The little KMSH mare was really cute! The initial physical exam looked good. Nice clean legs, nice concavity to her hooves, and she looked very refined, nicer head than most arabs. So in the pretty and sleek department she really had it going on. We took her out on a 6 mile trail ride at a nearby park. This taught me something really important, try out a horse in the environment you intend to use them. If I'd have tried her in an arena I probably would have bought her. But something just wasnt QR with her. After we went a couple of miles she started intermittently dropping her head and sort of tripping on the front left, then it would be fine, and then a near stumble again, only to be fine again. Another couple of miles and she would intermittently sort of dip/drop her back, and then be fine again. By four miles her get up and go and had got up and went. To be fair she hadn't been trail ridden for a year, so conditioning or lack of could have been the trouble. The one thing that really sealed my un-purchase was she didn't want to lead, and would suck back and hold back and wait for the gelding. When I let them go off without us, she became upset (controllable), but clearly upset. If I were looking for a casual trail horse I'd might have chanced it with pre-exam by a vet to sort out the mystery of tripping, and dipping. The woman who owned her I know was disappointed, and she did go the extra mile for me literally in getting to try the horse on the trail. I told her that a horse that does endurance really needs some "go" and they also have to be of an attitude not to quit. She was tiny just at 14 hands, and I felt underhorsed after riding the female version of the wild stallion for two years. Even though this horse was a no-go for me, this horse also told me a lot that I would REALLY like in a horse. She was so freaking calm. The only thing she did on the entire ride was goose forward a little once when some big tricycle thing came whizzing up behind us along the trail, but she was easily controllable, and once she could see it, she was over it. She was unfazed by traffic, bridge crossings, just a solid and sane brain between her very cute little ears. Then there was the gaiting thing...CRAP! I never did anything so fun in my freaking life! It was like weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Here we go! Down the trail! But I'm not working my Granny butt off! It was AWESOME. I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. They need to make arabians do that. I may be looking in the direction of gaited. It may have been a totally life altering event. I also learned that 14 hands is just too small. I probably need a horse 14.3 + to feel like I have a horse under me.
Next stop (I hope) is the *Wild Card
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association