So...went and looked at a horse yesterday. She was in my price range, beautiful,and in a good age range (12).
Her owner was very nice, honest lady, but has a lot of horses and lives in the middle of, well, nowhere (sorry, it's always awkward if the person roams this forum but it's the truth) and is downsizing. She had a bunch of really GORGEOUS horses and this was one of them. She's had this mare for most of the mare's life.
Anyways...the mare hadn't been ridden since september (and that's a "we think so") she was used on a dude ranch for the summer, but only the guides roder her.
She was out in the paddock with like 9 other fat and sassy mares..and they were all eating when we got there. I went in to get her and she didnt want to be caught. I didnt really think about it til later...but if I was eating, I probably wouldnt have wanted to be caught either.
Saddled her, she opened for the bit (unlike another horse I know
) The lady told me I could ride down the road but to "watch out for the stallions on the other side of the fence". Welllllll we rode a little ways, and then the stallys came to the fence and the mare just bristled and stopped and turned and wanted to go back. I tried to turn her by direct reining her...and that's when things got real interesting. She was clearly ticked off, tossing her head, but never tried to bolt back. I thought she might. My thoughts were "great. I came all this way for a horse I can't handle. Oh boy." But then they asked if I wanted to try her in the round pen. Went in there and couldnt trot her or canter her because beams, step stools and oil drums arranged in there so you couldnt really ride in a straight line or get her going. She stopped on voice command, and no hesitation. But I kept trying to direct rein her. It's funny, the more horses I try, the more I learn about myself. Apparently, I use my hands way too much ( I have busy little hands. And when I start taking lessons that's the first thing that needs to go away). And I feel like on a strange horse, you have a bit more control with direct reining. And so, I had one in each hand. I'm used to turning by barely pulling to to the side I wanna go, and tapping with the outside foot. This mare, wouldnt do that. She kind of wigged out..but I couldnt tell if she was being bad, or something was going on. THe owner yelled over the fence "SHE DOESN'T DIRECT REIN! ONLY NECK REIN!" I was like WHAT?!
I thought that was the first thing you taught any baby when starting them was direct reining, and then trainers move on to neck reining. Idk. How could this mare ONLY know neck reining? How tough is it to teach a neck reining horses to direct rein too?
Anyways, she was responsive, and once I let my left hand down and rode like a nice normal person and not the scary little newbie I am, she did fine. I was amazed though. It was unique.
Then we were checking her over, and I found this big knott on her side. Now, the mare is like, 200 pounds OVERWEIGHT, but this was a nott like scartissue. The owner told me "that was my fault. She was in with the stud colts a few years ago." then there was one on her neck, real tiny like the size of a quarter. Again "that was my fault. I went to give her a shot, and I dropped it." (does she mean the horse got...an infection?)
Her feet needed a trim, and the lady told us she hasnt had her teeth done in a long time (of course, at 200 overweight, her teeth apparently havent bothered her).
I'm thinking about if I want to make an offer or not. The mare wanted to go back with her buddies, but then again...she was EATING when we got her out, and never offered to buck or anything. I know if I got Ratface (sister's paint) out while he was eating hell would freeze over.
Anyone got an opinion based on what I've written about her? I wish I had a sage of a horse person to follow me around when I look at horses, but in lieu of that, you guys are always very smart and insightful, and offer great advice.