In which Patty needs a horse that's not too tall, not too green, not too nuts...
It's been a long road to travel, looking for Patty's new horse.
|Shoulder too steep, length of stride too short|
We started back in August, reading Craigslist and Dreamhorse and trying to sort out the horses that were worth driving to see from the horses that are not suitable.
The Village People helped with horse selection, of course. We spent endless hours combing through conformation photos, text descriptions, and a wide variety of videos.
HINT: a video should show the horse moving. Not just the horse's head. The WHOLE horse.
You would be amazed how many people don't "get" that.
When we found something that seemed likely, a couple of the Usual Suspects would go look at a horse.
If we liked what we saw, we'd shoot our OWN pictures and videos and send them to Dory.
|If she says a horse is "cute", we gotta go find another horse.|
If she liked the horse IRL, then we'd send pics and video stuff to the vet.
|Jerry has been Patty's vet for more than 25 years. We trust his judgement.|
If the vet liked the pictures and videos, he'd come out and evaluate.
Jerry was an endurance vet for a long time--he is the person who suggested that Dory and Patty might enjoy the sport. That was a few years ago.
We weren't just looking at the physical, although that was the "first line of defense." Patty needs a horse that's not only capable of doing the job (endurance), she also needs a horse that is short (so she can get on when she's tired and a horse that is well-sprung to support her poor knees.
|Base-narrow in front (and lame because of it)|
I'm not so good at the physical evaluation (although I've learned a lot from the shopping process). I do look at feet, and crossed several horses off the list when I saw wonky angles or crumbly horn tissue. A bad trim is correctable, but an endurance horse needs a good basic foot to do the work.
River came from a local rescue after getting hauled out of a bad situation a few years ago. She is probably about seven years old, and probably mostly but not entirely Arabian. She can be registered as a Pinto. Her weight is now good, and her ground-work is good. She has not yet been started under saddle...that should happen this week!
|Smart, personable, food-oriented|
And she makes us smile.