Thursday, October 21, 2010

Several More Off the List and Horse #21

I finally connected with the owner of horse #11 today.  She hadn't called me back because she said she was ambivalent.  He's a really nice horse, but has one big issue that she's been struggling with.  Along with all his other good characteristics, he's great on the trail by himself and with small groups of horses.  When there's a large group of horses and one or more horses leave the group, even if they're horses he doesn't know or he's still got other horses with him, he loses his mind.  He starts by jigging and things quickly escalate from there.  I've dealt with this sort of thing before and it can be pretty scary. We talked about him for a while - she's about my age - late 50s - and says she's not that experienced.  He's a very dominant horse with other horses and it sounds like the trouble she's having with him is related more to his dominance and his reluctance to turn over leadership to her - a trust issue - rather than simple herd-boundness, which in my somewhat limited experience is more often an issue of more submissive horses.  Neither she nor her trainer has made much headway yet with the issue.  We discussed it for a while - she's thinking of keeping him and working through this, although she acknowledges that it may take a very long time of slow incremental work approach and retreat work,  where he gradually learns by very slowly stretching his boundaries that he can get relief from his anxiety and trust being with her.  She also has to really step up and provide him with the leadership he needs so he doesn't have to take charge. The behavior pattern is so well established that it's hard to deal with.  I wished her luck and said I didn't think that's something I was up for right now.  She said she would let me know if she hears of any good horses for sale up in her part of the country.

I've really been impressed by the honesty and forthrightness of many of the sellers I've been talking to.  These people are by and large really fine horsepeople and a pleasure to talk to.

I've also decided to take horse #2 off my list - just too delicate for my taste (sorry, horse #2 fans), as well as horse #16 - double Impressive (one of my biases) and horse #17 (phone number doesn't work and the seller hasn't responded to multiple e-mails).  That leaves horses #10, #12, #18 and #20 - I'm definitely seeing #12 and #20 on this trip and hope to see #12 as well if I can connect again with her seller.  For the record, and now that I'm planning to see them, the name of horse #10, the bay mare, is River, horse #12, the sorrel gelding, is Pie (after Jimmy Stewart's movie horse) and horse #20, the sorrel mare, is Peppy. (See the sidebar for their pictures and descriptions.)

Here's another horse, horse #21 and her ad, that I may try to fit in to my trip if circumstances permit:


Once I'm done looking at these horses, if I still haven't found the right one, it'll almost be November and I'll suspend my horse search until the spring.

26 comments:

  1. Kate ~ I've been following your search with great interest, and have to add my voice to those praising you for your patience and thoroughness as you look for that next perfect (with all necessary caveats) match. I think part of the honesty you are encountering with some of these sellers comes from the involved conversations you and they are having about the horses. Given a chance to really talk, some of them appear to be a bit conflicted about whether they even want to sell (Horse #11). Your explorations and expeditions also show that most of th se owners truly care about what the horse's next home will be. If Saxony hadn't fallen in my lap, I like to hope I would have approached getting a new horse like you have, although the prices of some of these horses would have choked me. Just enjoying it very much. Thanks.

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  2. Great Kate!

    I'm glad River mare is still in. Very pleased that your experiences have been so good. With the expertise you have articulating your needs, it probably makes it much easier for sellers tp be honest.

    Oooou, that Dunn mare looks/sounds good. Nice height. hope she can be seen too.

    Be waiting, watchin ~
    KK

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  3. I think I still like horse #12 the best... but the new mare you posted is also very nice!

    Hopefully you're able to visit all the horses on your list before horse shopping season is over. Can't wait to hear how it goes!

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  4. Sounds as if the plan so far is working well. Glad the gelding is still in the mix.

    Had to laugh a bit at new horse's ad...that she's a bit too "big." Around here in East Coast dressage/hunter jumper land, 15.2 is tiny! 16.0 and on up is more the norm, I think. At least is is around here...Tucker 16.3+, Toby 16.1, and Chance 15.3, and he's short. *G*

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  5. Jean - I suppose for cutting she's a bit on the large size! I have the same size disconnect - I remember when we took Dawn out to the Mark Rashid clinic in Colorado - we were used to thinking of her as small - she's 15.1 or 15.2 - but out there she looked pretty big!

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  7. So I just started following your blog, so I haven't seen all the other horses, but horse #21 is pretty! Love the coat color! That's not just a red roan, I'm pretty sure that's a red dun roan! Don't see those very often! Beautiful!!! Looks a lot like my red dun mare in color, but with the roan on top of it!

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  8. I like the looks of number 21 as well, not just for her color either.
    It sounds like you are gonna have a fun weekend visiting all these horses, I hope one of them turns out for you.
    It seems weird to have to search so far to find an ideal horse, Im sure I know of at least two in my area that you would probly like and thats without looking.

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  9. Crystal - I think it's a combination of my living in an urban area, which both tends to lead to price inflation and also reduce the number of horses from using, as opposed to pleasure/halter bloodlines. And it's also that my search criteria are pretty narrow and specific - I've looked at ads for hundreds of horses that are close by and none of them are right for me. Of course I may drive for hours and find that none of the horses there are right, either!

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  10. I've been really impressed too with how forthright the sellers are being with you. I can't say that I've ever had that experience in the H/J showing world, so I wonder if it's because of the type of horse you're looking for. Not to say that all H/J sellers are dishonest or vice-versa, of course, but it certainly isn't the norm in my experience that a horse's representative will tell you all about his flaws without spinning them or downplaying them a little. I'm cheering for #12 :)

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  11. Marissa - I think it's partly because I'm dealing with individual owners rather than dealers/sale barns (in most cases), and these people seem to really want their horses to end up with people who understand what they're getting, good and bad. Also the "what's the worst thing the horse has ever done?" and "if you could change one thing about the horse, what would it be" - I do these at the end of the conversation after the seller is talking freely - get some pretty interesting responses. If an issue hasn't come up already, it often will then.

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  12. I've had a lot of fun keeping up with your horse search, Kate! I think I've learned a lot in the process, too...Buying Missy was so much different for a lot of reasons. Like I've said before, when I'm ready for horse number two to come along (which will be in the very, very distant future) I will for sure use your posts for references! Thanks for the fantastic posts and sharing some of your wisdom! I honestly hope one of these horses is "the one!"

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  13. I'm so glad that mare is in the mix still!!

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  14. wow I like this new mare... # 21 She's put together nice and a pretty colour to boot! I hope she's got all the other qualities you're after.

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  15. Still rooting for 12; the new mare looks promising and pretty, although a little longer in the back than I like.

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  16. I was curious about horse #11, so that answers my questions. How wonderful that she was so honest about it. Kudos to her!!

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  17. All good picks, hope you find one you really connect with on your trip.

    I'm with Jean, I think Dusty is a shrimp and she's 15-1 or 2. I've been riding a 17-2 horse for the last 15 years and she feels like a pony to me. But she's fun.

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  18. Good luck on the tour, hope it goes well!

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  19. Sounds like your getting closer to narrowing down your favorites.
    I'm excited for you and glad that the sellers are being so helpful, too.

    Something about is odd. I love her gorgeous coloring and he big booty, but I don't like her tiny head and skinny neck(looks fuller on the bottom than on the top), and how she looks higher in back than in front. It's just a photo but it also looks like she's tucked under in the front, as if she might have foo soreness. When I look at her I have the urge to place a 2" high block under her front feet to level her out a little bit. lol!

    ~Lisa

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  20. Ooops. I think I forgot to type in #21.

    And I also forgot to add that I'm really rooting for #12.

    ~Lisa

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  21. Since I tend to look at a horse purchase as something between buying a house and getting married, I can appreciate your careful deliberation. It's a pleasant surprise that so many of the folks you have spoken with thus far have been forthright (not exactly a common occurrence with horses, is it?) I hope you're planning to take your camera with you (that way we get to go too ;o)

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  22. Lisa - funny you should say that - my older daughter and I were looking at #21's picture, and my daughter said - how old is she? she looks immature. She was commenting on the delicacy and the butt-highness. She may just be built that way, but she's also that more delicate build that some cutting bred horses can have. She's a little too refined for my taste - she's a fall back if the others don't work out since she's in the same area near Minneapolis. I also don't like her sour expression in the first photo in the ad - she may be sour.

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  23. Oooh.... #12 is still my favorite, but this new mare is pretty nice too. The photos make her look a little butt high, but I do like the way she is overall put together. I bet the neck muscles could be flipped with a more English way of conditioning the horse. Love the feminine look to her though :) And I had to laugh too about the size thing! My little mare is 15.2 on a good day and my next horse will definitely have to be taller, 16-17 hands with a big heart girth is more comfortable to me... lol

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  24. #21 sure is pretty and I like her long legs and big feet. I like #12 and #20, too! Geez, I am sitting on pins and needles!

    I think it is great that the owners have been so open. It's refreshing, and to me it indicates that they actually care about the well-being of their horses after they are place. By being honest, they are making sure there are no surprises for the new owner; the new owner is prepared to deal with the issues.

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  25. No one else is in love with #18?? I am! :)
    Very interesting about what the owner said about #11....hmmmm sounds like an ottb I know..;)

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  26. I just caught up on your top 3. Sounds like you have been very thorough in your search and know what you want. I hope your trip is very rewarding. Looking forward to finding out if one of them is a gem.

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