A unicorn, anyone?
My journey began like so many others I'm sure, looking through rose-colored glasses with the thought, "yay, this will be fun!" After talking to my trainer about what kind of horse was "best" for me and discussing a budget, we both set out on the search. Mine was mainly online - Facebook groups, BigEq.com, ExchangeHunterJumper.com and the like with a few calls in to a former trainer and barn friends telling them what I was looking for. Which apparently seemed to be a damn unicorn, but we pushed forward
It's funny how things work out sometimes...
My trainer sent me video and photos of a gorgeous horse but he was out of budget so we moved on. After he kept coming back to her through the seller (my trainer's former trainer) we discussed what may be an acceptable offer, which was doable for my husband and I, so one weekend I hoped on him. I fell in love with this big gray gelding who is the epitome of a hunter. "He's my dream horse from the time I was a little girl," I told my husband as I tacked him up in the grooming stall. I mean who doesn't like a big gray!? After some 'aww's' from the barn girls, my husband looked back at me with doe eyes and I knew then we both wanted this horse. After riding him, who am I kidding, from the moment I sat on him, the smile never left my face. I definitely wanted this horse!
"He's my dream horse from the time I was a little girl," I told my husband.
However, the horse industry being what it is, and for whatever reasons, things didn't work out. It just wasn't meant to be. Bummed as I was, we pushed forward with our search.
Back to square one.
Again, watching more sales videos and talking with sellers and trainers in the area. At this point, I was getting quite discouraged. Everyone said, "the right horse will find you," but I was more than ready to find the "right one."
Everyone said, "the right horse will find you," but I was more than ready
I couldn't believe the amount of 'sales videos' that I had seen that were absolutely poor quality; ones so blurry that you could barely tell what you're looking at, but you knew that the pixelated moving object was a horse. If you're trying to sell a horse, get decent quality video and photos of them. It's really not that hard!
Ok, rant over.
We had four horses scheduled to try - two on Saturday and two on Sunday. I rode the first, a six year old JC-registered TB with show miles in the TB hunter classes. He was adorable, fun and my trainer and I both really liked him! The second horse was a six year old Dutch Warmblood. He was a fun ride as well, but just wasn't "my" horse. I could just feel it wasn't meant to be. It rained Saturday, but we got lucky with a few patches of decent weather for the test rides.
I spent the rest of the day on the show grounds helping my barn mates get tacked up, brush shavings out of tails and anything else needed for show prep. It was a good day despite the rain. Hindsight being 20/20 I can say that it could have been worse!
On Sunday luckily the rain had dissipated and the sun came out making for a great day for trying horses - oh, and for horse showing, too! I spent the morning at the show grounds again helping any way I could then went off to try another horse, a coming four year old Warmblood mare. She was super cute and such a smart baby, but again...didn't feel like "my" horse.
By the time I was done with the mare, it was getting late so I had get on the road back home for work Monday morning. The two hour ride home, with two exhausted pups learning to be horse show dogs sleeping in the back seat, gave me a lot of time to think about each horse. And by the time I got home, planning the next step came naturally...scheduling the vet for the PPE.
My trainer and I had talked on the phone on the way home from Ocala and had already talked to our vet about getting out for the PPE. Funny enough, she had seen the horse the week before and thought he'd be a good horse for me.
After some time shopping for the "right horse" - ok, so maybe it wasn't that long... - and two pre-purchase exams later, I am thrilled to introduce The Wow Factor (JC Distribution) - still thinking of a barn name - a six year old Kentucky-bred Thoroughbred with some pretty cool blood lines including Storm Cat, Mr. Prospector, Northern Dancer and even Secretariat! Despite these bloodlines he's turned out to be one adorable hunter. I find it funny we traveled to Ocala to find a horse that's been in our 'backyard' the whole time.
I am beyond excited about this guy and where we'll go together. I can't thank my husband enough for being so very supportive; I am forever grateful! Another big thanks to my trainer and everyone who's looked for me and sent me sales horses; thanks for helping, you were a bigger part of this than you know!