I’ve finally bit the bullet and began an outright, not so casual search for Wyatt’s wonder pony. The idea has been floating out there since early fall however we weren’t very serious about it and I wasn’t actively looking online for anything.
Then his birthday happened. The farrier was going to be at the barn and I had already taken the day off work for him. His party wasn’t until 4 pm, the kiddo loves going to the barn, and we had no other plans. Might as well get the hooves trimmed up and get that stressor off the list of things that needed to get done.
So there we were getting the horses trimmed. After they were done Wyatt asks me if he could get on Gem. This isn’t unusual. Kiddo adores it, but then he asked if we could go in the woods on trail. Um…yes!!!! So I led him and Dusty walked beside as Gemmie picked her way carefully down the trail. I was thinking he would be done in a few minutes, but nope, he kept asking to go down a new trail and then another and another. Gemmie was really amazing with him and way more careful than she ever is with me. Its proof she can be a good girl and just chooses not to when I’m on board or leading her in the woods. Spiteful little girl.
Boy needs a pony. I’m convinced he would love to ride around the yard, go over poles and explore the woods on horseback if he had a Wyatt sized four legged creature to do it on. Hubby is happy because we plan on introducing trail riding with Dusty on foot with the lead rope at first, then on foot without the lead rope. Dusty loves running. Anything that gets him more trail time is okay on his end.
I took to the internet and searched all the local horse sites, horse for sale sites and competition pages. Nothing. I put out ISO ads:
ISO: We are beginning the search for my son’s first pony. Age, breed and gender are not important. A show record is not important. Must be well trained to w/t/c. He will be taking lunge line lessons to start with the pony, so needs to lunge. 13h and under. Must have a good brain and be child safe. $2500.
We technically will go over $2500 if it is the perfect match, but I figure that’s more than double what I paid for Gem and we aren’t looking for a show pony, just something to teach Wyatt all three gaits and that is safe and sound.
Maybe I’m looking at the exact wrong time of year, but there is nothing out there. Not even crappy, oddly put together, not trained ponies. Nothing.
I did get one response, but after talking to the owner I don’t think it is a good fit. The pony is sweet and safe, but has never gone above a walk and I don’t want Wyatt to only learn to walk. I’m sure the pony can trot and canter, I mean a healthy sound horse of any size can go over a walk, but he doesn’t need to learn on something that is also learning.
There is another option that Trainer fell in love with, but it is 3 hours away and my schedule is chock full until right before Christmas. I told the owner that I would be in touch and if she isn’t sold by then we would come up with the intention of trying her and bringing her home for a trial period in which we could ascertain a good match and get a PPE done. We will see.
But…the intention of this post isn’t to whine. Well, the entire intention wasn’t to whine because obviously part of it was.
The real point was to ask you all how to find a pony. I’ve been on dream horse, equine now and one other site plus all the local facebook for sale groups. Anything I am missing? Gem and Pete just landed in our laps, so this whole looking, trying, looming some more, gotta find the perfect pony thing is entirely new to me. With Gem is was basically…oh look a horse! With 4 legs! Lets buy her!
And well…you all know how that turned out for better and for worse.
Dusty always feeds the horses in the morning before work. Since we feed in the pasture and Pete gets only 1 lb versus Gem’s 3 lbs, whoever feeds stands between the two until they are finished. Otherwise Pete would gobble his and half of Gem’s too.
He fed that morning no issue.
I always feed in the evening. I grabbed the grain and headed out to the pasture like every other morning. As I was standing there, after completing the scratching ritual for both spoiled brats, I looked over and saw this:
Tire tracks. Leading out past the shelter. Inside my pasture fence. Well, crap.
My gut reaction was “WTH is our landlady doing inside my pasture?! Doesn’t she know the liability if one of them got out? We live on the corner of two busy roads.”
Of course it was 6 pm at this point and the rental office was closed. There wasn’t much we could do as neither of us wanted to call the cops on the landlady.
I sent the Hubby to Tractor Supply to get a heavy duty padlock for the gate. If someone wanted in again, they’d need a bolt cutter.
As soon as the rental company opened the next morning I was on the phone explaining the situation. Landlady is often seen mowing around our fence line and driveway so she was the obvious suspect. They contacted her and she called Hubby.
It wasn’t her.
Now my mind was wheeling. The only reason some unauthorized person would drive down my private driveway and through my closed gate with a truck would be to steal my horses. I couldn’t think of any other explanation.
Thankfully my horses aren’t friendly to strangers. Pete never did let the BM we boarded at for over a year touch him and barely put up with the last lady. Gem stays clear on the principal that she is better than anyone else and nobody has the right to be near her.
I’m thinking they entered, tried to wrangle up the horses who just ran away from them and gave up.
Scary doesn’t begin to describe it.
The cops were useless. With nothing broken, stolen or harmed all we had was a tire track in the mud and a gate that looked undisturbed. Apparently they only use plaster to make a mold of tire tracks and compare to known makes/models that use that tire on TV. CSI our local police force is not.
Thankfully no new evidence of trespassing has been seen since. Either the padlock is doing its job, beyond making life harder when trying to get in the pasture with grain and/or hay loaded hands, or they gave up since the horses weren’t cooperating. Either way my heart was in my chest for about a month.
There are roughly five billion things happening all at once between my work and home life right now.
Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration although it doesn’t currently feel like it. The end of the year is always hectic at work but this year I decided to torture myself and staff with changing my electronic medical record and billing system. Ahem…again. The one I have won’t work with new government mandates in 2018 and so I’m stuck making another change. Changing systems in this day and age should be easy. Ha. Hahahahahahahaha.
That is added on top of the typical year end rush of people wanting seen and surgery performed prior to deductibles starting over again.
Some big life stuff is happening at home too and well, it has finally all caught up to me. I’m having a difficult time figuring out how I’m going to get it all done in time. When this happens my body, oh so helpfully, shuts down and freezes. It’s like it says “how are we to do it all? I know! I’ll just stop functioning, drain all energy away and that will help!”
Anyway… all this whining to say that I’ve decided that Gem is on vacation until further notice. Well, it wasn’t all my decision. With the darkness now and no lights or arena to ride in, she is a pasture pet Monday thru Friday anyway.
I was supposed to go to a schooling show this past weekend. The rules were posted forever ago, but I only stumbled upon them the Thursday before the show and was dismayed to read that even though it is a schooling show, the material clearly stated that schooling attire was not permitted and coats were required.
I don’t own a show coat. Or didn’t anyway. Friday I booked out of work to make it to the tack shop an hour away that has a plethora of coats in my price range (under $200) with 15 minutes to spare before closing. I snagged a navy (ick but beggars can’t be choosers) RJ Classics Sydney coat on sale and an Ariat long sleeve show shirt that was $60 off.
I was all set. Or so I thought.
About a week ago I texted with Trainer about what classes to do. It was a hunter only show and I wasn’t sure what all the classes meant like Hunter Under Saddle O/F 2′ and Rail Work. She had no clue what that one was either. The plan was to do one cross rails, HUS and equitation O/F 18″ and then the HUS and equitation O/F 2′ classes. If Gem was feeling good and ready we would add the hunter derby 2′ as well. I was stoked for the progression of height for both of us and the planned 5-6 rounds.
Then Friday I found the rules again and read past the “no schooling attire” part. This basically killed my show plans. Turned out that cross rails meant no other height could be entered, scratch that off the list. Then I saw the definition of short stirrup was under 14 yo and all the 18″ classes were short stirrup only. The adult classes started at 2′.
Having only done one prior course at 2′ and um…not having ridden in 2 weeks…I didn’t think it was fair to pull Gem out for only 2’classes without the warm up smaller rounds. We are so incredibly green to the whole jumping thing and our participation is tenuous. Every outing needs to be fun and confidence boosting for us both. I didn’t think this would be.
Plus it was an hour away for only 2 rounds. Seemed a bit silly to trailer out that far for two rounds.
After that blew up in my face I decided to call the rest of the month off. Gem does so much better with consistency and it isn’t fair to grab her only once every two weeks and expect much of anything. She isn’t that type of horse. Instead I think a month off to relax and regroup is in order.
Once things settle down at work and home, which should happen simultaneously once the holidays are over, we will get back to our lessons and schooling shows. Until then she is on vacation while I pull my hair out and try to squeeze 30 hours of work into a 24 hour day.