I don’t really know how to write about horse shopping. What’s a less than ideal match for me might be the perfect horse for someone else. I’m not about to post all the pictures and videos and internet-stalking I find on the prospects here on the blog. That’s not fair to the seller, and ultimately the horse. If I write or share something careless, it could hurt their chances of ending up in a good situation.
So how do you write an update with no firm details and no media? First, the high-level overview:
- This market is nuts.
- I’m in the early stages of, “I’m never gonna find a pony!” stage.
That being said, I would like to share a little about the prospects we’ve passed on. So to do that, I will be describing them as very-not-horsey animals.
I didn’t actually meet the Kudu myself. It was a few hours away at a Kudu showing facility doing fancy Kudu things. But my trainer happened to be there with reinforcements, and they checked out the Kudu for me. This creature had the best brain ever. So much to love about the Kudu. We had known about it for a while, but at first watching the Kudu on video didn’t exactly spark joy for me. After hearing how great the brain was, I was a lot more interested. But ultimately the Kudu had some price fluctuations, and ultimately decided to continue looking. This one is going to make someone really happy though.
When I saw the ad for the Brontosaurus, I was immediately in love. On paper, it was absolutely everything I was looking for. Already having missed out on two seemingly perfect creatures in my price range that went on trial in less than 24 hours before I could even think about traveling to see them, we didn’t want to delay on Bronty. So trainer and I hopped on a plane the next day to see it.
Bronty was beautiful, tall and at a very “what you see is what you get” dinosaur training facility, which I love. It was a great size with comfortable gaits. But there were a few things about it that triggered some horsey PTSD for me. Things a different rider would not care about at all, but for whatever reason they bothered me. Still, we decided to go back the next day to try Bronty again, because I really wanted this to be the one. But my heart wasn’t in it. When my trainer hopped on the beautiful dino again, we both agreed it wasn’t the one.
Ugh, this one still stings a little. The Swan could have easily been a black swan, because I had no idea it existed. When we flew to see the Brontosaurus, the swan was an extra creature we figured would be educational to sit on. Then we both fell in love. On paper, I would have never wanted the swan (which goes to show you how wild this process really is). It used to swim in super fancy ponds and there are photos of it all over the internet zipping and swooping over huge obstacles. Meeting the swan, we were overcome with kindness and a willing attitude. It was a little older than I wanted but came with so much knowledge and experience. When I said “Hey I’m with you, let’s do this” the swan replied, “Good. Let’s fly.”
I took a million pictures of it. Watched all the videos over and over again on the way home on the plane. But, you know this story has to end differently than I wanted it to. When the vet looked the swan over, they found something that not only currently bothered it a bit but one of those “not if, but when” situations. Still, I tried to offer a lease-purchase at a price I was comfortable gambling with. I knew they wouldn’t take it, and they didn’t.
So that’s where we are. I know I’m not patient, and I know the market is nuts, so I give myself pep talks a lot. Mostly they are, “You are so lucky to be able to do this” and “You haven’t been looking long. It’s too early to despair.”
I wouldn’t categorize my feelings as despair, but it’s a hard process in a hard market and I am so desperately ready to find ‘the one.’ Until then, the search continues.