When I met Tessa she had just turned 5 and hadn't really been ridden much. She was started when she was 3, but she didn't have a whole lot of stuff done with her after that. She was bred by the people who started her and she just didn't turn out to be the horse they were looking for. Big cross country jumps are probably not in this horse's future. Since they're also not in mine, we were a better fit.
Despite her being only five and an Arabian AND a mare, Tessa was perfect. She was quiet, friendly and mostly willing to work. When she did protest, it was with her version of a buck/kick that was easy to sit and not scary at all. My list of things I wanted in a pony was pretty short.
1. Friendly, friendly, friendly. I wanted a horse that LIKED people. No biting, no kicking, no ear pinning and threatening.
2. Quiet. Not dead. Just not spooky. I wanted a horse I could feel secure on. Green was fine since I have a trainer and take regular lessons, but spooky = scary. I don't bounce the way I used to and my butt has lost some of it's Velcro over the years.
3. Love connection. I looked at the horses that were 'right' for me. Old, solid, broke geldings. I hated riding every single one of them. With Tessa it was love at first sight and at first ride. Despite my chickenshit tendencies, I rode her walk, trot AND canter the very first ride.
So the princess came home with me (after more test rides and a vet check. duh.). This is where the glitter started to irritate my eye and her rainbow poops weren't quite so beautiful. In fact, they started to look like horse shit. Damn.