in his approach. We later found out that he actually works for the State trainer the horses at one of the big studs (Holsteiner I think?), then trains/sells his own string before and after hours.
He had two (gray) stallions to show us. The first was five and actively showing at 1.20m. I kept thinking it was a mare because he had Such a pretty head and neck, but, that didn't change that he was a stallion.
Watching him warm up I got the impression that this one was going to have a bit too much blood for the Hunters, but it was by far the best mover we had seen so naturally my interest was piqued.
The jump was unimpressive, but with a price that was literally 1/5th of the Gray we had just seen I was adamant that we suss it out a bit more.
When my trainer got on, I was really encouraged by how the horse responded. Much lighter, floatier movement, and over fences it looked like a totally different horse.
Sadly, it still looked a touch hot for the hunters, but still... intriguing.
I hopped on and definitely felt more comfortable on this one than anything else yet - think mostly because it more closely matched Prair's movement and way of going.
I opted not to jump since it didn't look like the easiest horse to manage (particularly in a circa 1974 Stubben that was slick as ice), but mostly because I could tell this one didn't pass my Trainer's smell test.
Still a fun ride though :)
The second Gray was also 5 (I think) but much greener. Personally owned by the Trainer, I think his greenness was one of those "cobbler's-kid-has-no-shoes scenarios and he often got skipped when time was in short supply
I first saw this guy standing in his stall, and while I was 99% sure he was too small for me, OMG THE CUTENESS. Total pony face, with a huge cresty, adorable neck that looked ideal for snuggling.
Under saddle he didn't look super suitable, so none of us even legged up, but since we saw him, our broker guy has gone back and scooped him up. He sent a few initial pics of him riding, and the potential is definitely there. He won't be ready for a while, but I definitely want to see him when he is!!!
|what a difference one ride can make...|
|I really like this one|
As it turns out we were definitely in the rough. The barn looked a tad shabby relative to everything else we had been to (so... it looked American?) and the guys who met us there definitely didn't radiate professionalism.
The gray was tacked in the cross ties, and aside from a subtle roach in it's back, it looked remarkably like all the others.
Under saddle it was clear it was a tad on the green side, and maybe forward. but it had a nice way of going, and maybe could be an Eq prospect. That's exactly what my trainer and I and the other client were chattering about when all hell broke loose at the sight of a small cross rail.
The horse inverted (I mean, literally curled back into itself) and exploded to the other side. Each leg appeared to go in a different direction and organized on the other side only to start launching some serious bucks.
As he was getting taken for a ride, our lovely broker (who I had grown rather fond of and didn't want to see splattered on a wall) shouted "THIS IS NO HUNTER!!!!"
To which the two young "trainers" mumbled back "no?" and then seemed to continue to negotiate the point in German. I couldn't pick up a word but eventually I picked up on a simple question:
They managed to ask this just as the horse came back around and repeated it's performance over the cross rail again.
This, our broker explained, is why he never plans stops for horses he hasn't tried himself at least three times. He was busy apologizing profusely for wasting our time (but we were all wildly entertained), and simultaneously lambasting the guys about marketing a video of a quiet, broke hunter, when the reality looked a bit more gruesome.
The horse himself had a sweet eyeball, but the terror and anxiety he displayed had a story to tell, I'm just not sure what it was. He wasn't confused about his job, he was terrified of it.
There was a glimmer of salvation though, when our Trainer inquired about the (dark) shed row of (adorable) tiny ponies and asked if there was anything for sale that would be suitable for her daughter. The guys nodded enthusiastically and said there was one for sale "perfect" for a young kid.
Out of the darkness came a very cute, very furry..... 16 hand horse.
In all honestly, I'm not sure if would have measured as a Small Junior Hunter, let alone a large pony.
When we tried to explain that PONIES in the US had to be under 14.2... and this kid probably needed something drastically smaller than that.... they just blinked in general confusion.
While not our most productive stop of the day, it was rather entertaining, and possibly left us with the best story of the trip (I'm 100% sure I'm not telling it well).
By that time it was about 11pm, and all (reasonable) restaurants in the area had closed. So we stopped at a McD's at a gas station and after a few more minutes of discussion - we put the offer in for the 1.40m Gray.