LOL! Sorry for being a tease!!!!
It was a bit of a roller coaster day. Striker is SUPER cute and lovey. I brought along two girls from my barn, one of whom is going to be a working student at a big barn in Chicago beginning in May. She was riding Obie for me before he was injured. I guess you could call her an "apprentice trainer."
I completely botched my trainer's instructions. She told me to have the rescue person ride Striker first. Instead, Helen (apprentice trainer) rode first.
He seemed a bit stiff at the walk but it was COLD (below zero). He was a bit antsy when asked to stop and stand but it wasn't anything major. Just "Thoroughbreddy" but not in a scary way. He seemed to get pretty comfortable to me at the trot but Helen did not canter him. Then, the rescue person suggested not trotting very long because of how cold it was and how Striker is out of shape.
Helen came over and said she was not comfortable cantering him because she thought he was lame in the left rear leg. Said she'd noticed it first at the canter on the lunge line, because he was reluctant to canter. IMO, he was just on too short of a line. He would start to canter and then the line would pull his head around and he'd break.
Anyway, when Helen was done riding him, I got on. I felt MUCH more comfortable this time around. I walked around a bit, changing direction a few times, and then trotted. Again, MUCH more comfortable this time around.
When I trotted to the left, he was much faster and did not feel as comfortable. But then I remembered to slow my post down and he settled in.
It was a bit of a strange visit because we sort of felt abandoned. The rescue people did not interact with us much and did not do much to "sell" the horse. In a way, I felt like I was intruding. It was just an odd feeling.
I told the rescue person that we were concerned about his movement being a bit off. She said that she'd never noticed anything (keep in mind that she's a vet). I told her that I'm a bit gun shy after my issues with Obie and she said she understood. I told her I would like to get a pre purchase exam (PPE) done before buying him. I told her I'd be in touch after I had a chance to talk to my trainer.
I left feeling sad because I did not think I was going to buy him.
When we got back to Duluth, we talked to Deb (the trainer) and she said that she figured he was out of the running because of the lameness and the attitude of the rescue.
After the girls left, we got to talking more and I said I didn't really notice that he was stepping wrong, outside of some stiffness. She asked to watch the videos.
After we watched them, she said, "I still really like him. I see nothing wrong with him."
She thinks the strange movement people were seeing might be due to the fact that he has one white sock. It looks like that leg moves strangely because it is so much more noticeable. She was frustrated that Helen did not canter him, but we have canter videos from December and she didn't see anything off with them.
After discussing it with her, I decided that I will have a neutral vet do a PPE. If he passes, I will buy him. My trainer might go down with me next weekend if we feel we need another look, but right now I'm feeling pretty confident that he's the right horse for me.
Here are the videos. I'm the one in #6. For some reason, the girls forgot to video when I was riding until my ride was almost over and I reminded them. We went better to the right. He started out fast to the left, but then I finally remembered to slow my post down and he settled in. nikelodeon79 - YouTube