Baby brontosaurus is going home. I’ll be happy to share details with interested parties offline, but I won’t be blogging about it. There are no hard feelings, but I’m just sad. He would have been a great horse for me I think.

I don’t want to hear that he “wasn’t the right one”, even though I know that comment is well intended. The truth is, he was the right one but when your vet is as blunt as mine was… well you don’t buy the horse.

Before the vetting, I told myself that if he didn’t work out than I would give up on horse shopping altogether. That plan flitted in my mind briefly, but the truth is that the more fancy hunters I sit on… the more I want it. I love Simon and want the best for him, but I am not getting the same joy out of flatting him around that I used to. Unfortunately finances are playing a huge role in all of this. I’ve spent a significant amount of money not buying horses, and will have to make a new plan before I start the search back up.

So this is the end of mystery horse’s little chapter. His name was Jackson, and I’ll miss him.

44 thoughts on “Sigh.

  1. Sniff. That’s really tough, for both of you. He seemed like such a great guy… I hope he has a wonderful life, even if it couldn’t be with you.

  2. Bummer! If I lived nearby, I’d offer you a glass of wine and an ear to whine into. Wine, Whinnies, and Whine. Can’t wait to hear about the next chapter of The Great Horse Hunt.

  3. Awh, man. I’m so sorry he didn’t work out. It always sucks to get so attached and then have something destroy your plans and hopes like that. Wishing you luck on the next chapter of the unicorn hunt ♥

  4. I’m so sorry. It’s really heartbreaking to let yourself envision something (even when you’re trying to remain cautiously optimistic) and then realize it’s not happening. I know the feeling. I wish this had worked out for you, I really do. I won’t say anything cliche here (as you requested)… but feel free to vent to me anytime even if all you want to do is whine about the major injustice of it all and scream “life is not fair” from the rooftops. Cause I totally echo that sentiment!

  5. Awhhh. As much as you don’t feel like doing the jumpers just try to enjoy your precious Simon. Personally even tho the courses are harder I always preferred it since the “best man always wins” no politics. I don’t show anymore. I’ve had three back surgeries and a fusion just due to years and years of wear and tear and now own a TWH that I trail ride with a great group of ladies. I’m from NY. Trail riding usually resulted in me being traumatized as most show horses don’t exactly excel at hacking out with God knows what jumping out of the bushes. Sometimes I’m not sure who would jump higher, me or my horse and found myself vehemently praying to God to just get me back to the barn in one piece. I miss the ring but had to reevaluate my goals because of my physical limitations and of course finances etc. with the right partner and a custom Synergist saddle can now say I love nothing more than spending the day riding all sorts of great places in NC. I’m in Raleigh. I had to change my mindset. I now swim after work three days a week for exercise and for my back and live for the weekends. And I have a horn to grab now if I have an “oh shit” moment. I’m a full figured lady as well and at 47 years old I had to make this big change but it’s been a blessing in disguise. Hang in there and just try to enjoy your Simon. Breath in that lovely horse smell. And remember that a horse that takes care of you is priceless. We don’t bounce as well as we get older even if we have some extra padding. Hope this helps you feel a little better. I love reading your blog!

  6. Aw! So sorry he didn’t work out. I too am horse shopping and it is the worst, though my problem stems from not being entirely happy with the trainer/board situation. The experience has me so stressed out I am now questioning if I want to buy another horse altogether.

    Sending you hugs and the hope that you’ll find the right one soon.

  7. When I was a teenager looking for a taller beast to replace my first horse I fell in love twice – a bay gelding who was probably too much horse for me looking back and a gorgeous chestnut mare who was quite green but willing. Both horses failed the vet checks and I was so frustrated and my parents were frustrated at the costs of just trying to find a horse that passed a vet check. On the positive side the next horse we vetted before seeing based on my trainer’s recommendation and he turned out to be the furry love of my life, the one and only Mr. P. Here’s hoping the next horse you try is even better!

  8. Sorry to hear that. At least you don’t have to go through the heartbreak of him going too lame to do anything with in a short time before you even got to enjoy him. There’s gotta be another unicorn out there somewhere!

  9. Just found your blog… but I feel your pain! I am sending what was supposed to be a long-term/forever lease home this weekend because of medical issues. Super bummer. You invest so much time, money and emotional energy into them it really sucks when it does not work out. I hope you are able to save up and try again soon.

  10. Nuts!

    Fine. Fine! You can come to Ohio and try my horse. I know you’re in the market for a redhead mare – I can tell because you’re into these bay geldings (which I almost spelled as gay beldings). You can’t deny it anymore Lauren, you are so drawn to the copper gleam of a chestnut mare that you are pushing yourself as far away from that as you can. Stop trying to fool yourself, I know that deep down you don’t want a fancy hunter but a she-devil-drama-queen. 😉

  11. Aw no, that’s too bad. However, I 100% understand your decision, and would have done the same. It’s easier to say goodbye now than further down the line (trust me). Hugs and wine. When it comes time for me to replace my pony, we can have another good laugh about budgets. Because that mismatch is gonna be epic-level hilarious.

  12. Ugh, so sorry it didn’t work out. I didn’t PPE the mare because I knew I was buying her no matter what, but when (in the far-off future) I get something younger, it will be vetted extensively. In doing the vet tech thing I’ve seen so much heartbreak that goes into trying to keep horses going that just aren’t physically up for it. That wouldn’t have been a fun future for you or Jackson. Sucks that the good’uns are never as sound as we want them to be 🙁

  13. Ugh. I’m so sorry 🙁 I found the right one once and my vet also said DON’T DO IT! This was many years ago, and I still wonder what if… But at the end of the day, it’s best to listen to your vet. That’s why we pay for their opinion in the first place. Take some time, refund the bank account, and start again. The unicorn is out there. In the meantime, tell Simon he’ll get extra treats if he’s extra fun for you.

  14. Well, hell. I am sorry.

    (This is going to be unsolicited advice that may not apply to you; this goes without saying, but please absolute purely feel free to skip it if you’re not in the mood.

    (I don’t know your price range, but since you’re looking at babies, I’m going too ass-u-me that it’s limited. (Welcome to the club, right? That’s tough, as you know. Sane, sound, athletic, semi-broke, and big/pretty: pick three. I just watched another friend horse-shop and she was having similar struggles with almost-right horses that kept having what turned out to be that one fatal flaw. When she jumped up into the next price category, she found one that checked all the boxes.

    (Easier said than done, I know, and certainly people do find bargains — but IME from watching a lot of folks, people often underrate the actual going price for what they’re looking for, in part because they’re surrounded by people who keep saying they can find what they want for less than the market price. Can? Maybe! Will quickly and easily? Not so much. A lot of folks would be really well-served by getting really familiar with the local market and maybe sucking it up for a few months or a year of diligently saving those second-horse expenses towards the purchase of something that’s all of same, fancy, and sound, etc.

    (Again, this may not be you and I know I’m just another jerk on the Internet. But I’ve spent enough time watching people struggle with expecting to find, say, $8k worth of horse for $5k that I figured I’d say it, just in case. Everyone says it’s easy, but it’s not.)

    1. Love this comment. When I bought my latest horse ( I have another that I also show so I am feeding and training two), my budget was on the very low end for dressage horses at $5,000. I knew I could either get something that was more senior but well broke, or something with lots of “potential” that was young and untried. To get both, well-schooled and under ten, was twice my budget (at the very least). I went with unbroke with potential.

  15. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t pan out as planned, but a great vet like that is worth the heartache now to avoid it later.
    Fingers crossed the wait for the next trials in horse shopping isn’t too long or arduous when it does start.

  16. Sorry it didn’t work out, but so much better to know ahead of time about a problem or potential problem. I’ve passed on a couple of horses over the years that haunt me, but I know I wanted a horse that would do a specific job and I trust my vet to help me find one.

  17. Ugh sorry. It’s the worst already getting to the vetting, then fall thru. I agree with the above comment, maybe wait a little longer then raise budget if possible? It really does make a unicorn easier to find.

  18. I’m so sad for you that he didn’t work out for some reason. But better to make the decision now rather than decide you needed to do so after you purchased him.

    I hope you can find the perfect horse soon. If I still was physically able to have horses, I’d free lease one of the good hunters to you.

    I’d love to know the story behind his going back if you don’t mind.

  19. I was really crushed when something similar happened to me, I appreciated the bluntness of the vet, and I had just picked him out of a phone book (can you say lucky). Ironically, I was ready to drop three times as much cash on that horse as I eventually did on Harley ($ that I had been saving since I was a kid), and looking back I now know that Harley is a much better suited horse for me. That horse was lazy compared to Harley, although in his defense he probably also had a serious neuro condition (nice horse sellers for trying to market him still).

    Looking for a show horse has got to be about a thousand times more difficult. You are the queen of perseverance IMO so you will get there.

  20. Damn, I’m sorry about the disappointment. Glad you have the counsel of a good vet who will say what needs to be said – I visited a horse 3 times when I was first shopping in 2005. Fell in love with adorable 3 yr old with perfect brain, beautifully schooled, even took Jim out to see him, he loved him too. Except he was lame from random things all 3 times & a bit of a conformation train wreck. I vetted him anyway & the vet wisely said if I wanted one horse to ride & enjoy, I should consider not stacking the deck against me right out of the gate.

    I’m grateful I followed his advice, but it was still a tough feeling on my invisible budget after so much searching. Sorry for you & brontosaurus on the unfortunate news. 🙁

  21. Bummer on Jackson, but it is a good thing that you have a good vet that could catch issues before you sunk more money into him. I totally feel you on the horse shopping being expensive part. I paid quite a bit for a couple of vet checks and some trainer tag alongs before I found my horse. All of that really eats into the budget, and was not something I had really thought about when I first started searching.

  22. Have you ever considered Riley from Behind the Bit blog? He’s dressage trained, but he always looks huntery to me in videos. The plus side is his vet issues are well documented on the blog and your vet could check out his records from afar.

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