Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Let the time get away from me

And I've got no excuse for it! I'm not going to recap the last few months, but I'll talk about what's going on currently in my horsey life.

So one of the horses I've been riding a lot in my lessons lately is Rurik. He's about 7, a handsome-looking Percheron, and up until just I guess a year or two ago, he still had all his man parts and was living in a pasture with his mom (never "weaned", LOL!) and some other horses. He ended up at Gentle Giants and they started trying to train him.

Emphasis on trying, as he really hadn't been touched before then. He might have been an adult in body, but he wasn't in mind. Right after I first started volunteering there, I watched them spend a training session just trying to get him to stand still and accept a saddle pad. I heard about some of the explosions that occurred when the actually managed to get a saddle on him. He ended up getting sent out for several months of professional training. That was last summer. This year? You wouldn't know it was the same horse. Last August I never would have dreamed of riding him, but this year, he's become the horse I ride most often.

So anyway, he's technically been adopted but he's being boarded at the farm until a couple of other things are worked on (trailer loading, for one) and in the mean time, his owner allows him to be used for lessons. Last month, a few of us went up to a schooling show near Frederick and I showed him in a bunch of equitation classes. We came out of there with a fifth, a fourth (my first two classes, back to back, when I was all nerves), and three seconds (my later classes after I'd relaxed :) What a world of difference the afternoon was from the morning!). I was very proud of him as not only did he more or less listen (he kept wanting to speed up at one end of the ring and I had a hell of a time convincing him to keep a nice trot through there), he handled the moment when someone on a horse that was WAY too much for him practically ran up his rear-end. So yay!

And I guess, since I talked about Molly in the previous post I should mention that she did end up getting adopted by the lady I mentioned and that lady loves her a lot. She came on a trail ride with us and Molly was all fat and sassy and looks GREAT so while I'm sad she's not mine, I'm happy she's in an awesome home.

And on the subject of making horses mine:

There's a neat spotted draft at Gentle Giants I had thought might be the horse for me. He's good looking and intelligent but came in completely untrained. As he's been going through training it's becoming more and more obvious to me that as much as I think he's kinda cool, he is not the horse for me. He's pretty reactive and while I'm sure there are people who'd like that...I'm not one of them.

There's also Blue who...well, I took her on the trail camping trip we went on this past weekend and she's probably a lot of the sort of horse I should be getting. Calm and level-headed, generally friendly, and fairly attractive. But I don't feel that spark, you know? I could certainly like her but she's not my first choice there.

My first choice, lately, has been Monty. I tell people if Monty where proportioned exactly the way he is but only about 16 hands high instead of 18+, he'd be perfect. He's friendly and gorgeous without being flashy (bay with a star) and he's good on trails and generally willing to do what you ask, if not highly trained. Except that he's got some sort of foot issue that makes him ouchy on hard ground without shoes. Not completely a dealbreaker but shoeing a horse that big is pretty expensive when I could likely find a horse who can do what I want without that problem.

I'd been hoping to adopt from Gentle Giants but...well, despite there being a glut of horses there at the moment, many of them still need training or I'm just....not interested in. You get the idea.

I did tell Christine this weekend that one of GG's lesson horses (Tabitha) is actually exactly what I need, I think. She's been there, done that, doesn't spook at anything, does as you ask, is amazing on trails, is a little flashy, is kind and interested in people, et cetera. Except she's over twenty and Christine would never adopt her out anyway. But you know, if she were available, I'd likely have been all over her way before now.

So that brings us to Bridget. Bridget is a 15 year old TB/Percheron mare I found on one of the horse advertising sites. She appears to be everything I'm looking for. Quiet, sensible, mid-teens (neither too old or young), presumably sound, not too big, well-conformed, uncomplicated, and capable of doing the sort of riding I want to do (trails, general hacking about, small schooling shows at w/t/c, some low lever dressage. Lots of flat stuff as I'm not into jumping.). Oh, and the price is within my "okay, I could pay that," range. Of course, she's been on the site for at least a month now and since she does appear to be really nice and for a good price, I have to wonder why she isn't sold yet.

Well, anyway, I'm going to see her on Friday, so maybe I'll find out.

Maybe the only reason she hasn't been sold is she's waiting for me. We'll see.

And I'm sure there will be pictures when I get back. ;)