Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

The next adventure begins :)

So for a while now I've been considering finding a horse to part board.  Considering in the "playing with the idea but not actually doing anything about it" way...  And then last weekend I taught XC.  And it was awesome.  And it was SO hard.  Didn't help that Si (who's name is now Bella) was one of the participants ;).  (Throwback Thursday:  Si's first XC school)

Si's second XC jump - way back when :)
So I went home and googled...  And quickly decided this is one circumstance where the internet is not going to help *sigh*.   Don't get me wrong, there are lots of pb horses listed.  But omg it's even worse than reading sales ads.  One was asking $500 to ride a straight-off-the-track OTTB.  Ummm no, I'm not going to pay you significantly over going rate to train your horse.   Lots that seemed reasonable except that the horses are your standard novice back yard pony.  Fine, but again -- I'm not going to pay to ride that.  A couple that looked good but owned by teenagers; not that that couldn't work, but odds are not good ;). And I think I found 3 that were worth talking to.  None I was thrilled with, but solid possibilities.  Contacted all three, heard from none.  Didn't follow up.

Decided I needed to be smarter about this, and approach it another way.  What pros do I know whose opinion I respect who might have clients in need of a pbr in my general area?  Okay -- much better plan.   So I reached out to one who's barn is in the ideal location for me.  I've only met her a handful of times, but knew of her reputation and what I've seen of her barn (one of the places we go to school) I was pretty impressed by.  Acknowledged that it's a private farm but explained my background and asked if she or any of her students was looking for a pbr.

And in luck!  She'd had a horse in her barn on lease that didn't work out for the leasee -- apparently a gorgeous horse but too strong for nervous teenage rider.  Okay, fair enough.  And if that one didn't work, she had another possibility but it's a horse she's currently riding so try that one first.  Lol fair enough.  I was actually slightly surprised to get any answer from somebody I hardly know, much less so helpful of one!

The owner reached out to me and we chatted for a bit.  There is one pbr on the horse, but she'd like one more as she's currently not riding.  Other pbr kindly offered up her lesson spot to me to test him.  Turns out she works pt at the barn and was able to just coordinate a lesson for the next day.  Sweet.  So I meet them in the parking lot.  Horse comes off *high*.  Hmmmm could be an interesting first ride back.  Big chestnut hannovarian, but fairly gorgeous.  Cool.

So introduce myself, get him in -- where he settled very quickly.  Tacked up and away we went.  He was a little strong and looky, but certainly not doing anything concerning.  I'd been asked not to warmup until the coach got there so I just hoped on to wander around.  And he was walking on a mission!  Which would've been great if I'd been asking for it ;).  But then there was a giant CRASH.  And he didn't even blink.  Good pony.  Bomb-proof counts for a lot ;).  So that pretty much instantly relaxed me and I picked up a contact and started working.  

OMG like riding a drunk gummy worm.  I could *not* get the pieces in a straight line.  Was it ever funny.  Some moderately impressive lateral work -- if only it'd been on purpose!  lol. But all good, by the time coach came in I was giggling like a little kid and totally relaxed.  She asked reasonable questions and we did a little at the walk before moving to the trot.  The trot is reasonably big, but not as huge as I'd been anticipating, and we were able to get some decent work.   The left canter was absolutely lovely.  Fairly huge but so smooth.  Like riding a couch.  He's not quite strong enough to sit his butt underneath himself yet, so slightly strung out and very strong.  But has excellent breaks installed (more than one half-halt resulted in an abrupt downward transition ;). Canter the other way is even less balanced and far less smooth, but still entertaining.   We didn't get to jumping -- both horse and rider were pretty zonked.  And, well, the canter being rather disastrous and knowing horse has a jumper background, that can perhaps wait till we  have a slightly rateable canter.  Or till I get bored ;). One of the two.

So yeah -- still some details to work out, but looks like I'll have a new pony to ride three times a week :).  Pretty excited about that.  I think I'm still grinning :)

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