So I tried the grey horse on Friday. He was a bit underwhelming when I first saw him droopy lipped and comatose in a bucket in his stall while on my way to find the trainer. When we came back to him, he only woke up slightly to allow me to check all his legs out and for her to point some melanomas out. His back has a scar and I wanted to be all "eww!" about it, but then I recalled that Piper has a HUGE divot taken out of her neck to no ill effects so I just moved on. His rear is a bit.. off. He sticks his left leg out at an angle while torques his stifle when he's resting. He also likes to camp under himself basically whenever he can. Other than that, he checked out ok so we moved onto the riding part.
The trainer rode first per my request and I had her walk/trot/canter him, jump him, and even do some lateral work on his "bad" side just to see if it altered how he moved. In reality, no it didn't. I couldn't fault the fellow in really any way at all so I climbed on. He was pretty ready at this point (maybe 10 minutes, MAYBE) to get back to his stall for some sleepy droopy lip time but with some slight leg pressure he was like UGH FINE and we headed off. I was able to get him on the bit for a little bit and then his jaw tightened a little on me. I chalked it up to me not knowing his buttons and honestly, I wasn't there to learn to ride him. I knew he could do soft, drooly faced on the bit things based on what he'd done with the trainer.
I eased him into a trot and boy did he trot! I haven't been on a horse this forward in FOREVER and while my annoying brain wanted to go OH NO WE'RE GOING TO DIE, my instincts and previous TB experienced easily overrode it and I kind of felt like I was home. It was easy and no, it wasn't him in particular, but the memory of horses from my past and the ease that it was to ride them came flooding back and I thought yes, I can do this. Grey horse was cantered both ways, trotted both ways, I messed up diagonals on purpose to see what he'd do (he slowed down and was like no, you're doing it wrong), and we then trotted a taller crossrail. Jumping him was probably the thing I was dreading most but I knew it was stupid to NOT do it while I tried him. Just something small! but my a-hole brain the whole time was shoving doubt "maybe you can only jump Katy, maybe you suck at jumping, this is a weird saddle, maybe you only jump in your saddle!" So yeah, my brain sucks but I was able to easily jump him over that jump and was pretty smug about it.
Suck it brain!
We finished up and I made my original offer with supporting reasons and the trainer called the owners. Shortly after they accepted and we did the paperwork dance. The trainer was super sweet and the previous owners were wanting to unload all his gear as well. I honestly don't like to have tons of things (despite how my garage looks right now), so I only took his daily bridle and a set of cross country boots (Majyk Equipe) as Amanda had told me we were schooling Pine Hill Sunday if I bought him.
It made sense to at least have a bridle and boots for the occasion.
Trying to load grey horse was a little heartbreaking. For him. He saw the trailer and was like uhhh, pass. I swung the rope at him and he slammed it backwards while I kept light pressure on him and he attempted to drag me backwards and then.. towards his stall. NOPE CANT MAKE ME!!! After releasing him towards the trailer a handful of times, he figured out the trailer was the right answer and stood staring at it, then me, then the ramp, then sighed and loaded himself.
Sorry fellow, party's over.
We made the trip home that night and he pigged out in the round pen until Sunday AM!
So basically, I can sum this acquisition up in a single clip of a conversation with the husband:
H: Is he what you wanted?
Me: No, I have that at the barn (Jade). He's simply what I need.
Its not romantic, its not fairytales and friesians (but then again, THAT wasn't even a POW moment), but he's simply what I need and I look forward to our future together, unromantic as I'm sure it'll be ;)