Hi, maybe you remember me from my last post about my local vet’s crummy bedside manner… well, turns out he may have been more right than I cared to believe at the time even if his delivery was decidedly poor. Harley and I had a few months of bliss over the late summer and early fall. Bliss!
The vet mentioned that Harley was looking a little pudgy so he got put on a diet over the summer. He responded like any chubby bunny worth their salt would and rooted out a stash of fattening acorns in the pasture to supplement his diminished rations. Clever little truffle pig…
And then things changed. In what felt like the blink of an eye. No identifiable injury, no change in demeanor, just continuous and obvious not-quite-rightness at all gaits. I gave long spells of time off hoping it was muscular or a mild injury. I’ve used various combos of BoT therapies and support boots. Have I called the vet out again? No, I haven’t. I had my trainer, who is very familiar with him take him for a ride to confirm the things I was feeling. She begrudgingly admitted that he felt like her old warmblood whose canter was the first thing to go as he lived with DJD. Is it time for more injections? Maybe. Will they fix the problem? No. The writing was always on the wall, the timeline just moved up.
We had our annual Christmas ride where I dress up like a fool and Harley tolerates my shenanigans. This year we were gingerbread cookies.
I have been in the market for a horse for about a month now. Knowing it is not likely I will find a lease scenario as wonderful as my lease with Harley, I am specifically looking for my first horse to own. It’s a big scary step but I have saved up, I have leased, and I am ready.
So far I’ve let my gut be my guide but dang it’s tough out there! I impulsively drove down to Georgia one Friday to try out a baby warmblood in the pouring rain. I had a decent ride but left telling the seller he was too green for me. I had a six hour drive home to second guess that decision and practically work myself up into an ulcer trying to figure out how to get one of my trainers down there to ride him again. I have two trainers and a small group of horse friends willing to offer advice but sometimes that is great and sometimes it’s not. In this case, I had one trainer saying “so much fun! go get him!” and the other saying “I would absolutely not choose him for you for several reasons”. Thanks trusted professionals… I went with the latter and was back to the drawing board.
Next I found a local lead on a well-bred Belgian Warmblood who was started late. I exchanged many emails and finally went for a visit with a trainer and a friend in tow. There was a small herd of homebred warmbloods that all looked super cute but definitely seemed like none of them were regularly ridden and a couple have never been started despite being 8-10 years old. They had no arena and everything else was mud, so after watching the owner ride, I hopped aboard and rode down the paved road. He soundly walked and trotted barefoot on asphalt and although he was a little buddy sour, he was very sane. I am not willing to make such a big decision on so little information so I floated the idea of a trial at my home barn. The owner agreed and he arrived just after the new year.
Cute, but ultimately not a good fit for me.
Harley says, srsly, good luck trying to replace me… I’m literally perfect.
Horse shopping is hard. I really do just want to magically have a younger Harley. Many of you have ambitious goals for 2019 and I have just one- find the new EquiNovice blog header model! Wish me luck!