Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Horse Search Continues

I turned down Drifter, while complimenting his owner on his many excellent qualities.  The reasons I turned him down are mainly due to my situation and the timing, not so much the horse.  Something my older daughter said last night really hit home.  She said "you already have a project horse - Dawn".  If I had taken on Drifter, I would have had two project horses, both requiring regular, and preferably almost daily, work, heading into late fall and winter with problematic weather and no indoor.  And the barn isn't my own - I have to pay board - and there are many days I won't be able to do much of anything with a horse, and then there's the deep winter, where there are likely close to 3 months where little riding can be done except with a good trail horse through the snow.  And I didn't feel a strong, immediate connection with him - but that's not always been there for me with a new horse, sometimes it takes time, and sometimes that immediate connection can be misleading.  It's possible that Drifter will still be available in the spring - she's planning to take him off the market at the end of October - and if he is, and I haven't found another horse, and my younger daughter will be home for the summer to take care of Dawn, I might take another look.  One good thing about my experience with Drifter - I was able to determine his confirmation, foot structure and likely soundness before I went, and I was able to take some of my ways of working with horses and apply them to a strange horse and have them actually achieve something in fairly short order - I'm encouraged by both of those things.

So, for now, I'm still looking for my good trail horse with all the other qualities I want.  I've got a number of candidates to look at - these three are all in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and would make a convenient trip as a group, if any of them pan out after a phone call and more photos.

Here is horse #10 and her ad:

Here is horse #11 and his ad:

And here is horse #12 and his ad:

Horse #2 is still in the running - she's not too far away from me and I have to be up in that direction some time next week to pick up feed.  I want more information on her trail experience (I wouldn't be surprised if she's more halter/pleasure) and need to really see what her conformation and feet look like before I take the time to visit.

All comments on these horses are welcome and appreciated.


  1. All three sound promising. For some reason, I have the best feeling about the bay mare (maybe it's because I know you have a soft spot for them).

  2. I'm glad you made a decision about Drifter that you feel good about. I think you'll be able to find a horse more suited for your needs that you'll fall in love with. :)

    I am wiping the drool off my mouth as I look at horse number 10! She's gorgeous!! Built like a tank, and look at that tail!!

    The mares always get preference with me, but gelding number 11 sounds nice too. He has a really cute face.

    I liked horse number 2 when you first showed her, but everyone seemed to think she had small feet. Maybe it's just because I've been around stock breeds too much, but from her picture I think her feet look fine. She's nicely put together and maybe the pleasure horse training part wouldn't be bad because you know she's been trained? Sounds like she's been trail ridden a fair amount too. Since she's close I think you should definitely go look at her.

    Please keep in mind you have to take everything I say with a grain of salt because I love Paints and I love mares. :)

    in2paints <--- Biased!!

  3. Horse #10- How long has she been with her present owner? Seems not too long if she has had foals that her owner hasn't seen. She looks like a good solid mare, with a really nice pedigree. If she has been for sale for a while and hasn't sold yet, why?
    Horse # 11- Would like to see his legs. He is triple bred Doc Bar, and may have small feet. Could be a nice steady horse.
    Horse # 12- I like this one the best of the three. He has just enough flash to him, and I really like his soft eye.He seems to have nice legs and feet, is nice and tall but not too heavy. I like that he has done a lot of things, so he shouldn't be a project horse. He gets my vote.

  4. i like the chestnut gelding. He has had a ton of experience on the trail for being young.

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  6. Horse #12 grabs my attention immediately, due to the sheer amount of action taking place in the photo. The horses ears are forward and he/she is clearly concentrating on the job at hand.

    While it is only a snapshot in time, it speaks volumes.

    Heck, if Minnesota was a bit closer to Washington, I'd be headed over to look at him.

  7. I'm glad you passed on Drifter. I'm sure he was a nice horse, but the moving around for mounting thing isn't good. There's a lot of horses out there - why start with a problem?

  8. I like #1 but really because my horse guy Bill has a horse from Doc o Lena too and she is fantastic. I love your horse search on your blog. I am sorry that drifter is not the horse for you. Don't you wish you could have them all? We all just need an anonymous benefactor who kindly deposits millions of dollars in our bank accounts!

  9. I like the mare (horse #10) in that photo. She is really cute. Something really looks good to me about her and I like her ad. Again, I go from the gut - I am not an expert by any means!

  10. Horse #12 is appealing to me just because it would seem he has already done a lot and their appear to be pictures that back that up! I like his soft eye and happy expression in all of the pictures.

  11. There seems to be good and bad things about all horses, just seems to me you need to pick waht you can deal with. Horse 10 I wonder about if shes 10 and has had foals before, how much riding has she really had? although I do like the looks of her.
    Horse 11 seems nice and quiet not a lot of info on him though but they say hes a 5 temperment, wonder why?
    Horse 12 sounds like an excellent horse, but a 4 year old is still a 4 year old and can only have a max of 2 years riding.
    Id say go and look at as many as you can and you will know in person if they are the right one, not necissarily a connection right away, but...

    Good luck.

  12. All the descriptions sound pretty promising. I am partial to geldings so my opinion isn't always fair about mares but #10 is one pretty girl.

    I'd need to see better conformation shots of all of them, however.

    #11 and #12 have some impressive trail riding behind them if the descriptions are true. and it's pretty clear #12 has done some solid ranch work.

    Sorry about Drifter, but I think your logic was good and sound on that decision.

  13. Horse 10 - I like her looks - huge stout mare, but I'm worried about the change of owners and if they don't want to sell why is the price reduced? Just a red flag.

    Horse 12 has my attention. He's doing a lot in both pictures and appears calm and interested. Would have liked to see some confirmation shots, and his feet.

  14. I like #12!
    I had no idea you were considering ranch horses, too. Will you be doing some roping events if you are able to buy an experienced ropin' horse?

    That would be so cool!


  15. Lisa - I doubt that I'll get to do much roping - not too much call for that around here! I like ranch horses because they've been trained to have a job and to have a workmanlike manner, and have been exposed to lots of things.

  16. I like the description of horse #11. Sounds like some good trail experience. Have you asked your farrier and vet for recommendations? My previous farrier found a wonderful gelding for me a while back. They see a lot of horses. And I think it's great that you're not rushing into anything!!

  17. 10 and 11 are been there, done that. Quiet and willing. Hope you get a chance to check them out.

    Of course 11 is a cousin to my Lily, they both have Doc Bar.

  18. I'm sold on #2. I love a horse that will pull calves like that on nice loose rein. That says a lot about the calm nature of the horse and how it's been handled. Awesome. I want that one.


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