Right there with ya sister! I almost cried this week when my dressage boot camp instructor took a video of the two of us and I only cringed once or twice! When he talks about doing first level I'm sure I'm looking at him like a nitwit because the thought that someone thinks it's as natural as can be that we would be there....stuns me into silence. And yet it seems to be happening!
Hang in there, we can do it!
*G* The other day, another boarder - a very experienced rider - got on my guy for a while. She's one of the few I would trust to ride him (and also trust to stay on him, i.e., not get dumped and possibly sue me!). She rode him for about 15-20 minutes, and when she got off she said, "You make him look a lot more trained than he actually is." I'm not sure if that's a compliment or a criticism?!?!? She also said he had the smoothest canter she's every ridden, which surprised her to a degree, since he has a lot of loft and big stride. That, I'm reasonably sure, was a compliment. LOL
I'm another that "wasn't looking'. I wanted to own again but didn't have time while I was in school. I have never been a "hot" horse type.
When I graduated, a client of mine in school offered to give me an OTTB that had been my patient. I was in love with the horse who at the time was a 3yo stud colt, fresh off the track in isolation due to colitis. He was there for a month and never once put a foot wrong. Got him home, he was barefoot and so footsore he could hardly walk. Skinny, poor, just needed time. Took him, rehabbed him, gelded him and sent him for some retraining. Ended up selling him as a children's hunter. MAN could that horse jump! He's doing great.
In the meantime, I'm still "not looking" and got the opportunity to ride my then boss's big fancy dressage horse she had for sale. 17.2hh, chestnut Hanoverian gelding. WAAAAAAAAAAY too much horse, too much money, too many issues (mostly mental, at least). So what did I do? Bought him. Huge horse, huge gaits. A line gelding built like he should be wearing armor. Trained to GP but had so many anxiety issues he was never successful.
Spent months building a relationship with him, took lots of lessons looking for the right personality match in a trainer. Built a solid foundation with him and now we're quite successful in the eventing world. We have even qualified for American Eventing Championships for this year.
By no means should I have bought this horse. Too big, too expensive, too hot, too anxious. But I adored him from word one. I didn't care that he may never take me to GP, he's my once in a lifetime.
What I wanted: quiet gelding, 15.2-16.2 hands, 8-12 years old, to do hunter flatwork with (was riding hunters but didn't really want to jump anymore). No breed preference, just had to be quiet as the last horse I purchased turned out to be a nervous freak and injured me badly.
What I got: a 10 y.o. 15.3 Appendix QH gelding, lower level dressage horse. He's very quiet yet sensitive and fun to ride, and I'm enjoying (re)learning dressage with him. He turned out to be a little less properly trained than I thought, but he's a smart guy and is willing to work so it's all good. Have had him for about 8 months now and adore him.
He's also almost a clone of my "heart" horse, my retired chestnut Appendix gelding who's in his mid 20's now. Only difference really is old guy has more chrome and new guy is stockier/has more QH blood. Apparently I'm destined to always have a chestnut Appendix gelding.
This was back in 2004, i was 14, and my coach, mom and i had all talked and agreed upon what would be a good horse for me (mostly mom and coach) coming off my QH/welsh pony.
Wanted: not a full TB, crosses we acceptable. something that had evented at novice or training level, over 16hh preferable 16.1+ since i'm rather tall with very long legs, age wasn't an issue
On blind faith from my old coach before we moved, who sold us my pony, we went to look at a horse, my coach was out of town so her assistant came.
What we bought: 9 yr old 15.3, when he has shoes, OTTB, that had gone novice okay and had a horrid record at training level, with an old fracture in his fetlock, didn't vet to be more then a training level horse at most.
what we did: prelim and intermidiate eventing, including 4 CCI*s, he had 1 stop at prellim. still own him, he's leased out and just turned 17
since him, all my favourite horses have been bay OTTBs, and i'm not willing to chang that pattern anytime soon!
Last edited by North Dakota; Jan. 6, 2012 at 09:43 PM.