Finally, I got to meet with my trainers. Or at least one of them. So here's where the trainers are at:
Jumping trainer loves Tessa. Put her over a 2'6 course the last two weeks and Tessa was game and forward. She thinks that Tessa is a gem who just needs more time and miles. However, she also agrees that I may not want to do the same things as Tessa. I won't be jumping any 2'6 courses...probably ever.
Dressage trainer does not like Tessa. Jumping trainer blurted it out and then tried to backtrack by saying that she just doesn't like how frustrated I get with her. But I knew this already, which is why I switched to jumping. I think my dressage trainer just isn't a fan of Arabians or mares and especially not opinionated Arabian mares who aren't particularly thrilled to be doing dressage.
Things we all agree on:
The bucking to the whip is a habit. It can be broken with training and time.
The kicking out to the spur is partly her nature and partly because she's a smart horse and she knows how to intimidate me.
Tessa likes jumping a lot.
I like dressage a lot more than jumping.
No matter how un-anxious Tessa is in the outside world, I will probably be anxious at every single new experience. I can't give Tessa experience AND myself experience in a safe and sane way.
Jumping trainer (Laura) suggested a few things for me to start on.
1. We are going to move slowly and steadily forward with putting Tessa on the market. Laura will look at Dreamhorse to see what she thinks is comparable. Her partner has three kids who are ALL horse trainers and all are actively involved with Pony Club kids. Tessa would be PERFECT for a Pony Club kid who likes jumping.
2. I am going to start looking at horses that fit the bill for what I want right now. I will not purchase a horse without their input/feedback/guidance. They have been instrumental in helping me get to this point with Tessa and they have asked me lots of hard questions. They also know everybody in the area. In fact, they heard of a horse through their farrier that might be for sale for a ridiculously low price due to his owner wanting to just stop paying expenses. They think he might be a good fit for me. I'm waiting for details to go try him out.
Laura actually said that if this horse IS available and IS what I want, that it would be worth having two horses while we wait for Tessa to sell. She pointed out that it wouldn't cost much more to have two horses than it would to put Tessa in training. She's right (sort of) but it makes me anxious to own two horses. I cannot afford two horses for longer than a few months. But we then talked about leasing or half leasing Tessa and again, I'm pretty sure they would help me figure something out if things went sideways.
Laura said that at any point during this process, if I see a different way or change my mind about Tessa I can just raise my hand and yell Stop! I get a little teary when I think of selling her....but then I rode her. And she was bitchy. And kicked out. And bucked at the canter. And as much as I love that she nickers at me when I come into the barn, I think I'm ready to let us BOTH move on.
So, now I move in to the ugly business of horse shopping. I'd love a lease to own type situation or even a lease for a year with someone who was *thinking* about selling. So if any of you know of anything that fits the bill...dead quiet, doesn't mind endless dressage circles, broke to death for going outside, will pop over the occasional log or crossrail, clips, bathes, will stand while I spend an inappropriate amount of time combing out his tail, kid broke, easy going and dare I ask for it, sound? It wouldn't hurt to have a cute face, but I'm being realistic. Tessa is adorable and I don't want to ride her. I'll take the right horse over the cute one....