I went out last Tuesday to see Ethan, I owned him for a while and then I got Eric who used to be called Prince. I told myself not to play favorites but I knew right away I was going to end up doing just that.
I also couldn't and still can't afford a second horse. So I put him up for sale and a nice lady bought him. She boarded him at a fancy show barn with fancy expensive horses. She was going to do sidesaddle parades and shows with him.
I got an e-mail the other night tell me he's for sale and she wanted me to know first.
"Hi Larissa -
Hey, I want to let you know first, in case you want him back. I'm selling Merlin. I've been thrown twice. The second time was a week ago Tues. Despite living in Eden (for a horse), having skilled trainers work with him, he wants to be stubborn and not do what is asked. I can't trust him in a parade with others around him. When he threw me last week, he kicked at other riders in the arena. That's it. If you want to buy him back for what I bought him for from you, let me know. He is healthier, more muscled, with his eye fixed, than when I got him last fall."
Months ago she told me he reared up and flipped over on top of her. She didn't give up and just got more trainers working with him. I guess this last time was the straw to break the camels back.
All this time though I'm wondering "Who is this horse?" I used to trail ride Ethan in the big state park, while listing to music on my mp3 player and recording us galloping though the woods with my iFlip video recorder. This is the horse I used to be able to stand on any fence post to get onto without him moving a bit. This was a horse I put my friend Chris on for a trail ride two days before his current owner took him away.
How can this totally can do trail horse go from being a great horse to jump on bareback with a halter and go down the highway to something that's hurting people?
She has the big fancy trainers working with him three days a week. They did drill team stuff, training, you name it.
The place IS nice. It's so nice compared to my little barn and little pasture and state park I ride in.
THE ONLY thing I could think is he is just SO bored he doesn't know what to do with himself anymore. He's in a stall, he gets turn out but it's not 24/7 which is what he had with me. He gets ridden a lot, but it's in an indoor arena with a trainer. When he's ridden it's to work. He never had that with me either. I never had to lunge him for half an hour just to get on his back and ride in a circle in an arena.
I slapped a saddle on him, him and I walked the half mile to the huge state park and then spent an entire day playing out in the forest.
He looks good now. Like I said I went and saw him. He's fit, muscled and in shape. When I seen him I blew in his nose and he sniffed at me and bumped me in the face several times with his muzzle like he used to do.
When I got to ride him it was what he does now. In an indoor arena. I had him trotting in circles. Nice and collected trot, he moves off the leg super nice.
I managed to get us outside but again it was in an arena. Just circles. I could tell he was bored. He listened to me though, and we did trotting and cantering. He didn't offer to buck or rear. He stood still each time I got on him.
He tried to get away from me once, but by that I mean he didn't turn at the exact time I asked and tried to move out of the arena. It took five seconds of me correcting that and it was over.
This is Ethan and I on Tuesday.
SO. Long story short. She wants to "Be rid of him" like YESTERDAY. She asked if I brought a trailer on Tuesday. I was like whoa whoa no way I just wanted to see what his deal is. Not that I would imagine I could do anything better than the fancy dancy trainers they have at that place.
To me he's fine. He's bored.
And I guess I'm taking him back. I can't afford it. I can't do a second horse. I am having to work to get him back. I'm not going to get into the details of that. Let's just say I'll be working to get him back all summer even though he'll be back at my barn on this Sunday.
His current owner told me if she can't "be rid of him" like YESTERDAY he was going to a sales barn. I've seen, read, watched, heard of too many GOOD horses even good looking popular colored horses getting loaded into kill buyer trailers.
The week before he sold I taught him how to smile on command. I don't know if he still knows how to do it though.
Bareback riding in the woods
Cantering down the side of a road.
This is him any my friend Chris, two days before he left to live with his current owner.