22 May 2009

Acapella is a great way to sing, how about to ride?

I'm back from vacation and the head instructor and program director over at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center are back from Nationals so it's time to begin thinking about my half-lease of a Little Bit horse. Her name is Pella, short for Acapella. She's a seventeen year-old Danish Warmblood/Thoroughbred cross. She's 16.2 hh and is trained through second level. She was owned by an adult amateur before coming to LB and I'm told that the reason her owner sold her was so she could buy a fourth level horse to show third and fourth levels on. The gossip on our end is that she didn't want to teach her changes and so she bought a new horse. So she has no changes but from what I've seen I don't think she'd be that difficult to teach them to. I've watched staff ride her a couple of times now and I've worked with her in a few classes. She's long but fairly well balanced. The one thing I've noticed that causes me some real concern is that when she canters she doesn't get that first hind under herself. As soon as you go back to trotting she puts it right back under herself again. But when she canters she wants to pull herself forward with her front and leave her hind end, well, behind. I'll be very interested to see if I can activate that hind leg and help her rock back and use her hind end to push off, or if it's that she physically cannot do so. Having had one horse already with back problems I'm really trying to avoid obtaining a second. Seventeen is a little older than my ideal but what I need is a calm campaigner who can show me the ropes and she is that. She's been at LB since November and is quite unhappy with so many volunteers handling her. She's a sweetheart one on one but having 20-30 people in her personal space in a week is too much for her. So LB is looking to place her in a home - hence my half-lease for a month to try her out. If I do like her and she passes my vet inspection and my trainer likes her then I would need to make a decision before the end of June and she'd move to my barn in July. LB has their two annual horse shows at the end of June and I would leave her there until those events are over. IF we get along and I decide to buy her. At $5000 she's at the VERY top of my budget. I'd really like to spend about half of that. I don't know. I might be able to bargain a bit with them, especially since the market is way down right now. I hope so. Even a smidge would help. Last year I would have had no problem spending 5000 for a second level schoolmaster but this year that seems pretty high. But I'll half-lease her for a month and we'll see what happens. I like her a lot but I have to be willing to walk away. The price is awfully steep for my pocketbook....

I've heard from Wanda's new owner and she loves her. Yay! She sent her off to be live-bred to a Friesian stallion. Oh-kay. Frankly I'm not thrilled with the idea of live breeding a mare with back problems and the fact that it's Wanda is really hard. I have to remind myself frequently that she's not my horse anymore and I don't get to make the decisions. But, really, a Friesian??? I get that her new owner is trying to keep me informed but it's a difficult thing for me to have this information. I really wish I didn't. But I don't want to be rude so I just keep sending back a generic "good luck with everything" message. What about you, Internet, would you want to know?

05 May 2009

Farewell My Friend

I sold Wanda today. I'm really pleased by the home I found for her. I think I've made the best decision for her but it was ever so difficult to sign the bill of sale and load her into a trailer. She has been my companion for this journey and I am grateful for all that I learned from her. In spite of everything, or perhaps because of it, Wanda was a great first horse for me. She was so patient with me as I fumbled my way through learning to give paste wormer. She was always ready to scrap everything we'd worked on the day before and try it a new way when I'd read a new book. She was my friend, my teacher, and my student. I will miss her. And still, I am excited about the next phase. For I have also learned from her what kind of horse best suits me. I have given up a lot of my pride and admitted that I need a horse more suited to a beginner's confidence level. I am looking forward to finding my next friend and continuing my adventures and I wish Wanda and her new owner well as they begin their own. Farewell Wanda, my horse-friend.

Stay tuned for the continuing Adventures of a Girl and Her (new) Horse.

ya'll come back now, ya hear?