So Toby has moved on to pastures new. Turned out I went from the mare who no-one wanted, to the gelding who EVERYONE wanted. Everyone except me. As lovely as he was, he was just not suited to an eventing home. He was a bit cautious for XC, a bit clumsy for SJ and hated schooling. Having difficulties in all 3 phases was not really the best starting point. Rather than continuing to force a round peg into a square hole, I have sold him so he can be gloriously well suited to the job of happy hacker and pony adventurer. Which means I am horse hunting again. This is a problem as I have a bit of a horse viewing credibility issue….
A few years ago I was selling an outgrown pony whose competitive limit was about 80cm. I got a call from a woman asking if he would jump a metre. ‘A single metre fence or a metre track?’ I queried. Competing over a metre was the answer and I said no. As the ad pointed out, he was competitive to 80 and anything up from that was a bit much. ‘Oh well we might as well try’, she said and so they came to view. At the first canter the girl screamed, lost her stirrup and ended up round his neck. We parted company with me thinking, ‘not sure they really needed to worry about whether the pony could jump a metre’. Well, sadly, that is more or less me! While looking for Toby, I rode a lovely mare as my next potential BE90/100 horse and cried twice. Once because she looked at some cows. (Yes, looked.) The 2nd time was after a cross pole when she sped up a bit on landing. That slight acceleration, which felt to me like the wall of death, was not even visible on video. I cried, got off and went home thinking, ‘well that was embarrassing’. Luckily not even I could be scared on the chilled dude that is Toby (probably why I bought him, come to think of it). But now I am facing the same dilemma: How does a person who likes to take things slowly and steadily with unfamiliar horses, buy her next eventing partner?!
A possible solution is presenting itself though. A local horse has been advertised for loan. I could spend the summer schooling, hacking and, (dare I dream), even competing her. THEN perhaps buy one when I am less likely to
cry, ride like a muppet, er, when I can try out the horse’s potential fully! I’ve applied for her and now the anxious wait begins…. Pick me, pick meeeeee!