I suppose it’s obvious that I haven’t been around blogging all that much. There are lots of reasons for this, but the obvious reasons are I got this crazy job and I’ve had ponies on the brain. More on the crazy job later, but we’ll start with the ponies.
I found Valentine off of Craig’s list, which means that she’s what we snooty horse people like to call a “backyard horse”. And this turned out to be true since she was literally in someone’s back yard, but hey – I’m not one to judge. She was available for lease and incredibly cheap, plus if I liked her the owner would sell her to me for a good price and I could do time payments on her – which is pretty much the ideal way I’d like to buy a horse. On top of all that, if I needed some extra cash I could park her outside of Chick Fil A and get some side money campaigning her as the Chick Fil A cow, because she’s so spotted and so wide around the barrel that she shares more qualities with cows than she does with a horse.
At first I really liked riding Val and thought she was a good mare with some potential. I knew she’d be a project, but she felt safe and I’m fine with a project as long as I feel confident about it. However on ride number 3, the neighbor from next door came over and let me know that I was “doing miracles” with Val. I was a little perplexed by this because had only heard how she was a good barrel horse and safe to ride. Apparantly, this neighbor had seen her dump several people and been a particularly unruly mare, so the story unfolds that she hadn’t been ridden for two years before her current owner acquired her and her current owner had to take some lessons off site because the mare “got her number” and she couldn’t/didn’t want to ride her. Awesome.
To top it all off, Val is really out of shape and had her feet trimmed way too short while I was out there one day, so her hooves are covered in painful stone bruises. The last time I sat on her, she pinned her ears at me and refused to move. Doing anything possible to prevent herself from going forward. The time before that, she thought it was fun to crow hop and buck at the canter because she didn’t feel like moving forward then either. That’s enough for me to determine a pattern, and while I’m sure it’s due to the fact that her feet hurt I’ve been told by many horsey friends (and I agree!) that there are too many sound horses in Texas to bother with Val and it’s time to move on. So, I’m a moving on.
The Quarter Horse Barn
So, showing AQHA has always been a dream of mine and I figured when I moved to Texas I’d be surrounded by AQHA show barns… not so much. I did find a really nice trainer with nice horses who I’ve taken a few lessons with, but she’s about 1.5 hours away from me each way which is already starting to get old. She has one really nice extremely well trained HUS young horse that I took a lesson on and loved, and then she told me about a 11 y/o gray 16.3hh who was for sale at a really reasonable price. The next time I went out she had me take a lesson on him (see above), and while he’s not an awful horse… he’s got arthritis issues that my vet friend gave me the “kiss of death” vote as far as an option for purchasing this horse. Plus, I didn’t exactly love riding him. Sure it’s just because he was testing me and I’m not in great riding shape yet, but I don’t want to buy a horse that is probably going to be crippled in a few years and no fun to ride in the present. Pass. However, the people at this barn really want me to buy this guy because it would a) give me a horse to own and show with them and b) allow the current horse’s owner to go out and buy a new show horse, so it’s a win win for the trainer. Do I understand where she’s coming from? Sure I do. Business is business. Do I look like a sucker? Maybe I do, but I’m not. So while I haven’t said “Thanks but no thanks” to the AQHA people yet, I’m looking for other options.
Back to Hunter/Jumper?
Ever since I moved here I’ve been a broken record about “I don’t want to do hunter/jumper again. I don’t want to do hunter/jumper again.” but maybe I do? I don’t want to ride at a backyard barn with absolutely no show goals, because I like competing and I like having goals when I ride. I can’t find many QH barns around here, and I don’t want to become a barrel racer… maybe hunter/jumper isn’t a bad idea for me to check out again.
I’m going out there tomorrow, so we’ll see. Maybe I’ll like it and maybe I won’t. There’s really no telling.
This has been a really boring post for anyone not into horses, but tomorrow’s will be better. I’m quitting the job I hate and looking for a new one now, so you can look forward to stories of the crazy place that I establish now. I’m so past the point of caring that I don’t mind publishing all this crap on the internet.