Starting to shop for your new partner in crime is always an exciting time. Spending countless hours online, researching and reading up on all of the potentials that could be "the one". I have only been part of 2 shopping quests in my short time in the horse world. Both quests have been a bit different, but they are learning experiences and make great stories.
My daughter had lost her confidence after a fall, she didn't want to do anything more than trot. I figured that was it, we were done with horses. We were oh so close to having money again! I told my daughter she had to call her trainer, Colleen, to let her know that she wasn't going to continue with lessons. The story does not end here, this is where it all begins.
My daughter talked with her trainer, then the phone was handed me. At this time I learned all about losing confidence as a rider, what that meant, and ways to help. So there was a plan, find a bomb proof pony that will give her that confidence boost. I was now thrown into the market of searching for an off site lease. The pictures of potential candidates began to flood my phone from Colleen. I had a very tight budget and didnt want to travel too far, which I know made it even more difficult. The search was on, well so we thought...
We did not have great luck at first. The first potential leasee ended up staying with it's current rider, and then we had a few more strike outs. You name it, it happened and this was before we ever sat on or looked at a pony. Owner changed mind and kept for program, owner was injured, horse pulled a shoe. I was starting to think this wasn't even a possibility. Colleen called and said there is a sweet mare that just came off lease, bombproof, in budget, AND it was 40 minutes away. This was way too good to be true!! So we agree to see her the following day, because we don't want this pony to get away.
High winds advisories are in effect for the area. Colleen asks if we still want to go see her and joke about how our luck has been with seeing ponies. She swears that this is not normal. I decide why not, it's a short drive, and even if we just see her and can't ride her it is still something! We get there and the winds were blowing, barn doors chattering, and the roof was making all sorts of noise. There stands the sweetest little Chocolate Palomino, unphased by all that's going on around her. After watching her walk, trot, and canter we knew we had to bring her to the barn for a trial. And after all the disappointments, we found a true bombproof pony! This sweet princess helped a rider who didn't want to do anything but trot, soar to 2' jumps in just a year. Angel was that true unicorn pony that helped my daughter become a confident rider. After 2 years she outgrew Angel and we sadly had to find another pony. Here we go again....
Now we are in the market to potentially buy a pony of our own. And my daughter has discovered bigeq.com, or I like to refer to it as budgetbuster.com. Now I have our trainer and my daughter bombarding me with videos and pictures of potential ponies. She finds one that fits the budget, but he is in Massachusetts....a 10+ hour drive!! After much deliberating, we plan a trip to Massachusetts. This is when I have realized, I have lost my mind, I am now a crazy horse person and will always be broke.
We tried out the pony and although she thought for sure he was "the one," it just wasn't a fit for her. A little disappointed, we head back to the hotel. The girls are now on a mission to find other ponies in the area or on the way home to try out. The following day we drove to Long Island then across to Pennsylvania and tried out a few horses there and the following day, set sight on New Jersey. On the way to the last stop, we were discussing the ponies we have seen on our trip and my daughter expressed that she isn't a fan of chestnut ponies and she doesn't think they are cute. NOTE: WE ARE ON THE WAY TO SEE A CHESTNUT PONY!! This is where my hands are strangling the steering wheel out of frustration. We arrive at the barn and Colleen says "Let's go see this ugly chestnut".
We meet Rocco. My daughter comments on how cute his dark dapples are on his butt. On her trial run with Rocco he took care of her but he did take off on her a few times. I thought that was it, we were done and heading home. We thank the trainer for her time, and head for the car. When we get in the car, my daughter says I love him. What just happened??? I will never understand the mind of a teenager.
Fortunately he passed the PPE and agreed on a price. Rocco came home! Rocco is now Tonto and those 2 are becoming a great team. 😊