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Paint Gelding Seeks Stablemate

By Cindy Hale

Friday, October 15, 2010

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Here I go again. I’m horse shopping. Now, before you think I’m becoming one of those crazy horsewomen who compulsively collect horses, let me assure you that I am not. Well, I am admittedly a little loopy, but I have no intention of owning a string of horses. I’m passively hunting for a second horse for a couple of reasons. First, Wally—my forever true love—has arthritic hocks. I knew he had this problem, including a bone spur in one hock, when I bought him. Despite oral supplements and injections he still ends up sore unless I restrict his trail riding to the flatlands and give him several days a week off. Unfortunately, there are a lot of hills in my area and I enjoy riding five or six days a week. Plus, with a second horse I can invite friends over to ride with me. I have several gal pals who are either entirely horseless at this point in time or they own horses that are crazed agoraphobics once they step outside the show arena. It’d be nice to have a reliable “cruiser” horse they could hop aboard.

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I’ve had a second horse before. Unfortunately, while Wally continues to (literally) plug along, despite his physical limitations, the back-up horses have never quite worked out. Sometimes they couldn’t adjust to life on the neighborhood trails. Or they developed overwhelming soundness issues far worse than Wally. Last time around, fate and finances intervened in my life, temporarily halting my two-horse existence. Now my husband has given me the go-ahead to look for a stablemate to Wally.

Truly, I’m in no hurry to find one. It’s not like I’m flipping through the pages of the newsprint ads, yanking fliers off the feed store wall or bookmarking online ads. Such activities are not my idea of “fun.” I’d much prefer that my fairy horse godmother simply waved her magic wand and poof! A lovely horse was standing alongside Wally in my backyard.

Maybe I’m dreading the great horse hunt because I refuse to compromise. You see, I have a set list of criteria and unless the prospective horse meets these demands, I’m not interested. Here are my must-have qualities:

  • Must neck rein (because of the limitations in my right arm, the horse has to be beyond a snaffle; no two-armed, direct rein steering for me!)
  • Have comfortable gaits (due to my chronic pain issues, smooth gaits are important)
  • Be schooled in arena basics (I enjoy riding in an arena several days a week; it gives me an opportunity to work on my horsemanship and provides structure to my horse’s schooling)
  • Proven reliability on the trails (I want a horse that is happy doing what I’m going to do with it)
  • No stable vices or obnoxious ground manners (my days of re-schooling someone else’s piggy horse are over)
  • Must be cute (at least give me a friendly face or a pretty color)
  • No mismatched front feet, vague lamenesses or gross conformation flaws (Wally already embodies enough issues to keep my vet financially solvent)

As you can probably imagine, I’ve already had some fascinating encounters with sellers. Sometimes I end up disappointed, other times I’m frustrated and then again, once in a while I am literally amazed at the things they’ll reveal on the phone or in person. Maybe, eventually, Wally will end up with a stable mate.

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Paint Gelding Seeks Stablemate

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Leslyn    somewhere, MN

10/27/2010 7:51:48 AM

If you had known that Wally was going to have problems and that Joey was going to have problems, why would you buy them? Anyway, it is known of my business, but when you do look for a horse, look for a SOUND one. Horses are supposed to be lifetime pets, not keep,sell,keep,sell. You have a commitment to them. Just because your husband is sick, you don't get rid of him, you nurse him back to health.
Take Care

CINDY HALE    HORSE CHANNEL, CA

10/22/2010 9:49:59 AM

THANKS, ANNA!

JUST TO RECAP: I TRULY LOVED JOEY AND HE WAS A GREAT LITTLE HORSE. BUT IT TURNED OUT THAT HE HAD TYING UP SYNDROME, PROBABLY PSSM, THOUGH I NEVER HAD HIM OFFICIALLY TESTED. THAT PREVENTED ME FROM EVER TRULY RELAXING OUT ON THE TRAILS BECAUSE I NEVER KNEW WHEN IT WAS GOING TO STRIKE AND LEAVE ME AND THE HORSE IMMOBILIZED IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. PLUS, MY HUSBAND HAD TO HAVE A VERY INVOLVED CANCER SURGERY WITH A LONG RECOVERY PERIOD. THAT PUT US TEMPORARILY IN THE HOLE FINANCIALLY. PLUS I HAD THE OVERWHELMING STRESS OF DEALING WITH MY HUSBAND'S MEDICAL PROBLEMS AND MY HORSE'S VET ISSUES! I WAS VERY FORTUNATE THAT JOEY'S BREEDER, THE WOMAN I BOUGHT HIM FROM, WAS WILLING TO BUY HIM BACK. SHE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE HAD TIED UP WITH HER PREVIOUSLY-- SOMETHING SHE HAD NOT DISCLOSED BEFORE I PAID FOR HIM-- AND THUS HE WENT BACK TO HIS MOM.

NOW THAT WE ARE BACK ON OUR FEET FINANCIALLY, AND MY HUSBAND IS DOING WELL, I CAN BREATHE EASIER AND GET A SECOND HORSE.

I'D GLADLY BUY ANOTHER HORSE JUST LIKE JOEY.... MINUS THE CHRONIC TYING UP PROBLEM.

AND YES, I'LL DROP THE "CUTE/PRETTY" CRITERIA! AFTER ALL, WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS IF YOUR MOM THINKS YOU'RE CUTE OR PRETTY, RIGHT?

THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS!

Anna    Los Angeles, CA

10/18/2010 4:32:22 PM

Leslyn, if you read the blog regularly, you'd know that Joey had to be returned to his former owner because Cindy's husband had to undergo cancer treatment. There wasn't the time or money for two horses, particularly since Joey had medical issues of his own.

Thankfully, Ron's prognosis is now excellent, which allows for a second horse.

Why you felt the need to make that kind of comment without considering facts is beyond me.

SweetPea    somewhere, WI

10/18/2010 2:32:11 PM

You are so right about ground manners, gaits , and neck reining - especially with your limitations. The one you may need to drop is the pretty. Still dream big and let us know. Suggestion: Eyes are everything! Anyway I sooooo agree with the lamenes thing! Good luck!!! :from me, my sweet horse with some lameness issues, and my sassy little pony!

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