Firstly, I CANNOT believe it’s been nearly a full week since I’ve posted. Not my intention at all. I have no excuse, either. It’s not like I have that much going on! But I have been keeping busy. No riding, of course, I have to say. I did ride last week and I loved it. Had a great ride on a great school horse that’s just so much fun to jump around.
I remember when he first came to the barn, and the first few times I rode him, I really hated riding him. He’s a big thoroughbred with a good serious stride. When he first arrived, he still had to learn the ropes a bit and got a little pully and forward. One of the first times riding him, he just about shredded my hands through my gloves, from pulling and going so forward. He doesn’t do that anymore and thanks to a lesson program that keeps him going, he’s really turned out to be school horse extroardinaire and the barn’s favorite for sure.
I entered my trainer into a contest to win a beautiful tack box full of brushes, grooming supplies and other goodies. I hope she wins. 🙂
I’ve been working on the dollhouse, and hit a serious construction problem! The lighting system shorted out and now I have to strip out all the wall paper and figure out what’s wrong. On top of my husband blaming me for it being all my fault, it was a very frustrating weekend.
On the good notes, I am continuing to work with the ponies in teaching them tricks, and I’ve got to say it’s coming along so well, I’m so proud! Luke has pretty much mastered bowing now. Dixie has mastered bowing quite some time ago, but I just started teaching that to Luke a few weeks ago. He is now comfortable enough with the bow to perform it on cue (almost by just pointing – not quite yet), and hold the bow until I release him, which has been so far for as long as about 10 -15 seconds. It’s really cool that he’s that confident and happy to do it! I’m so proud of him!!
We’ve been working on the Spanish walk with Luke and Dixie, and Dixie isn’t as far along as Luke, but I’ve only started 3 time with her on the Spanish Walk. Luke was introduced to it about 8 sessions ago and yesterday he took his very first true Spanish walk steps – performing a leg lift with each stride for 2 strides! Considering a training session for me lasts anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes, that means Luke has come that far in about 12 minutes of time or so. Talk about fast learning!!! He’s happy to do it (happy to get his treat).
When I taught my mare, she began to try to Spanish walk (or paw, anyway) almost contstantly, so I learned right away to reinforce the good behaviour when I want it and discourage the negative behaviour when I’m not asking for it. Like Spyder, Luke is now learning that we only do tricks OUTSIDE in the arena or yard around the barn, NEVER in the barn aisle, and ONLY when I am cuing him for it. He got a little yank on the halter for trying to paw while I was brushing him. Dixie, I am also trying to teach to lay down, and I really don’t know how to teach that, so for what I know, I guess I’m doing OK. I can get her on both knees, but I can’t get her all the way down. Yet. I’ll not try to lay down Luke until I learn to do it with Dixie, since she’s smaller.
Ultimately I want Luke to learn the Spanish Walk so well that my husband can cue it while driving the pony. What a great showy thing to do. That, I guess, will take about a year to teach (and a really long whip).. LOL 🙂 I plan on building a pedestal or bridge this summer, and I’d like to make a roll top jump for my lesson barn as a gift for all the things they’ve done to help me over the last 3 years. Hopefully I can build one that looks good. For the ponies, a bridge/pedestal, and a whole trick training obstacle course would be fun. The ponies are already totally tarp broke and all that, but I’d like to make a whole course of obstacles, and I know a few other barn boarders will really like to have things like that to play around with (or on). A few boarders will freak out that such “scary” things are around.
As far as a horse for me, the more I think about Luke, who cost only $600 and turned out to be an absolutely exceptional driving pony, the more I try to remind myself that I don’t need to spend thousands to buy a horse that I can have fun with. Right now, I’ve got enough money to run out right now and pick up a horse,. (OK, so I can’t afford to board it at this very second, depending on the cost of the horse), but at least until I have another change of mindset, I’m optimistic and looking. I emailed 6 people today with horses around $700 – $1200 and I talked to one guy with a horse too.
Most of the people I emailed have QH or Paints for sale. Unfortuantely no draft crosses right at this time, but I’m not actually planning on BUYING right now, unless the horse is just so amazing when I ride it. So either I find a perfect horse now, or maybe in a month or two or three a percheron cross will come across my radar that I will fall in love with. I’m probably going to take a look at one horse this weekend that’s about 45 minutes away. Although I’m not sure about it. It’s a 10 year old TB gelding, and I really do think I want to steer clear of thoroughbreds.
I did talk to a lady with a 7 yr old TB gelding and also another one with a 10 yr old TB mare. And while all 3 of these TB’s sound nice, are tall, and are in my price range, I just don’t feel myself really buying any of them. I really don’t think I want a mare either. I may have a lookee at the 10 yr old gelding this weekend, but I am not decided on that. The one thing that does make me want to go is that this guy will do a 30 day full money refund back if you’re not happy with the horse. He’s a dealer, but I’ve known some of the horses he’s sold and the people who bought them were happy and the horses that he’s sold (one of which I rode) were all very nice. Really nice. So I might have a look at the TB afterall, even if only to see what else he has in the barn.
Of the other people I emailed today, there are 2 that stand out to me the most. One person got back to me about their horse, but failed to include a phone number when they said “call me”. The ad reads the horse is broke, but not for beginner. So maybe I’ll just steer clear. Even though I’m not a beginner, if the owner can’t include a phone number, it’s probably not worth my time or effort.
So anyway, out of the other ads, here is one horse that stands out to me:
Out of the two, this one I think stands out the most, because I really do like black horses. I know, I know, I shouldn’t judge by color. And I’m not. He’s also got other qualities I’m looking for, in addition to a cute black coat. He’s 13 (perfect. Age.), he’s sound (or so the ad says). He does trail riding (yay… not a big concern to me), he’s good in an arena (the ad reads). The ad also says he’s quiet and gentle and will direct and neck rein. The price is right for me. The ad reads that the owners are moving and can’t take their horses with them, so they have 2 for sale. I can’t tell too much about his conformation from the picture, but he looks like he’s put together well. Good angles on the pasterns, straight feet that look like they’re all shaped right. It does look like he’s got a short back, which makes me wonder if he’s a small 15.2, like my buckskin, with only a 72″ blanket size. That could also be the way he’s standing kind of curved in the picture. The only thing I think is not right about him, he’s only 15.2hands. I REALLY REALLY want a 15.3 hand horse. It’s only an inch, but it makes a big difference.
This is me on my 15.2 buckskin 20 year old buckskin, the one I euthanized back in November. I think I look too big on him. Maybe not in this picture, but in other pictures of me riding him, I just look gargantuan on him. He was a small horse, took only a 72″ blanket and just was too tiny in build. At least for English tack. He looked bigger in Western tack.
Meanwhile, this is a 15.3 hand horse I used to own. This horse was 4 years old, around the same smaller type of build as the buckskin, but that extra inch of hieght and that he wore an 80″ blanket made a huge difference, I think, in how I looked on him.
So anyway, the cute black little QH might be worth a look. Maybe I should ask them what length blanket he wears. Might seem odd, but it could tell me a little more.
One other horse I find that stands out isn’t quite as cute as the all balck one, but still cute unto himself. Again, good price, good age (12 in this gelding’s case). The ad says he’s broke for just about anyone to ride. Sounds P-E-R-F-E-C-T right there. I like that description. I want a quiet, well mannered, easy going horse. The ad also says he’s sound and again he’s a trail horse that direct reins and neck reins. I wonder if he’s sound for arena work and jumping? I wonder that on both of them. This ad doesn’t say how tall this horse is, so that’s the first question I asked. Really can’t tell too much from the picture as far as conformation goes. He looks like he has no shoulder and very straight front legs, but that could be how he’s standing. People really don’t ever take good conformation shots to sell their cheap trail horse and I think most trail riders don’t care. I don’t really care that much either, but I don’t want something club footed and cow hocked to by my hunter ! L OL 🙂 Mostly this horse looks really fat to me. There’s no definition at all around his croup or flank and it’s either a combination of winter coat and fat or a bad picture or bad conformation. He looks like he has one solid straight line from his poll to his croup with no definition at all and a very thick necl Can’t tell a darn thing about the legs in this picture, but I almost do think that right front is actually club foot. I’ve requested more pictures. Looking again, I think those legs look short. I’m guessing this horse might only be 15hand or 14.3 . So all else aside, he’s too darn small for me.
Well, these are the horses of the day. We’ll see what happens here and when I actually do get a horse. This could be a 6 month adventure. In 6 more months, I expect my price range to double. Unless I win the lotto 🙂 Then my price range can quad-double-uper-triple-zillo !! Nah, I’d still buy a $2,000 horse. (maybe 5 of them, but not 1 $10,000 horse!!!! )
Thanks for looking! Thougths appreciated! Check out my websites showing to the right.