Any horse purchase is a big step. In my little cosmos it is a huge step. My prepurchase look at her last weekend had me very excited and hopeful. I'm not wishing for a truly race competiive horse, but rather a horse that will endure over the long miles and be my buddy. Hopefully for years to come. I'm not quite sure how my search for a purebred gelding segued into a little spotted half breed mare with a crooked little scarred up ear and a funny (but cute) face. It felt as though when I pulled into that woman's driveway that something just clicked. The emotion rolled off her as far as rehoming her little appy. She said she had turned away several prospective buyers. She said when she talked to me that she believed that I was the person for her horse. It was evident that she cared for and loved this horse. My assumption was that she is single, and the second horse ... doubles your expenditure of time and money. With work, and life, can you really ride and do justice to the care of two? In this respect I will be stepping into her shoes, as she steps out. It will require a diligent effort on my part to keep Phebes mentally and physically able to continue as a pleasure horse. The easy out would be to sell, or rehome, but I am not in a place to do that.
The appeal of this particular mare is complex. I don't even know if I understand it completely myself. She to the casual eye I'm sure would be termed more unremarkable than extraordinary. I tried to look at each horse as a set of component parts, hoof, leg, muscle, overall balance, attitude, willingness, and such. Horse after horse falling way short, not in single areas but in almost all areas. When I approached her pen her head popped up with interest, when I entered her pen she immediately came forward to nose my saddle and check me out, she did not flick an ear being saddled or bridled, she sought out my hand with her head to be touched, she was calm and interested. The only fault I found in her behavior last week at all was the lifting of her hind hoof, which she wanted to take back a few times, but then was fine. Our ride was really not much of a ride, a round pen with room to attempt a slow trot, and the footing very slick. So much so we almost fell down! But she did not get upset. She found her balance and tried again. But the thing that pulled me her way the strongest was something that I really can't define, something I felt with my other horse (Phebe's mama). The sense of calm I felt on this horse I have to attribute to my experience with Phebes, she has taught me SO MUCH.
I'll make the call tomorrow to set up our "real" trail ride. All I'm looking for from her is calm forward momentum on the trail. No speed, just an eagerness to move forward, and not throw a fit! To head where I point her. I sure like her. I hope all systems are go go go! ~ E.G.
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