Adventures at Freljord Acres
I should of started this back in October when I bought him, but better late then never! Figured it would be fun to keep track of our progress.
I've ridden trotter horses my whole life, my last horse was a QH and we were taking dressage lessons. Last winter was so nasty out that our lessons got put on hold so I decided to test my luck with trail riding by ourselves. After some fights he became a pretty dependable trail mount and I found I loved riding out in the open SO much more then in the ring. So I quit lessons and just started trail riding.
In the two years I had my QH I struggled fighting his Lyme disease, he was chronic...and then last summer was reinfected so he was acute and chronic. It affected him badly and made him very unpredictable and dangerous. I finally made the decision to retire him and start horse shopping...
NOW the question was...what did I want?! My DH doesn't know anything about horses but somewhere heard about gaited horses and watched some videos and just thought they were the coolest thing since sliced bread. I didn't know how I felt about switching, it just isn't what I'm used to! After a lot of reading I decided to test ride some and I instantly was in love. For the most part, the ones I test rode had such a level head, was smooth to ride, and could go a slower pace (which I was more comfortable at for the time being after some bad accidents with my QH) or pick up the pace for fun! I actually stopped being invited to group trail rides because my QH was so slow. He would be the best behaved horse on the ride, but no one liked waiting for us lol!
The first horse I test rode was Datsun (now Jax), he was a wiggle worm for mounting but took my corrections well and then stood still for me. I got to ride him up in down the road a few times and then the seller hopped on the other horse I was going to test ride and we went for a quick loop trail ride. I was in love. He was a leader, sure footed, not scared with two pitbulls came charging at him and when he broke into a canter from his running walk I had the biggest smile on my face ever. He got fast, but it was still fun. I didn't even want to test ride Captain! But DH was in love with Captain and insisted and I agreed it would be good for me to ride multiple TWH before deciding on one. There were just no sparks for me with Captain. I told the owner I was very interested but did have a few other horses to try and wanted to make an educated decision and not rush into anything.
Next horse I tried was a mountain pleasure horse...or something like that...Tony...or Fat Tony. Very sweet, very well trained horse, but his parents had let him GO. He was probably a good 150lbs over weight and with my schedule and winter coming I was a little worried about having the time to get the weight off. I was also very concerned about him being IR by the way he looked. His parents offered me an amazing deal and he was exactly what I wanted so I decided to do a PPE on him instead of Datsun. In my PPE I insisted on bloodwork though, I did not want to end up with another horse with chronic issues! Waited a week for bloodwork to come back, and as I feared it did came back above normal range, so I had to pass. His parents were NOT happy and tried to talk me out of it but I just couldn't set myself up for possible health issues like that.
I contacted Datsun's mom and luckily he was still available! So I made arrangements to come out one more time to ride him again and have a PPE done and if it all went well I'd bring him home!
In the meantime I saw an add on craigslist for what looked like a nice TWH not too far away, so I figured why not go try him. That was a waste of 5 hours of my life. Ad was a complete lie, people were complete jerks. Horse was way too forward for me, when I took my feet out of stirrups to see what he would do if I wiggled around some he REARed up on me! He was advertised as a beginner safe slow calm horse. PASS. The jerk of a dad was trying to tell me I'll never find a slower TWH or a calmer one...I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
The day came finally to go for Datsun, I was so excited it was finally here! On my way to get him, I stopped at a few feed stores to restock my grain supply, then stopped at a saddlery to pick up a tucker saddle that would fit him (what owners used) because my custom made allegany mountain trail saddle would NEVER fit him I knew.
Vet check went well, I got a pretty simple check, he was only 5 and nothing really popped out at me in concern. I did have a snap test done just to make sure at the time of purchase I wasn't buying another horse with lyme. Then it was ride time, again he was great! I was sure he was the horse for me. So money was exchanged and in my trailer he went!
October 20th, the day after I got married, is the day I brought home my new 5 year old 15h TWH Datsun, now renamed Jax.