The other day I ate a fortune cookie. And the paper inside it read “Faithless is he who quits when the road darkens”.
It seems very very apt to my life in almost every way – it’s amazing how profound that little piece of paper inside a fortune cookie can be. I’ve had a few predict that I will inherit richs or find glory or greatness, I’ve had a few inspire creativity, but sometimes I get ones that strike a nerve. I know, it’s a silly thing, right? The paper inside a fortune cookie – I don’t believe in fortunes or ESP or physic mumbo jumbo – all they are are very vague reference that can to refer to anyone at any given time.
But this one did get it right this time around. I’ve lost faith in everything – especially with riding. For that road has darkened so much it is cast in complete black. I have no confidence, no hope to acheive any goals with riding anymore, and no faith at all that I can find a good horse to ride that I won’t ruin and could just enjoy and have fun with. Which is probably why I’m pushing my husband to show his hackney now a little more than ever before. Hopefully that will turn out well for him. There’s a practice show in April, a formal show in May, and a 3 day long ADS show in June that so far are on the books as being planned to attend. After that, maybe we can do 1 day of some 2 and 3 day combined driving, as the classes they can do are held on the same day. So there would be 2 in July we could potentially do, there’s another one in August off and finish up with 1 in September. So if the pony continues along like he’s been and they do well, we’re looking at 6-7 shows this summer – offering different classes and major sized events that we’ve never done before. There’s a chance to do real well and experience a whole lot of new things. There’s also a recreational drive in October, in Indiana for 3 days, which he’s expressed some interest in doing – 300 horses of all shapes and sizes coming to drive around a huge horse park and enjoy the sights and clinics and seminars. It sounds like a lot of fun – maybe I’ll even take the mini to that since it’s not a show.
I had a riding lesson last night – the only way I could keep going with my own riding and make sure I at least don’t forget how to ride. My rides are getting a little harder, I’m just not riding enough to actually improve so I’m just staying at my level and hoping I don’t get worse. The horse was high as a kite last night, with spring finally arriving, and while he bolted through most of his lines, we had a succesful – if not pretty- lesson of jumping, and towards the end I finally got him under control. LOL. A good reason why I don’t want a thoroughbred ever again – endless energy!!! LOL! He’s a good boy, though, and I love riding him.
As far as me with getting a horse, my trainer wanted to know why I backed out, why I said I’m not looking to get one, and why do I not want to own one. Well, there’s a lot of reasons and I explained them all to her. I’m not rich enough to drop five grand on a horse like she says I will have to do, nor can I afford to buy a cheaper horse that may need training and keep it there for her to train, nor do I feel confident at all that I could do said training myself. My budget is laughable, and while I’m only used to owning horses that cost around $2,000, I live and ride and lesson in an area where the horses cost $20,000 average. So, it’s just so unrealistic on so many levels to think about getting a horse. One big reason is communication with the sellers- if you hear back from them at all.
In a way, I feel a little free-er now, like a weight has been lifted, like “ok, now I don’t need to worry about training and boarding and whether or not I buy the right horse or if it’s going to turn on me in a few months and I’ll have lost all that money, time, and effort for nothing”. I feel lighter. I feel glad that I don’t need to pull teeth from people to get answers about horses they are selling.
Lets take a look at my emails back and forth with this guy selling the Quarter Horse and tell me what you think of this baloney. To me, this is a prime example of a bad seller – remember, if you’re wanting to sell your horse, you should be answering people’s questions and not lecturing them or ignoring them. This really made me mad, because what if this gray horse could have worked out? What if he was a good one I couldn’t go see or think of buying because of some a**hole selling him?… anyway, here are the conversations:
My 1st email to the seller: Hi, I am very interested in learning more about your horse for sale. Could you please call me at ***-***-****. I’d like to know more about what training he’s had. It says in the ad he’s not been ridden since last year, but when he was ridden, what did he do for you? English, Western, trail? Neck rein/ Direct rein? Does he have vices or behaviour issues like bucking, rearing, cribbing or anything else? Any soundness issues? It would probably be easier to call me LOL! Thank you.
Seller’s response- almost immediately: Rode him western<snaffle> just around here which you would call trail riding since the road is dirt/gravel and in the arena area I had then. He neck reined and as to vices, no he does not rear, crib, bite now since he has not been ridden for several months I would expect a minor buck or two this spring. He has no soundness issues that I am aware of. He’s been barefoot since I have had him with great feet.
I am planning to move to another state is the biggest reason I have posted him for sale. It would be easier not to have to haul him that far and why he’s priced reasonable.Thanks.
Ok, so this all sounds fairly interesting to me, and I want to know more. I really want to have a phone conversation with the seller, so I email again:
|I am looking for an English riding horse. My primary concerns are that the horse is taller than 15.3 and quiet. I can teach him to direct rein and ride English if he doesn’t know how. In general, what is his demeanor like? Sensible and quiet? Or spooky and looky? I don’t have a big budget, so I am looking for a horse in that price range that at least knows how to walk, trot, and canter under saddle. Does he do these things?|
I did not hear back, I did not hear back again, and a few days went by. I sent 3 more emails wanting a response, providing my phone number with each and asking for his so I could talk to him more. Finally, after 4 days, here’s his response to me:
“He has not been ridden in nearly a year, he’s a good boy but will/can I guarentee if someone gets on him he won’t act up a bit – NO.
I have had horses for over 35 years some I have had a few months – others like one I still have, 40 years. Even the mare I have had for all these years, always has played a game when wanting to catch her. But you couldn’t pay me enough to sell her. Not sure what other questions you may have.”
Ok, so I just got yelled at and lectured by some douchebag who has his horse listed for sale. What the heck does some crap about a mare he owns and how long he’s owned horses for have to do with anything involving the gray gelding for sale? This guy is clearly a waste of time, so I give him a piece of my mind back:
“Clearly this has been an incovenience for you, but as you are a little over 2 hours from me, if I were to venture out to see the horse, I would want to know everything I could about him before I came, as I am sure with your asking price you’re not interested in doing a week trial to get him riding again and start bringing him back enough to see if he’d work out for me. I’m not interested in just jumping up and down and buying an unridden horse right on the spot, either.
“He has not been ridden in nearly a year, he’s a good boy but will/can I guarentee if someone gets on him he won’t act up a bit – NO.” – I don’t ever recall asking you to guarantee anything – but like I said, asking a few basic questions about the horse’s general manners and training and health shouldn’t be like pulling teeth, and your lecture about how long you’ve owned horses and something about some mare I didn’t ask or care about has nothing to do with the gray gelding you are selling.
If you’re out to sell a horse, then after 35 years, I’m sure you’ve learned it’s helpful to answer people’s questions- unless you’re more used to selling to the first guy who comes along waving cash and doesn’t care about what the horse is or does.
Ashame too, I *was* very interested in him, as he’s the age, height, and breed I want, and I like the color. He had 4 out of 5 things going for him, the only thing left was training/health, but now I’m no longer interested.
Good luck selling your horse.
And just to make sure he gets in the last word, he emails me back:
I did answer your questions if you scan through all the emails, nor was I annoyed just trying to explain, since it appeared you were asking for the perfect horse to fit as you say your budget.
Thanks for the reprimand it made me chuckle and good luck finding a horse & seller that fits your needs.
He answered my questions? Really – am I blind? Where in any of his 3 emails did he tell me that the horse knows the cues for walk, trot, and canter under saddle and can perform those 3 actions? That was one of the only questions I asked and from what I can read, illiterate as though I may be – I didn’t see anything in any of his reponses telling me “yes, this horse can walk, trot, and canter with a rider on his back and knows those cues.”
And why does he say I’m looking for the perfect horse to fit my budget like it’s a bad thing? That’s exactly what I’m looking for – the right horse for me at my budget. I am not looking for the perfect, primo, ultimate uber show horse for a thousand bucks. Nor am I looking for a crazy rank unhandled spooky or poorly trained horse just because it’s in my price range. I do want the right horse for me in my budget and if that means it needs a little brushing up on some old skills, that’s fine. But I’m not just going run out an buy *anything* just because that’s what I can afford. So yes, Mr. Douche, I am looking for the best possible horse for me at a price that is within in my budget. For all I know, your horse could have been “the one”, but since you couldn’t answer a basic question about him without arguing with me, I guess we’ll never know. And you think you’ve gotten the last laugh, but now your stupidity is on the web for the whole world to see.
As for me, I have realized I am faithless and I quit. The road has become too dark for me to bother wanting to pass through.