Monday, May 24, 2010

You want me to do what? I'd rather eat, but fine, whatever.

The title of this post seems to sum up my new kid's take on life in general.

So now begins the search for tack that fits my new mountain, er, horse. My sister called him a mountain when she met him, and a few moments after meeting him, she asked about another horse at the barn. I replied, "oh, her? She's a Quarter Horse." She burst out laughing and said, "Yeah, Quarter Horse all right, exactly one quarter of YOUR horse!"


Since I lack tack, I've been working with him on the ground, which, according to a few horse people, is a good way to start off a good relationship with your horse. I mean, I wouldn't want to get on him without knowing him a little better, and I'm sure he doesn't want some random stranger on top of him either. So I've been going out to the stable every day (ok, I skipped tonight) and haltering him, walking him around, and doing basic things- like asking him to back up, stand still, yield hindquarters, and I've been picking his feet up, brushing him, touching him all over, and just talking to him.

He hasn't destroyed too much at the barn either...he bent a fence panel with his butt, but otherwise seems pretty settled. The farrier comes on Thursday to trim his insanely overgrown feet, so I'm excited for that.

And there have been NO purchases of hoof glitter whatsoever yet. Yet.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BIG news!! No, really, really really BIG news. Seriously., the last time I left you, I was whining about not getting a certain horse, and really, I never even met the guy face to face, so I can't be too disappointed, right? And in between then and now, I inquired about a draft cross, who got a home the day after I asked about him, and not with me, a bombproof Thoroughbred, and after several positive emails, as soon as I asked to see him, the seller forgot how to use a phone or computer. But it all worked out.

Well.....last weekend, there was an adoption event in the area (I know, there's always an adoption event), and myself, my husband, and my horsefriend (we'll call her HF) all went out to look at the pretties. Really, in my head, I was only looking. Yes, yes, I had been inquiring about a few select horses, since one can't overlook the right thing if it comes along, right? But I wasn't forcing it, just checking a couple websites every so often. See, I had made a deal with my brain. The conversation was something like this:

Me: Ok, Brain, we want a horse.
Brain: That sounds nice. How are you going to afford that?
Me: Well, I'll save up so I can have a wide choice available, so I can get the right one.
Brain: Good idea. But wait, there's more to a horse than just the purchase price, right?
Me: Well, yeah, but....
Brain: So, logically you should have a stockpile of funds put away for all sorts of stuff, tack, emergencies, teeth, feet, vaccines, and-
Me: and purple hoof glitter!!! 
Brain: uh, yeah. I don't think purple hooves really matter to the health of a horse. But anyway, shouldn't we have a ginormous horse fund first?
Me: Well, yeah, we should. But it doesn't hurt to look, right? That way I'll have a better idea of the type of hoof glitter, er, horse I want.
Brain: Yes as long as it's only looking. So let's save all of our pennies for a year, yes? And that'll be a huge amount of money to purchase everything you could ever want. Even if it's hoof glitter. Ugh. So remember, just looking, and we're going to wait to-
Me: OOOOOOHHHH wow...look at that one!!!! I wanna test ride him!
Brain: Yes, but remember, we are waiting a year-
Me: Move it Brain, I gotta horsie to get!!

And that's how it happened. My heart fluttered and I got all giggly as I rode that horse around the ring...HorseFriend looked at his feet, his mouth, and applied pressure to various areas of his back, checking for sore spots or anything out of the ordinary. After I test rode him, HF hopped on and really put him through a workout. I wonder if an earthquake registered when she cantered him? Husband grinned at the horse, but gently reminded me that I had told myself I was waiting on adopting a horse, or something to that effect...I don't really recall....who listens to their husbands anyway?
Before anyone else knew it (I was perfectly aware ;) haha), I had a horse. And no way to get him home.
I texted my instructor...I got a horse hehe.... can you come get him?
She, of course, being of sane mind, wanted to know what kind, how old, and was I completely out of my mind...ok, not the last part. At least she didn't text that. She simply said, well, let's get him into the trailer....

Which he promptly broke on the way home by shoving his butt against the dividers hard enough to break the welding on the hinge...not even home and he was already re-inforcing the fact that horses are lovable, adorable, rewarding money pits.

Now, I'm sure you're dying to know what I brought back to my lesson barn.....

This is Altivo. He is 10 years old....a Percheron gelding!!!! 17 hands worth of Percheron to be exact. Yeah...for a better idea, here's another picture, just after I test rode him. Apparently the only saddle they had at the rescue group was this english one, which was mighty comfy.
Yeah. Well....It just hit me yesterday that I adopted a huge (HUGE) horse, and he's mine and I am now responsible for this guy. He is due for vaccines, so I'll be learning about those, and his first hoof trim is Sunday. He picks up his feet pretty well, and I worked with him last night on it, with good results. He's very personable, gentle, and willing, though a little lippy, which we're working on.
He had been a stud at a PMU farm (google "PMU horse" and you'll see what I mean) until around 5 years ago, when he came to my area, got gelded (yay!) and trained.
My instructor thinks I'm nuts, for sure, and I'm not sure I'm fully sane either, but who knows?

More on Altivo later....I must go to work, to pay for my baby....

Thursday, May 6, 2010


So.....I didn't screen cap the ad, but I was poking about on CraigsList, and saw an ad that said pretty much this:

For sale, 10 yo Draft gelding, sorrel, broke to ride, has been in parades and medieval events, great around everyone, 17 hands, only vices- occasionally throws his head up when bridled and is kind of pokey, not a very excitable horse.

The ad was long, detailed the horse's positive and negative points, had great pictures, basically, they had bothered to try to actually sell the horse. There was a ton more information, but I'm not remembering it all, so I'm not going to type it. But, suffice to say, it sounded like a nice horse, oh, and they wanted....  $800 for him!!!

$800 for a horse as well rounded as they claimed is a good price in today's market, and for a draft horse, that is even better. (my opinion only, but feel free to correct me in the comments if you think I'm wrong)

Being of larger stature, a thick stocky horse is appealing to me, so I stopped thinking with my brain and immediately forwarded the ad to my instructor, and emailed the advertiser asking for more photos. Within a few moments, I had pictures of this nice, thick, happy horse in various situations- being ridden at what looked like a renaissance faire type event, standing quietly for a photo to be taken, standing with a smiling girl (the owner?) with her arms wrapped around his, seems perfect! I was giddy like a child going to an amusement park for the first time, like a teenager driving my car by myself for the first time, or like that time in Las Vegas! (umm..let's not go there right now...)
But it's a great sounding horse!! I thought so, and my instructor thought so....and so did the rest of the world, apparently. It all went downhill from there. The ranch owner AND the horse owner were both taking calls regarding this horse, and it didn't appear that they were communicating with each other regarding who was coming to look at him and when. One told me that I couldn't come until two days from now and look at the horse, the other told me I could see him the following evening, which unfortunately didn't work with my schedule. Then an hour later, I was told I could see him the very next morning, and then I got a call telling me that no one would be available to show him to me since neither the ranch owner or the horse owner would be available.  I was assured no one was going to look at him for 5 more days, due to both the ranch owner and horse owner not anticipating having to show him so quickly to potential buyers and their busy schedules, then from the other source I was told that someone else was coming in the morning to see him, which is why I was told I couldn't come to see him. That afternoon, I got a call that he had sold. UGH.

I understand that you want to sell your horse quickly, so when you put an ad up that he's for sale, be prepared to show him as soon as it goes live. Also, don't give conflicting stories out to people...I had gotten so much of a run around that when they told me he had sold, I was relieved, since I felt I could no longer trust a word that either one of them said to me (not saying they were deceitful, just saying that once there is something minorly fishy in a business transaction, it puts doubt into every aspect of that dealing) and I was too exhausted about having to switch my schedule around to match their ever-evolving one. Oh, and my instructor was waiting to hear from me the whole time to know if she needed to clear her schedule, since I need her to look at any horse that I might be considering buying. (I know I don't NEED anyone to "help" me buy a horse, but the idea of a knowledgeable person standing next to me is kind of a good one.)

So, suffice to say, I think things happen for a reason. Maybe that horse wasn't the right horse for me, who knows? Maybe I wouldn't have been the right owner for that horse....maybe I'm just not ready and that would have been bad for both of us. It would be awfully selfish to think only of myself when considering the purchase of a horse- I need to be the right fit for the horse as well.

Is all horse buying like this????

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Update time!!

So I was feeling like horse-puckey in a bad way Thursday, so no lesson for me- no mucking either! Some people would cheer, but I'm still finding enjoyment in it, so ha!

My lesson last week was a blast- I rode bareback for the first time ever!! Ok, so I didn't have full control of the horse, since I'm a new rider and my instructor is awesomely aware of this, she led the horse around the ring just so I could get find my balance and figure out how to stay on the horse before worrying silly stuff like controlling the horse.
I'm torn: I liked the idea of being able to just "hop on and go" without tacking up, but the stability of the saddle and  the ease of mounting and dismounting with a stirrup is convenient too....I think they make bareback pads with stirrups, but that seems to me like just a floppy saddle, so it's a tough decision to make....though I guess you have to have a horse to worry about such problems. ;)

It was so odd- I could feel the muscles in the horse's back as they flexed with each step, I felt like I could slip off his back at any second when his skin shifted, even when we were at a full stop. I'm not entirely sure moving at a quick pace would be comfortable for either of us, since his spine and my butt bones/crotch would be banging together...that doesn't sound like a good time at all. I have a new respect for the people you see galloping down a beach bareback in movies and commercials...and a new pity for the horse that's underneath them.
Also during my lesson I learned the basics of longeing a horse- which isn't necessarily good for a horse. It can strain their tendons and legs running in such a tight circle, so while it has it's uses, but isn't the best way to exercise them.

Oh! And I got my helmet!! Hooray for brain protection!! I got the grey one, the blue seemed a bit bright, and like a little kid, I instantly wanted to start wearing it the grocery store, to the movies, to work...yeah, I ride horses people, that's right, keep staring, it's because I'm AWESOME! But my husband gave me a weird look, so I decided maybe I'll just keep it on at the stables, and be awesome there, and just normal everywhere else.

AND, remember my blog-crush from last post? Well, the CL Ad Queen Bee gave me mad props for a crazy ad I pointed her can see that here. Her snarky commentary is amazingly entertaining, and she often blogs what I'm thinking when I read those ads.

Still on the fence about a horse of my that's news...but a friend of mine just purchased a horse from a ranch (her previous horse passed away suddenly) and saw another horse there for sale that sounds amazing...but I can't make myself go look at him!!
I know that there will always be horses for sale, but the BLM Prison Auction is coming up, the Sacramento Horse Expo Auction is coming up, and then the Wild Horse and Burro Expo auction is approaching...what's a BGG to do?!?!?