It's a Pony!
Steve and I went to see the cutest Haflinger pony mare, Heidi. Without realizing beforehand, it was in the email but I think I missed it, she is 13.2 hands!!! Oh my goodness she was cute! She was very sweet and calm and was great to groom and hoof pick. She had no issues being tacked up.
She's a therapy horse that was getting bored with her job of just being led around with kids. It had been 2 years so the center head wanted to find her a home that would be more stimulating. One of the volunteers rode her around in her three gaits. She moved like a little pony. I hopped on and did the walk trot and meandered through cones and even tried to leg yield but was told it had been a long time since she had done that. She was still quite responsive. Her trot was quick and choppy so it was a little difficult to ride but it was fun, I found myself giggling a little.
One cute thing is she nickers when you mount and dismount! Steve thought it was the cutest thing! The trot would take some getting use to and honestly I think she is a bit too small for me, long hours on the trail could wear her down faster than a horse a little bigger. I didn't want to get off her though, she was a lot of fun! She'd previously been trained to harness so I could see that Steve and I could get into that, it would be fun too!
I went for a mini trail ride with the facility lead and her palomino horse. I did some more trotting, mainly to get the mare to keep up with the other horse. She was lagging with her short little legs, I can relate! Coming back the palomino started at a hose and made Heidi start but she just jerked to a stop and looked then realized it was nothing and moved on.
Though she was utterly adorable we had to move on to view a few more Haffies and I do want to think about her compatibility with me. Later upon seeing the pictures above my mother said she was too small and short for me. I tend to agree...what do you all think?
Not Quite Right
The next place we went to already had the mare Nell tacked up and waiting. Hmmmm, that's a little red flag. The lady said that Nell can be hard to catch and in the past would kick out during saddling. So....I guess that's why I wasn't able to be here for that. Nell had a nervous and worried look on her face.
I asked the owner to ride her first and she worked her around the ring, didn't look like the owner was really riding her, she was just a passenger. I got on and did a short little walk around the ring but didn't feel right there was a sense that this mare was not really listening. I got off in less than a minute much to the surprise of the owner. I asked if I could lunge the mare so I grabbed my line from the car. She listened alright at the lunge but still had that worried look on her face. I just didn't feel comfortable around her or feel that she was very used to listening to her human. I wasn't impressed and her hooves were overgrown even though the owner admitted it. I wondered what other health care may have been overlooked.
Apparently the mare is mainly used to herd cattle and goes on autopilot mostly. Okay, lots of work needed in my mind. The other Haflingers were very pretty and nice. One was under saddle but the lady didn't have a saddle that fit her, she said I could ride bareback. I passed. I just didn't feel right about the whole situation and Steve said he felt the same. He said there was a look in the mares eye and the mannerisms of her didn't sit right with him either. I listened to my gut and am glad I did, hearing that Steve had the same thoughts validated my own.
If you don't feel right about a situation there is a reason and I know she wasn't the horse. Compare this to above how I was pretty much tickled to ride Heidi, sometimes you just have to listen to your guts and what you sense from the horse. A lot is in their eyes if you just pay attention and there was something off and nervous about this mare. I don't feel bad being only at this lady's house for half an hour. It just wasn't the horse and the others were not rideable or "testable". What can you do?