Horse #1: H

I want to chronicle this shopping journey to look back and compare rides and remember what I thought. If anyone thinks this is highly inappropriate, please politely let me know what is wrong and why. I don’t want to hurt any seller or a horse’s chance of being bought and will not get into anything controversial or rude but want to present an overall picture of how I personally felt on each horse and why.

H was what brought me to the barn on Tuesday night. The seller commented on an ISO post and he looked really nice. When I found out how close he was to me, I just had to set up a time to go meet him. What was really funny was that the farm he was at was one we were supposed to look at to buy but the seller kept changing the date for the showing and then we bought the one we did. And I’m glad we did.

But. The horse.

H is a 13 year old, 16.1H Registered Appendix Gelding. He was on consignment at the barn to sell and as such the seller didn’t have exactly all the info.

I take bad pictures

The most memorable thing about him was how measurably uphill he was built. Incredibly uphill. It surprised Trainer. It made him look much taller than he really was.

He was schooling 2’9″ at home, had trail experience and had been to a few small shows without fuss. What really caught my eye was how gentle he looked in the show ring with horses all around.

I was nervous to get on him even though I rode him second (but I list him first because he is was brought me to the farm and I’m still unsure of how to talk about the other one). While he never did anything wrong at all, he had a tenseness to him that made my wimpy self nervous. In fact he reminded me a lot of our Pete. Never doing anything wrong but had the look like he could.

Under saddle he rode well. It took me a while to get comfortable enough to push him but once I did he felt great. He needed a lot of direction and wanted constant feedback from the rider to make sure what he was doing was right, but never put a foot wrong.

You can tell in the videos that I’m tense on him and he still goes around the ring just fine remaining steady and even while the rider on his back does her best impression of a piece of rebar.

When I cantered him…well let’s say it was near orgasmic. He was so uphill that the canter felt effortless. It was impossible not to sit it and my face was in a grin that nearly hurt it was so big. I could have cantered him all day and cantering is my weakest gait.

Eventually I felt ok enough to hop over the tiny cross rail and it felt like it was barely even there. He was so leggy and the jump so small.

In the end though I didn’t purchase him. He did absolutely nothing wrong the entire time. He stood still for mounting and had great brakes. He never said no or made a fuss. I just wasn’t comfortable enough on him. I felt uneasy pushing him through no fault of his own and I’m not looking for another horse that needs that level of input. I want a baby sitter for me.

As I explained to Trainer: he would be a horse to either do amazing things on or to crush what little confidence I do have. I wasn’t ready to take that gamble.

Trainer loved everything she saw though and I hope he finds a great home. I bet he will be a force to reckon with at shows once he finds his person as he had a lot of natural talent and was a ready and willing guy.

Sadly, he wasn’t the one for me though.

25 thoughts on “Horse #1: H”

  1. that’s the great thing about trying horses – even if what you’re looking at doesn’t turn out to be The One, he still might be able to get you closer to figuring out what it is you’re really looking for!!


  2. Sometimes you find a fabulous horse but it’s not YOUR horse. Totally acceptable to pass them up! My trainer always says “Did the horse give you the good stomach flutters? If not then find one that does” 🙂

    He’s a cutie and I’m glad you had a great time riding him! Your horse is out there somewhere 🙂


  3. Hi- I’ve been following along for a while but haven’t commented before. Just wanted to encourage you on your search for your next mount! I looked casually for my current horse for about a year…I couldn’t decide what I really wanted out of this next phase of my riding career. But when I swung up into the saddle on my mare, it just felt right. I had this sense of “this is a horse I can work with and consistently enjoy riding”. She’s a challenge and a handful but an absolute blast to ride. All this to say, I hope you find that horse that you just click with in a way you can’t and don’t need to explain. Best of luck in your search!


  4. He’s a cutie, but if he’s not what you want, that’s fine too. Also, I’m all for posting about the horses you’re looking at. Unless you’re posting their name and location, it’s not going to come up in a search for that horse. So no one in your area is going to see your blog or video and think now I won’t look at that horse. It’s your journey.


  5. I am the world’s wimpiest rider in the world and know exactly what you are talking about. EXACTLY! i get so nervous riding new horses (I should totally ride more since riding Remus is like sitting in a lazy boy recliner LOL). But I have ridden very nice horses that just made me nervous even though they were good. I am sure he will get someone who loves him. he is very cute. And hopefully you find the right one before a year goes by too 🙂 I dont know if i can stand that (Not that i stalk you on email or anything LOLOL).

    I love that you are sharing. I think it is very neat to see other people’s reactions to other horses and the next person to sit on him might have been the one for him! Hope so!!

    You looked good on him though! 🙂


  6. Lol I’m 36 and debating between project resale and forever pony. Kinda think I’d take either if right one comes along. If I had property like you I’d be more likely to look for forever horses. I agree with the slightly nervous energy he has. An air of unsureness, which doesn’t sound like what you need. This is fun shoppin thru you 😉


  7. Yep, totally ok to pass on a horse you don’t want- even if he’s an awesome horse. I know the exact tense feeling you’re talking about, even if the horse doesn’t LOOK tense in the slightest!


  8. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with chronicling your journey. You’re not linking to anyone’s private pages or trash talking anyone. This guy is cute. I like how forward he is and his stretchy trot was great. Loved your “wow” at the canter 🙂 I think you’re right to pass on a horse you don’t instantly feel comfortable on. Could you get used to him? Probably. But you already have a horse that you worked to trust. The next one needs to CLICK!


    1. This next horse has some big dreams to fulfill. I’m beginning to realize it is going to be a long journey to find it but it will be worth it in the end. Plus I still have Gemmie to ride in the meantime.


  9. Hi, I’ve just resumed reading about your journey after our trip to America and at one point I had to stop because my eyes got blurry/wet. “I want a baby sitter for me” I am so grateful for people like you who blog through difficulties such as ours.

    Recently I had a dream I was riding a horse I trusted. I was trotting this black horse down the street, ponying another black horse. He spooked a little but I laughed it off, I trusted him.

    I woke up with the most exquisite sense of longing for what I’ve lost, and my more recent dreams have been of driving trucks whose brakes do not work. (This brake-fail dream has been ongoing for years though).

    I loved seeing you canter so happily on those horses, and I remember riding a couple 17HH horses and having it only be a thing about getting on and off, cuz they were golden, one was a school horse and one was a Standardbred off the track. The long neck, the ears so far away you cannot reach them, that was odd for me too.

    I’ve only had one dog in my life, and I could never replace her, so I never did. I sometimes wonder if I was meant to only have my heart horse, Baasha, and none shall follow. He wasn’t easy, but I was young.


    1. Its an amazing feeling and one I lost a long time ago. I’m not scared of Gem but I can’t trust her either and it makes riding so much effort. I have to ride every step of every stride and if I relax a little she takes advantage and is gone. So…hopefully I make the right decision on next horse and get back to the point where I can relax and trust that I won’t be taken advantage of.

      I hope you find it as well. Horses are expensive and demanding and it isn’t worth it if you can’t enjoy it. It has taken me a long time to reach this point though and I understand where you are at


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