I am not sure what spurred (pun intended) me to start looking for a new horse.
I have a perfectly great horse.
Maybe it’s because she’s not MY horse.
And the idea that I will be ending my lease and losing this fantastic partner in August scared me.
A few facts:
*My budget for a new horse is $0-$1000. I’d prefer zero
*I am totally open to getting a green OTTB (off the track Thoroughbred) even though speed kinda scares me.
*I work in animal welfare so I have no excess money for a horse. Hence, the appeal of a cheap OTTB.
*I love love love love love Irish Sport Horses. This is solely due to the fact that I had one. Just one. And he was lame. But man I loved him. I still love him. He’s just living 2500 miles away from me and fully retired, so I don’t get to love on him anymore. Which makes me sad.
* I am a 38 year old adult with a full time job. I will never make a profession out of riding. But I love love love 3 day eventing. Even though I am not great at it, I love learning and getting better. And I love ribbons. Winning a ribbon at an event is like crack for me. I check them out when I register to see how badly I will want one. I always want one REALLY badly.
Ok. So, despite the fact that I still have 9 months with my amazing equine partner, one day I found myself on Dreamhorse.com. (Its like a petfinder.com or match.com, depending on how you want to look at it). I would love to say that “Jameson” just came to me, but she didn’t. I typed in “Irish Sport Horse” “Under 5k” (apparently my budget has grown?) and “500 miles from zip code 83333”
And there she was. I mean, there wasn’t a picture or any information that made anyone but me stop at the ad, but it was an ISH, in Idaho, for under 5k.
There was a video from 6 years ago. She looked good 6 years ago. As in, not three legged or sway backed, so that’s a plus!
And a number to call.
I decided to email through the site instead. It made me feel far less committed.
Two days later the horse’s owner called. Apparently I had left a phone number on the email form.
We played phone tag for a couple days, and then I called him back and was greeted with the owner immediately going into a soliloquy about her breeding and how he went to Ireland to get semen and on and on. There was no hello, how are you or anything. In fact, I am not sure he even knew I was on the other end of the line, as I didn’t say a word for a full 2 minutes. When he was done, I had no idea what to say. I maybe should have listened better, but spent that entire 2 minutes fascinated that he hadn’t said hello, and excited to tell my friends about this crazy conversation.
In the end, John knew nothing I wanted to know about the horse and recommended I call the trainer.
So, I did. And she was moderately more helpful. But the pictures she sent of the horse tied to a tree with flowers in its hair didn’t really help me decide if it was the right horse for me.
But I decided it was worth a shot. I mean, shes an ISH, the breed I am obsessed with! And, John said that if I bought her and didn’t like her, he would take her back and give me a full refund. Who does that? And how do I pass that up?
Now, who do I convince to make a drive to northern Idaho to visit her with me? Oh, wait, did I not mention she was at the tippy top of our very long state? We all have an image that comes to mind when someone says northern Idaho, right? Mine is of a bunch of skin heads with swastikas tattooed to their skulls drinking beers in a compound. (And to me a compound is a large white building with fluorescent lighting and no furniture. I don’t know why.) There was no way I was going to northern Idaho by myself. And yes, I look pretty Aryan. And yes, the skinheads have apparently moved out. But still, I have a Jewish last name and northern Idaho scares me.
Thank God for Meghan! She is willing to drive 9 and a half hours to go see a horse we know nothing about, that is totally out of my budget, all in the name of adventure! So, in a week we will head north! And the adventure begins!!