After riding the first two, I got a bug up my butt about getting a new horse. It was so eye opening for me and honestly my motivation to keep pushing forward with what I have is quickly waning.
As Dusty pointed out, how do I progress in my own riding when I’m constantly in self preservation mode?
So I caved and put out a way too specific and probably off putting ISO ad to local Facebook groups. Which landed me a response for a barrel horse. Odd.
It also landed me N who was 2 hours away. He sounded really cool, so I also booked another out that way that looked promising. More on that one later though.
N is a 16.3H, 16 year old Irish Sport horse. He has gone through novice and is currently a lesson horse for rank beginners through advanced. The owner sent me a video of him taking a petrified looking tiny girl xc for the first time and he looked like a calm cucumber. Definitely worth the drive to check him out.
There are worse ways to spend an 80 degree Saturday than horse shopping in the eventing capitol. I’m just saying.
I arrived before the seller and hung out by his pasture. He was huge. I think he is bigger than 16.3H but not important. He was super sweet though and came over to say hello to me right off the bat. I really liked that and the calm look in his eyes.
His condition was a bit off putting. Pete, at 28, is in way better condition than he is at 16. He looked every bit 10 years older but was a sweet heart on the ground and didn’t care about the no less than 10 rowdy dogs chasing, fighting and playing all around him.
As I was waiting for the seller to arrive, I took a look around the property and saw this adorable little chestnut gelding with some chrome in a neighboring pasture. He was a lot smaller and more compact and I thought to myself “Why can’t I find a horse like that. That is what I want, not a big school bus of a horse.” Unfortunately, he wasn’t for sale so it was on to trying out N.
It was a bit of a hike down to the arena which was good for me to see as it was a tiny trail ride type environment. The seller rode him first and he looked very amenable to all the things.
When I got on him, I felt ok. Not scared at his size but not yet comfortable enough to ask much. He liked to curl his head to evade real work and that is not something I’ve ever experienced. Typically I deal with the opposite: giraffe high head and hollow back.
His movement was also big. How could it not be? It took a while to get used to the feeling and to be honest I never fully did.
His canter was nice though. The downward back to trot was awkward but that was a reflection on me throwing him away and not him. His hind end seemed to need some building too and I think after conditioning he would be stronger and better able to use himself.
After that we left the lower ring and headed to the jump ring up the hill. I had her lower a jump to baby cross rail height and came around to go over.
And he did once he stopped curling his head in and took notice. It was funny. The seller remarked “I can tell you ride a horse who doesn’t always jump. You don’t need to use such a driving seat and leg to get him to jump”
And she was right. He made jumping insanely easy. Wyatt could jump this horse. I felt so comfortable that I asked her to make it a vertical. He was that easy and had there been xc jumps present I would have happily done them too.
In the end though two things turned me off. His age wasn’t an issue but his condition was. He looked sad and older than he was. The bigger deal though was a certain spark that I’m after. It’s nice that he did the job but he wasn’t looking for the jumps. He wasn’t seeking them or asking to jump. He did it because he is too well trained and inherently obedient not to. I want a horse who loves to jump. A horse who seeks them out and enjoys the game.
I was very intrigued by the future he could provide for me, but in the end I passed. While I want an easier horse than I currently have, I also want to grow as a rider and having a horse that does everything himself regardless of the monkey on his back would be easy but not productive. I want a horse trained above my level, but that will hold me accountable for riding well.
When I sent the videos above (plus another 10) to Trainer she agreed 100% with me and told me to pass. I was a bit surprised. I was thinking she wanted this level of horse for me but apparently not. It was refreshing to see that we were on the same page as I trust her and will walk away if she says to.
It was on to the next farm!
21 thoughts on “Horse #3: N”
It’s really cool to hear about the things you’re learning from each horse.
DAMN is this guy BIG. You look SO TINY on him! I can’t imagine riding such a big horse.
He was huge!! No way was he only 16.3H. It felt like driving a Cadillac when I’s so used to my 2 seater sports car.
she does like like a toddler up there doesnt she? HA HA he really is a cute horse but just so much body to contain (And I just have a feeling he is a hard keeper by his build). Too bad but hope someone ends up with him!
I thought his picture looked a little skinny myself and was glad you posted that too. He seems like a sweet horse and will be great for whoever purchases him. A horse that loves jumping is fantastic though. I think it’s important to find.
He needed about 6 months of good groceries and conditioning work to reach a level I’d be happy with.
Ah another very sweet nice horse! You’ve sure found a lot of them and I think that’s great. The good thing about condition with horses is we effect that as owners/riders, changing up their feed and exercise routine usually ends up getting you a better conditioned horse (horses used in lesson programs usually don’t have the best conditioning since the up downers don’t know how to ride.) I feel like based on how this was written though that you are coming towards the end of your horse shopping journey which is great, since I know how frustrating the experience can be!
Ha! You caught me 😉 I agree tho that in my care he could have blossomed. He was too big for what I’m wanting tho and just looked like he was nearing the end of his career not in the midst of it. Dusty pointed out to me that N would be great for my next next horse when I’m 50 and not wanting to go at it as much. Or you never know. Maybe when I’m 50 I’ll have my sights set on the event formally known as Rolex. Hahahahahahaha.
ha you are killing me smalls LOL…..
I can see light coming but damn you are making us sit on the edge of seat and wait. I felt sorry for this horse the first photo i saw. and yeah he is huge and i would not want a huge horse either. If you have a wimpy riding problem already (ME) being up that high would totally kill my nerves. I am a wimp I know. I love how many horses you tried though and love that you and your trainer have agreed on all of them. YAY
NOW FINISH THIS UP LOLLOL 🙂 Just kidding…draw it out as long as you need to friend. ….
HA!!!! Hang in there…two more to go!
I was surprised that I didn’t feel scared being that high up though it was a big challenge just getting up there. No mounting from the ground for me! He felt a bit lumbering though and I missed my little turn and burn mare
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So interesting! I used to be really into horses, and as I got more into other hobbies, I started leaving horses behind, sadly enough. I’m still fascinated by them, and I loved reading all of this. It’s amazing how all of the terminology comes back so easily… I’m definitely following your blog! Best of luck on your hunt for a new horse!
Thank you and welcome to the blog!!!
No don’t draw it out as long as you need lol. Really this is fun, and I’ve known since #2 you must have an end post by one of your comment answers, but still its fun. Agree on the Cadillac reference. I don’t think I could ever settle well on him. His personality is what you want your horse to work to, that way by the time the horse plugs along, Wyatt will be big enough for horse size 🙂
Exactly! If I could find a nice horse that isn’t too old yet has some good training and great personality, then by the time Wyatt is old enough to want to ride more it could work out. Though I’d trust Gem with Wyatt now on trail as long as I was on another horse as well as Gem just follows. We will see what the future holds..
I think it is great you have been trying so many different horses! This old guy looks like a sweetie, but I totally understand why you would pass.
It has been fun to see what all is out there. Grass is greener on the other side and all that.
Aww, what a sweet looking guy. But agree with you that he looks like he’s in his 20’s instead of 16.
Can’t wait for the next two posts though 😁😁😁😁😁😁
I’m not being so sneaky as I think most people have guessed something big is abut to happen…but everyone still needs to wait 🙂 I’m evil like that.
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evil to the core that is you! LOL 😉
I see quite a few like that at local events. Good ol’ boys who truck armies and kids around. I’m looking forward to the rest of the story…
It was tempting as I’m sure had I chose him I would be eating up local schooling shows and taking home ribbons however it would have done nothing for my riding skills
This is fun to read all these!