Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Shopping (the kind I like)

I know I"m terribly behind on recent horsey events, but I'm trying to catch up!!!

The most important, nay - most entertaining is definitely the recap of our trip down to see the Big Black Mare last weekend.  I'm so very thankful that The Boy seems to enjoy these horsey escapades.  God bless him for thinking that a 3 hour drive in the rain, punctuated by a pit stop for bad Subway Sandwiches and an hour + standing in a freezing barn sounds like a "fun Sunday."

When we finally pulled in (after a few attempts to find the right driveway, part of me was hoping that there would be some fatal flaw (terrible feet, crooked gaits or something as tragic as a puny forelock or tail...) that would allow my terrified checkbook to breathe a sigh of relief, much as I always hope I will somehow magically prefer the cheaper boots, or knock-off sweater... But, true to my unfortunate nature - once again, I seemed to really enjoy the object of obvious quality. (dammit).

Aside from still being pretty out of shape (and having a bit of her baby belly left), Big Black Mare was adorable.  Great legs, great feet (did I mention she is and always has been barefoot?), and a great disposition.  I pinched and poked and prodded her, with nothing more than a quizzical look from her Giant Eyeballs.  Her Trainer had just gotten back form a weekend away with a few of the hunters in the barn, so Big Black Mare hadn't been ridden in 3 days, which (honestly) is how I prefer to see a horse for the first time.

There was no lunging, just a few laps leading her around the ring at the walk before Trainer got on.  Mare was quiet, but forward.  Striding out and tracking up immediately.  No squeals, no hippity-hopping, no naughtiness at all.  We watched her go for about 15 minutes and aside from looking like a LOT of horse to put together (she is not a tiny mare), she looked great.  Very soft in her working and medium gaits, supple both directions, willing with her leg yields, half passes, shoulder and haunches in..

Then I got on.

She is a BIG lady.  I haven't been on something with that much movement in a long time - and I think it showed.  It took me a bit to get situated and feel like I had actual control of my body, but once I got myself pulled together (mostly), things started falling into place.  Or at least, I stopped inhibiting her trying to be a good girl.

My initial instinct was to clamp down and get her trot to something that felt "manageable" but then I figured out that her "huge, rushing stride" wasn't actually rushing at all... she was just covering some GROUND, and it would be polite of me to stop choking her in the process....

less choking, but still not helping her much...
After about 10 minutes, we were clicking a bit better.  I found some of her buttons and started to get her to swing through her back more (yeah.. more) and she felt pretty awesome. She started tuning into me and we were able to open up and collect as I wished.  She's definitely not in great shape, but then again, neither am I so frequent walk breaks were our friend.
firing on almost all cylinders...(I might be grinning)
By the end, we had run through her paces, obliterated my core muscles - and I had fallen a bit in love (watch out checkbook!!!)
Aside from her lovely gaits, I really enjoyed her temperament.  The entire ride was done without spurs or whip as reinforcement and she goes in a lovely chubby double jointed D ring snaffle...  She likes to put her giant muzzle on you, but she's not mouthy.. no nibbling or hoovering of treats.  (I enjoy that).  She canters on a loose rein, stretches easily, pushes like a locomotive and all in all.. just seems like a sweet mare.

Can you tell I like her?

Before my heart runs away with my money... it's time for a pro/con list:

  • Seems sane.  
  • Moves like a cloud
  • She's on "sale"
  • Sensitive
  • Great Feet
  • Has her Elite status (other people like her x-rays)
  • Proven Broodmare (with pretty babies)
  • Been to a few big shows no problem
  • Never lame, never sick
  • my saddle fits!
  • She's CUTE

  • She's coming 7, with not a lot of training on her
  • Feels a bit like driving a limo
  • Even on sale, she's spendy
  • There's no way she'll fit in my trailer
  • She's out of shape... have to guess what happens when she's in shape..
  • I already have a horse. and P will be PISSED
So, what's happening? I had her old x-rays sent to my vet for review, along with pictures and videos.  So far she's getting passed with flying colors for her movement and soundness, but we'll see what shows up in the films.  Assuming everything looks good, I'll schedule a full pre-purchase (eeeeek) and take some new films so we can compare and see if there are any significant changes.

Then... If that's a flying pass? I think I'll have a hard time walking away.  She's pretty adorable.

I am still trying to get up to Canada next week to see those Geldings... I'd like to see them as a comparison (if nothing else). But The Boy seems pretty stuck on this Big Black Mare too... Thoughts? am I insane???


  1. If I were in your position experiencing all of these positives with very few negatives, and STILL erring on the side of caution and waiting for all of the other little hurdles to be jumped... Well, if they get jumped with flying colors, then it seems like the obvious choice to get P a new sister/cousin/friend. She'll understand, and your wallet will recover, and the boy will always have a horse to sit upon and tag along!

  2. Of course you're insane! But so are we all, so you fit in just fine. ;)

    She sounds like a lovely, lovely girl, and assuming that your wallet and time can sustain two horses, why not? I can't wait to hear more about her!

  3. She sounds great for you--you'll have training to do, but with a good mind and a lack of glaring physical issues, she sounds right up your alley (or mine, but there's no way...)

    I hate to be pessimistic, but is there any way you can check her for wobblers before you purchase? It's just that I've noticed a trend with your animals lately is all.

  4. Wow she sounds great. Assuming you can handle two at a time then I say Why Not? You only live once and you may as well enjoy it! I will warn you, you just may not have as much time to ride as you think. Having 2 horses fit and show ready is hard (from personal experience)!

  5. I gasped a little at that picture of her trot. That girl can TROT!.
    Perhaps write down a schedule as if you already had two horses. Would you have time to ride two? Take care of two??
    I think she's gorgeous, though. Really quality.

  6. Oh my she is soooooo pretty!! AND sane? AND sound? Oh lawd, I see the temptation, yes I do. If your pocketbook can swing it, and you have the time-get that gorgeous girl!

  7. Wow! She's GORGEOUS and I love her trot! I don't even like mares and I would have a hard time walking away from her. :D I can't wait to hear what you decide. Sorry I'm not much help. I'm too distracted by pretty trot and my favorite color on a horse (black). Beautiful!


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