I guess I thought this was going to be easier and require less gas money.  Yesterday Donnell and I were driving home from yet another horse viewing. We had met up with Alison to look at what we thought was an excellent candidate for The Urban Herd – an older thoroughbred gelding billed as an experienced school master. He was a handsome horse, no doubt about it. And the woman selling him was a knowledgeable woman and a really nice person to boot. Sounds good so far, doesn’t it?

I got up on the maestro and could not get him to move forward in a straight line for love or money! Granted, I am not the most experienced rider in the herd, but I know which way is forward. He completely ignored my suggestion to walk off and when I then tried “coaxing” him in the ribs…forcefully…he was unimpressed. This guy made me look like a total bumbler if you want to know the truth of it. He was a sweet as they come, and definitely safe for children, provided those children don’t want to go anywhere except toward the tall grass.

As we were discussing the experience on the way home, Donnell mused about when it got to be so complicated getting a horse. Back in the day, you used to just go ride the horse and if you liked it, you put it in your pocket and took it home. Maybe we need to go back to basics. Not focus too much on the expectations the seller puts out, and just get on, ride around, and if we like what we see, take it home with us.

What we’ve been doing the past few weeks, looking for horses for ourselves that we can also share with the rest of our members, has had moments of sheer frustration. Don’t get me wrong, it is an amazing learning experience and I wouldn’t want to hurry through all it has to offer. We don’t expect to see a picture, read a description and make a decision, but at the same time, geez, if you’re going to advertise a horse for sale – returning phone calls and emails would be nice. Having the actual address so you can Google it before you hit the road would be helpful, and last, accurate descriptions would help a ton.  What part of “easy keeper” is demonstrated by daily shots of bute or a cup of vegetable oil mixed with grain twice a day? And when did “goes barefoot” become “I put shoes on him yesterday because people like them to have shoes”. It isn’t like these things are big deals, they are just repeated lessons in, as Donnell put it, “not everything is as it seems”. We are discovering that the only way to find that out is to go look.

So, it’s Friday, and this must be Spanaway…