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Monday, May 4, 2009

How to Remedy an Aching Heart

It was quite simple really...just get your favorite horse back!!!

Thank you everyone for your kind words in the past really meant a lot to me.

I'll try to make a long story short and sweet, but Shirley at Ride a Good Horse had a pretty good idea of what happened. This pic from the Mike Bridges Clinic's the last time I saw Colt.

That's Bill Berner leading Colt off
to his trailer.

I mentioned that Colt was a super star at the Mike Bridges clinic, and he really was...and I got tons of compliments on him throughout the 3 days. As I was talking with Bill about what horse I would use as "The Project" horse for the next 5 years (making a Traditional California Vaquero Bridle Horse), I mentioned that I wouldn't use Colt because he's for sale. I don't advertise him, but I bought him as an investment in my training train him and eventually sell him. I felt it wouldn't work to have my 5 year Project horse be gone after the first 2 or 3 years of the Project.

So later that day, Bill asked how much I was asking for Colt and that he had a couple of people interested in a horse like him. I told him, he asked me more questions about him, and later that day a gal showed up and was quite taken with him. She came back the following day with her husband; she rode Colt...Bill rode Colt...they took off his saddle and examined his conformation...her husband rode Colt...she bought him for my asking price. But, not end of story...the vet check had to be done, but that should be a piece of cake.

I was a mess for the rest of that last day at the clinic, tearing up every 5 minutes, and almost couldn't do my last cow...knowing that this would be my last ride on him. That last ride on Colt on Sunday was very difficult to not tear up and keep focused...but I wanted it to be a run to remember. I first picked a cow that had already been worked and Mike made me quit that cow and get a different one. This new cow was nice...perfect for me to get Colt arched and looking at the cow and had just enough turn in it to make Colt think about his was awesome.

But, I came home without my lil' man.

Why would I sell my best horse so soon? Well...Colt would have the best of everything...great home, he'd have wonderful training, she loved him, and she wanted a horse to keep forever...she would be doing the 5 year Project, and I'd get to see Colt and her progress as a pair for the next 5 years because I'd be in the same Project class!!! What more could I ask for in a buyer? WIN, WIN, WIN!!!

The next day, Monday, the vet check was done and there was an issue with Colt's left hock; he was slightly off on it. Huh? Shocking to everyone, because he didn't show any signs before. So, we all think that he's just sore from 3 days of hard work. A follow-up appointment is made for the following Wednesday (that will be this coming Wednesday 5/6/09) after he's had a week to rest.

In the meantime, we didn't want to impose on Bill's hospitality with keeping Colt at his place anymore, so I gave permission for the buyer to take him to her place. He's got a nice big paddock and buddies on the other side of the fence. But, here's where some issues start cropping up.

I don't consider Colt to be an extremely hot horse, but he does have energy. She was giving him a twice daily light work in the round pen to keep him moving and leading him all around her place introducing him to the area; you know, bonding. As every day goes by, Colt is beginning to get unmanageable for her. He's spooking at things and trying to bolt and run...who's horse is this???

So, I get a call from the buyer about all of this. We both agree that Colt is probably not the right match for her. She admits that she is not as confident of a rider as she would like to be, but was trying her best to show Colt that she was his leader and the one in charge, but it just got worse every day. And I'm beginning to see that between her lack of confidence and that fact that Colt wasn't running in a 3 acre pasture with another gelding playing all day, was starting to take it's toll on Colt's lil' brain!

I agreed to take him back...GLADLY!!!!!! The last thing I want is for him to not work out and him to get passed onto another buyer...and to who knows worst nightmare...not going to happen to my guy.

But, the hock issue is still of great concern for me, so the buyer is going to take him to his appointment on Wednesday for a flex test on the left hock. If there is any lameness, she will have it x-rayed for me. It'll be cheaper (fuel wise) for me than going and getting him and then taking him to Idaho Equine. Then we're meeting half way between where we live, and I get my boy back!!!

I will be so happy to see this lil' face greeting me every morning again!!

So, I'm thinking of going ahead and using Colt as my 5 year Project horse...those of you in the "horse business"...what do you think? Even if you're not in the business, what do you think?



Anonymous said...

I don't know a thing, but you seem to have a really strong bond with him and he seems to have a lot of ability - if he were mine, I'd keep him! Hope all is well with the hock issue - probably just pulled something a bit with all that work. Good luck with all of that!

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

Its hard to give up a good horse that you've bonded with! I had to do that once, and still waiting for the time I can get her back! Sounds like the two of you have a great bond....I think he'll be a great 5 year project..maybe when its done you'll be able to sell him then once he has quietened down some. Maybe God is telling you something??? I hope his hock problem isnt going to be a problem at all!!! Good luck with whatever you decide!!!! It'll be nice to continue to see his handsome face on your blog and watch his progress!

jane augenstein said...

Oh, I would keep Colt, he loves you and you love him. I couldn't sell him if he were mine. I know that you said you had him for sale but you two seem to be great together, I vote to keep him with you! Just my two cents worth!! :-)
~Jane and Gilly~

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

KEEP HIM! I almost choked when I read that you sold him! You guys are obviously a great match. I'm bad about letting go... just can't do it.

Celeste said...

Sounds to me like fate is taking a hand here, seems that you and Colt are meant to be together. He's a keeper!
I hope his hock is OK.

CTG Ponies said...

Sometimes things happen for a reason. Maybe you were meant to have him for at least your 5 year horse. If you have bonded with him, you should keep him

Kathleen Coy said...

I agree with Celeste. If you were feeling that much pain and sadness, I think that is telling you something.

mugwump said...

I have a pretty realistic approach to selling horses. I have watched horses I've sold go on to great homes and some end up not so great.
As I get older I've realized I pretty much fall for every horse I ride (Big tough trainer I turned out to be.
I have stopped selling. Not that I wouldn't consider serious offers on probably all of them, but I know longer actively buy or sell. I can be happy on who I've got.
On the flip side, if you start Colt on your five year project, than start another one next year and another the year after you'll be able to sell two super horses and keep the best of the three.

Meg Young said...

Keep him! Especially if you have bonded with him and it sounds like you have!

Sydney said...

He seems like a good prospect for the 5 year training.

Country Whispers said...

Colt already had the best home with YOU!
You love him, you give him wonderful training and there is no reason why he shouldn't be YOUR 5 year project. Some things are just meant to be!
Glad your getting him back.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I understand it's just a part of your business, buying, training and selling horses, but I just don't know....there has been something, I can't quite put my finger on, about Colt.

The way you write about him.....and your dreams for him and where you'd like to go with him...have led me to believe he's not just a business deal.

I suggest following your heart, and dare I say, fate?, and traveling that 5 year project together. After it's all over, then you can ask yourself, "What do I do with my 'lil man?"

I have a feeling Colt is going to be one of those 'Once-in-a-lifetime' horses for you, my friend.

Just you wait and see.

(((HUGS))) for your troubled heart, too.


Pony Girl said...

I totally agree with Lisa from Laughing Orca, she and I must be on the same wavelength today! :) Glad to hear his journey is ending at you...for now. Enjoy him while you can and just figure out the rest as it comes.

Ed said...

Thanks, this is the second post I've read today that made me tear up. i think he just missed his MOM, and did what he could to get to come home..:-)

The Wife said...

Sounds like he is returning to where he was meant to be. Glad he's coming home.

Paint Girl said...

Oh my! I totally believe things happen for a reason, it just wasn't meant for Colt to go to a new home! I am so glad he is coming back to you and you will get to enjoy him for many more years to come! Plus I'd miss looking at that gorgous horse of yours!

Reddunappy said...

Hmmm there are some pretty wierd signs that you should keep him, its still a hard chunk of change to give back, even if you didnt get it yet LOL, almost every horse I have had, we have kept until it died. I ceep going round and round, with my health and having two old mares and one young one that is solid as a rock, where the two old ones are the squirrly ones, when our youngest moves out 3 will be to much for me to take care of by myself (((sigh))) my older daughter may take her old mare, but the other one is lame now and I dont want to just give her away. Emma is so good with my stubbles and balance problems, the others spook or flinch I stumble around, not Emma, she just looks at me, so I know she is meant for me at this time. Maybe that is true for Colt too, he is meant for you to finish. Tuff descision. Sounds like he made the choice for you!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Boy it is hard to part with a horse that you really like. I know...I seem to have sold off almost every horse I liked and kept the ones I knew would probably have a difficult life with someone else, usually do to distinctive personalities or soundness issues that I am fine with, but others might not take care of.

This is how I have always looked at it-you are making an outstanding horse, that someone, somewhere will eventually click with, love and appreciate. Just because one person, the first person, did not work, does not mean that someone else won't. You are not trying to dump him, you are looking for a home for him. That takes awhile. Especially when you don't advertise. I have always sold my horses by word of mouth and that works for me.
I've also found that once you get out and about with a horse, there is always someone who falls in love with them and wants them. Colt is a gorgeous horse and you are putting a high level of training on him. Someone..the right someone will come along.

Mikey said...

I say keep him!!! He is SO good looking :)

hillybillyfarmgirl said...

I'd also say KEEP HIM! You got him as an investment but money is not everything... I just hope his hock is okay though, and if his hocks are a week spot for him in the work, make sure to train the right muscle groups for support of the hocks. He will keep growing until he is 7 yrs old, (every horse does) so take it easy with him so he can last longer then the 5yr project timeframe. Enjoy your horse! :))

Shirley said...

Oh I am so glad that walking away Colt is coming home Colt! I've owned many horses over the years and that special bond is rare; the one horse that I had it with was Coyote Belle's mother; I lost her to a broken leg. Beamer is becoming my second chance at that wonderful bond. I think that you are doing the right thing; just throw away that for sale sign! You are Colt's perfect home.

thecrazysheeplady said...

We just sold Attie - the well broke, quiet, pretty bay and white paint mare with the outstanding pedigree... so that I could keep the black and white, still no name gelding that got dumped on us this past winter - a throwaway from everyone that's had him - who's an 8 year old 2 year old with a stout, reining horse (read good bucking potential ;-) build and no training, but who, if I'm sitting out in the field filling a water tank, will stand over me and fall asleep. If you cry when they're leaving, that's your sign. No tears, but a thank you to Attie as she left (to a great home). Enjoy him. Colt probably knew what he was doing ;-).

wilsonc said...

Not in the horsetraining and selling business, so take it for what it's worth. I'm not finished hearing stories about you and Colt, and I don't think your finished telling them. Keep him.

Broken Y said...

Our God is perfect and He wants to give us the desires of our heart, according to His will. I think that given everything that has happened, your desire has been hauling your hiney around all this time!


kdwhorses said...

Girl I had every emotion in this post! Crying, happiness! I'm sorry it didn't work out with the new owner, but I feel he came back to you for a reason! I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. I know and you can see you and "Colt" have a bond. I think you should use him as your project no doubt! ((HUGS))

kdwhorses said...

BTW~hubby took "Willis" yesterday to daywork with, he also took "Roo" just in case they needed to rope the bulls. Anyway, he rode "Willis" all day moving bulls and penning the bulls and he was so proud. He even told me I am doing a good job! This is the 1st time he has ridden him since I started training him. For my hubby to say that, made me feel great! He said you know he has a nice stop! LOL!

C-ingspots said...

Well, thanks for the good tearing up session this morning at the thought that you had sold your beloved Coltster. I was so heartbroken at the thought, and just couldn't imagine how you could have done it. Then with much happiness and relief when I found out he had found a way back home to his mom. Horses come and go in life, there's a lot of good ones out there but...true and willing partners aren't that easy to find. You and Colt are partners. You know it, and he knows it...even fate knows it. At least for now. I say, use him for the project horse, you're building on a beautiful partnership and in time, if you really want to relocate him, the right and perfect new person and home will just appear, and you will know in your heart. Everything happens for a reason. Take your time Karen, and in the meantime, enjoy Colt. He's totally cool!

Anonymous said...

I think YOU know in your heart if he's the horse you want for your project horse or whether you need to find the right owner for him. Listen to it.

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