Saturday, May 11, 2013

Is Four Too Many?

We just hit our one year anniversary with Laredo and being a three horse family, and now we are considering a fourth.  Truth be told, we've been talking about it for some time.  There are days at the barn where we just want to put our guys back and grab another one.  This doesn't work well with three as someone always gets a lot longer ride time.  With Bear and Steen both getting older, it doesn't seem fair to ride them into the ground.

And so began our search for a possible fourth. We were looking for a middle aged (5 to 9 years?) stock horse that knew some things but needed a lot of miles.  Ideally we would be able to keep this horse for a few months and then sell it in the late summer or early fall.

Many would call this a flip, and I guess that is what it ultimately would be.  But that's not really our goal.  We want another horse that can teach us some new things, and hopefully in that time we can leave the horse in a better place than we found them.  We're not out to make any money on this deal, just learn things (and, um, hopefully not lose any money).  We could also see ourselves doing this kind of thing more in the future.  Not being pro trainers or anything, just people with some good experience who can maybe help out some other riders and horses.

So we started looking for this ideal horse.  There weren't many for sale in our area that seemed right in terms of what we wanted and what we were willing to pay.  So we put an ad on Craig's List and wow did we get some responses.  Turns out there are a lot of horses out there in need of a good hand.  Many people don't feel like they can keep their horse, but they also don't feel like they can sell them in their current state.

We spent many days this week looking at five different horses.  All fit into our basic criteria, but as with all things horse related, there were quite a few surprises.  Two of the five could not even be saddled without throwing some bucking fits.  And while we were curious to see what it would be like to work through these issues, we really don't want to be problem horse solvers.  And we don't want to get into dangerous situations if we can help it.

Some of the horses were hard and heavy, some slow, and some were sensitive.  It was actually really hard to decide on what to do.  We almost considered extending our search, but honestly, horse shopping is exhausting.  And it was already taking time from our other guys.  That is not something we want.  This should add and supplement our current routine, not alter it in a negative way.

In the end, we went with the last horse we visited.  I suppose that is often the case.  She is a short little AQHA bay roan.  Seven years old.  She was started as five year old and then hung out for a while.  Over the last few months she has been in a lot of work with a trainer who focuses on eventing.  She's soft to the bit, but also overly reliant on it.  She is a little bit nervous and shy on the ground, but she also knows her job when it comes to riding.  She can get forward in her gaits, but she doesn't want to run away with you or take charge.  We think she has  the potential to be exactly what we're looking for. And we know no matter what, we're gonna learn a lot in this experiment.

She gets delivered this afternoon.  And then all we have to do is name her (right now they call her Shorty, ugh, how demeaning) and ride.


  1. 4 is quite a bit! But sounds like you got it figured out :)

  2. Ha ha. I'm not sure we've got it figured out yet. But trying to is definitely part of the fun.