I'm really liking this mare I saw today. She's a 13 year old Morgan mare. She's what is considered the old style Morgan. I like this mare so much that I couldn't do the Serene Sunday post today if I tried, I don't feel serene....I'm too anxious! I can't contain my excitement!!
When Steve and I arrived the gal I'd talked with had a Michelob in her hand and was very friendly. My kind a person. She was very honest about her horse, in fact in the emails she said all the bad things first before saying the good things. The "bad things" are that this mare hasn't been treated well with trailering and it sounds like she would just need a little bit of time and gentle treatment to get her to relax with the process. The other is she needs work with softening to the bit but I can work on that. She also said she is more than willing to do a thirty day trial if I wanted. That's an option I won't mind working into a contract for sure but we'll get to that later.
The mare is very confident alone on the trails, doesn't get bothered by cars, dogs or bicycles. Good start I think. I still would take it slow to get confident myself with all these items and work on other desensitizing but it's nice to know she's a reassured horse to start. When we went out to the stable we heard a very happy whinny and the mare came ambling into her stall to greet us. She was very sweet and likes to lip pockets and explore...the owner says she's never bitten she's just exploring and she normally pushes her away if she's getting too nosey.
She also likes beer, she had a sip of the owners beer and made a cute flehmen response face. LOL. The stable I want to board at actually has a horse that gets a can of beer at night as a "supplement". I don't think this mare is quite getting this supplement but the owner was just showing how laid back and human oriented she was. She was stocky and a bit fat but not too bad. She's never had any medical issues, only one belly ache but never a colic. The owner walked her and the mare did fine. Some white spots on her back I'm told are from previous owners and ill fitting saddles but the mare did not have issues with being tacked up which is good. She showed no soreness on her back.
I groomed her and picked her hooves, she was easy as pie to work with. Her owner scratched her belly and the mare made the silliest horse face she loved it so much! She isn't bothered by having her teats scratched or washed. She was very laid back and a sweetheart. She was constantly interested in what I was doing around her and not nervous in the least though I'm sure she could sense I was a little nervous and cautious.
The owner tacked her up since the western saddle thing just makes me feel even more fumbly so I just watched how the mare was. No problems with cinchiness or issues with the bridle either. I even played with her mouth and found it didn't take much to get her to open up at all. The owner mounted up and had her daughter drive this golf cart with us in it behind the mare out on the road and open fields across the street. The cart was loud and a dog joined us, neither of which bothered the mare in the least. Her walk looked comfortable and her trot was a bit fast at first until she relaxed like her owner said. She even cantered her a bit and she seemed very responsive and controllable.
Next it was my turn; the owner was sympathetic when I asked her to restrain the pup. She knows of my Desparados Storm incident and I felt no judgement. She'd had a similar incident when trying out a horse and ended up with a banged up knee. We shortened the stirrups and up I went, albeit awkwardly since you have to throw your leg over a bit higher with a western saddle and avoid getting stabbed in the stomach with the horn. I tried to keep the loose reins on her but as you can see in the picture below it's probably not as loose as it needed to be but the mare still did great with the contact. I mainly walked her and did a few circles and turns to see how she moved off my leg. I was happy with the response at a first ride.
We did a trot a couple of times and I tried to relax since the mare did short fast steps but eventually relaxed into it, so did I. Then I brought her down to the walk. I was mainly concerned with how she responded to me, how she turned, stopped etc. I think I could build a relationship with her fairly easily. I'd seen enough, I liked her. I told the gal when we were done, untacking and grooming her that I was pretty interested and would try to see when I could get my trainer out to see her.
I'm really excited about her, I feel something about this horse. I first off felt safe on her, like she wouldn't do something really silly or hurt me. Granted you can't 100% trust a horse, they are still animals but this mare felt pretty safe. Secondly, I enjoyed riding her much like I enjoyed Heidi. This mare could be the one! I want to get Laurie out asap and I've even postponed a couple horse viewings since I felt it wouldn't be a fair assessment of them to go out and see those horses with the way I feel about this mare.
She is wide backed so I'll need to definitely be careful with picking a saddle for her. The trailering issue can be worked on slowly, perhaps Uschi or someone else with a trailer would be willing to work with me until Steve and I have our own. I figure by the time we have a trailer there will have been tons of groundwork done and a relationship built that I can work with her slowly and reassuringly. The owner said it was mainly force that the mare has had in the past trailerings, that she wasn't beaten to get in the trailer but whips were used and that just upset her more. This was her previous owners, the current owner has had a trainer work on her but just hasn't had the time to be consistant with her. I think it's something I can deal with and perhaps that is something Laurie would at least like to observe during her evaluation, I'm not sure.
So I'll keep you all posted...and just so you know I didn't plan on finding a great horse that was chestnut, guess it was just luck of the draw!!