Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's Complicated

I still look at horses for sale.  Most days, it's just a way to kill a little time while I'm talking on the phone or waiting for a document to print out.

For some reason, today was different.  Nothing has changed with us, besides us getting better and better at things (okay, besides that whole right lead canter thing) but today I feel kind of funny.  I was on dreamhorse looking at horses for sale and found this guy:

I have NO idea why I even looked at this much.  I certainly am not in the market for a $9,000 horse.  But I thought he had a cute face and was a reasonably good mover and best of all, rarely spooks and is mellow.  And for some reason that got me thinking about where I'm at and what I want.  And I'm thinking again about what my priorities are for this whole horse thing.

One of my younger sisters is coming back into town today after having been in Scotland for two years.  She used to ride horses in high school (and by ride horses, I mean she was the ApHC Youth World Champion in English Hunt Seat among other titles) and has ridden off and on a bit here and there.  I might be able to convince her to go to the barn today to see Tessa, which will be good since today is a riding day.

This thought may seem off subject but it's relevant.  See, my sister may want to just hang out and NOT go out to the barn and I feel uncomfortable (or something, I'm having a hard time putting my fingers on it) about not riding today.  It means tomorrow I will have to lunge Tessa and see what kind of mood she's in.  It messes with my SCHEDULE.  I'm terrified of messing with the SCHEDULE because it seems like that's what keeps Tessa and I sane.  She needs regular work.  I have to pay someone to ride her when I can't so that she can stay in regular work and not miss more than one day.  Is this working for me?  When I was a single woman, it did work.  Every free moment was spent out at the barn.  But now, I find myself chafing against the responsibility of owning a young, feisty horse.  Tessa needs the consistency, she needs the work.  I enjoy it most of the time when I get out there but I often feel tied to the schedule at all costs.

Would getting a different horse solve this dilemma?  Does it make sense to go try some other horses and see what it feels like or is that wasting everyone's time?  Certainly, if I wanted a $9,000 horse it would require selling the princess and then saving up some more money before buying.

Here are some other random thoughts (I really should have eaten breakfast before doing this post.  Sorry if this is scattered).  With a different horse I could:

-learn to jump right away on a calm, collected horse that just pops over jumps like it's not big deal.  The princess seemed to love jumping but I'm not sure I would be ready to handle a greenie over jumps.  In fact, I know I shouldn't ride a greenie over jumps.

-not be intimidated by my horse.  Not have to worry about bucking and/or sucking back.  Not have to worry about getting my nose smashed by a crazy head toss.  Not have to worry about spooking (I know ALL horses spook sometimes, but Tessa spooks EVERY time)

-Be able to work on my position more, like riding without stirrups or in two point without worrying what my horse is doing.

-Go on a trail ride.  Or just ride around outside the arena because we can.

-Ride bareback.

I know all of these things might be possible with Tessa SOME DAY.  Or they might not.  Green horses are an unknown quantity.  It's equally important to me that Tessa be happy and I wonder if she wouldn't be happier with someone who was more consistent, more confident and able to give her daily interaction and variety.  Something I just can't commit to.


  1. Ah yes. That inevitable point were casual browsing becomes a manifestation of our "ideal" horse situation... Having been there (um, about 6 months ago) I can totally commiserate. I love my first mare, and I doubt I'll ever sell her, but putting on an airvest EVERY TIME I rode seemed a little ridiculous and the fear/anxiety factor wasn't doing her any favors either.
    I will say that my barn time (with P2) is much more relaxed, and I relish having a big, clunky, mostly slow moving mare. In theory I went shopping for a "safe, talented project" and while P2 has WAY more potential and is WAY calmer than my first mare, she has her own set of issues that we have to tackle. I don't regret getting her for a moment, but every once in a while when I'm locked in a battle with her I think "gee, I really just traded one set of issues for another.." Sometimes that's a depressing thought, but really most days it's not and as with everything, you have to pick your poison. :)

    I know that I'm lucky in that I got to keep both horses at the same time, but I am thankful to have a horse I can confidently LEARN on. Which is what I was lacking before...

  2. *hugs*

    First off, totally okay if you decide to sell, horses come into our lives at different times and sometimes there just isn't as good a fit as you would like, totally okay, doesn't mean you are a failure or a bad horsie momma.

    It is so important to decide how you want to spend your riding time (especially since it is limited) personally I like riding hot and reactive horses but I understand that isn't everyone's cup of tea. If you feel excited and light about riding a steady horse then go for it! Life is to short to spend in relationships that don't work (human or animal)

    Also if you do sell her consider that Miss Tessa might really like having a proper job, Joy settled down a ton when we figured out eventing was a good fit for her mentally, it gave a place for all that energy to go and she now "sees" the point of training.

  3. One option is you could see if anyone is interested in shareboarding her, so she could get some extra exercise when you can't come out.

    Greenies do need a lot of time, energy and know-how to create a solid equine citizen, especially if they're a bit feisty to begin with.

    I do think any horse will start to take on the traits of its rider, just because of how sensitive they are. My Oliver was pretty dull and non-spooky when I first got him, but now he's a ton more sensitive, and a bit spooky just because I didn't stand up to be the leader when he needed one. It's been a long battle to become the boss, but I think we're there now, nearly 2 years later.

    Ask yourself: do you want to be a trainer, or a rider?