Wednesday, November 10, 2010
First Test Ride
Yesterday I made my first call about a horse. I found the ad on craigslist(what would we do without it) and decided to call. I liked the pictures from the ad. There was one crappy picture of her with a rider bareback but I really liked her conformation. The ad didn't say how tall she was and she is an unregistered 10yr old.. I called and talked to the woman and she said that she was only available yesterday. Since I was out running errands I decided to go look at her....it was kinda on my way home.(less than 1 mile detour)
So I pull up and meet this nice lady. She takes me out into the horse "pasture" and the mare comes up to us very friendly. The woman lets me look her over and says she hasn't ridden the mare in over a year and that is why she was selling her. She has bad knees and ankles and it hurts too much to ride. The lady leads her out of the pasture, past barking dogs that she looked at but didnt react. They sounded like if they were loose they would eat her alive. She was tied to a hitching post and the woman grabbed her saddle and pad, she skipped brushing of any kind. She threw the pad and saddle on her and tightened it down VERY VERY VERY tight. Then tightened the belly girth really tight. The mare was bridled with a tom thumb bit and super short barrel racing reins. She was moved about 2 feet over to a box for the woman to stand on....the mare is a solid 15.3hh. I was getting ready to see a show....this mare who hasn't been ridden in a year, has a saddle on TIGHT, belly band TIGHT, no brushing, no walking or giving her a chance to get settled......I was thinking if I had my EMT bag with me because I was pretty sure this woman was getting ready to be dumped on her head in the gravel!
The woman hopped on picked up the reins and the mare walked off. She got a little ways up the driveway and the mare picked up a nice little jog on command. She rode her all around the front yard and came back over to me. The woman informed me that the mare sometimes will crow-hop into the canter, that she hates men, and that her son thinks she is crazy.........great sales pitch.
So I hopped on her......she was SUPER soft in the bridle, slow on her response to my leg, responsive to my seat, had a short jog and the start of a nice ground covering trot. I played with her for a good 15 minutes before I hopped off.
All in all I was impressed. She reminds me of the big solid horses I rode as a kid.....safe. I think she has potential to do anything I want her to do. I do want to look at other horses before I make an offer though.