Well long story short, we looked at a LOT of horses. Some expensive, some cheap. We set a limit on price as to what was reasonable for what we needed. We weren't buying a horse that cost more than our car. We had no use for that. But none of them really "did it" for us. Hubby did find one that he liked a lot and would have come home with us but the timing we couldn't get down quickly enough. That horse ended up being sold but in the end it was okay. While a bit of a downer, that horse ended up going to someone who would work him on a ranch using him for what he was bred for. For us, our horses will be pleasure horses. Endurance trail down the road, possibly the ride across Florida and different things like that. No showing for us, etc.
We kind of stopped looking at that point. Then one day I decided to open up Craigs List to see what was out there and WHAM. There was this ad for a 1/2 Arabian 1/2 Paint with a picture that made me stop. I couldn't tell you what it was but for me, if I pick up the phone to call, I need to see it through because something is telling me to. So we did. I put up a thread in the conformation section of the board looking for input. Had made an appointment to see him. Once there, it basically was all over. He came out and loved on us. Hubby took to him immediately and since he's a novice, I knew I had some things to take into consideration. Zoot was much younger than what our criteria called for. He wasn't even two yet. BUT, plus on his side, his temperament and his willingness were apparent. AND nobody had been on his back, ever. We are aware he's not perfect. No horse is. His faults aren't huge but they are there and we were okay with that. We aren't showing so temperament is our first consideration and this boy has it.
I knew we had a long road a head of us. A brief private conversation with hubby on expectations and how this needed to go lead to the writing of the check, a bill of sale with the contingency Zoot would be tested for HYPP and only purchased if the results were N/N. All ended well and Zoot came home two days before Christmas.
He's been with us about a month now so I figured it was time to give some updated photos and let you all know what we've been doing. He's not been put into any hard work or lunged or anything like that. This first month was a "get to know you" month. We all got use to each other. He is learning manners when it comes to feeding time. He's learning to stand patiently for putting his halter on and removing it. Learning cues to lower his head and keeping out of our personal space unless invited. He was already pretty good with grooming and picking up his feet so we've continued with that routine. Hubby is doing great with him! He picks things up quickly and has a natural affinity for all animals. He's definitely not an idiot around horses he just needs time. We've set the boundaries, agreed on what's what and he's doing wonderful for making sure Zoot stays respectful around him.
I'll shut up now and give you some pictures! Here's Zoot, formerly known as "Niles".
Errrrr please excuse the hay falling out of his face. He has the remnants of his breakfast on him!