Tuesday, June 30, 2015

And Then There Was One

It is very strange having one horse. I have not had one horse in many, many years... Misty went to her new temporary home on Sunday. It was very much a whirlwind and snap decision. The vet I used to work for is an eventer and she is looking for a new horse for her daughter. Her daughter's horse is older and recently went lame with a soft tissue injury, so she won't likely be back to work for some time a least.

They were competing at the Inavale HT and messaged me at 10pm on Saturday night. "Can you bring Misty out to Inavale so we can try her out? Would you be interested in leasing her for the summer? We'd compete her at recognized shows, take lessons twice a week and ride almost every day." My truck's brakes have been kind of iffy, so I told her I'd rather she came out to my barn. She responded with "Oh, KP can drive (my vet friend down the road from my barn)".

So bright and early on Sunday morning we headed out to Inavale. I gave Misty a quick bath since she was filthy and warned SH that she hadn't been ridden in a month. She was pretty naughty when I warmed her up, wanting to canter when I asked for a trot, giving me a sassy head toss on occasion and throwing in little crow hops while cantering.

SH's daughter got on and rode her around. I was very surprised at what a green rider she was since I knew she'd been eventing all season. KP gave her a mini lesson to get her to soften through her shoulders and elbows as she was really stiff and 'holding' Misty too much. She really needs an elastic connection because if you brace, she will brace as well. KP also taught her how to turn Misty as she was using big opening reins to ask for a turn, the kind you use for a green or baby horse. Misty was slightly confused why she was being so obvious with her cues. KP told her "That is not how you turn a trained horse" then proceeded to explain the outside rein cue.

By the end she was getting some good trot work, with Misty flexing at the poll and doing nice serpentines. It's going to take some work, but I know this girl will learn a lot from Misty as she's never ridden a horse who knows how to do flat work. I just hope it's a good experience for Misty as well, which I think it will be. She'll get ridden much more often than I would, she'll get in shape, she'll be jumped regularly, and she'll get a competition record at recognized horse trials with a junior rider. I think it will be good (I'm just continually telling myself that because I'm so nervous).

The really negative part of this deal is that SH was very firm on the fact that Misty will be getting shoes and her mane will be cut and pulled to dressage length. I'm pretty heartbroken over this fact. But everyone (SH, KP, and her trainer and other onlookers) were adamant that horses have to have shoes in order to compete, which irks me to no end. Plus her mane is gorgeous and so easy to just braid in a running braid, but her "trainer hates running braids".

So it's definitely got some negative aspects to the deal. But at least she'll still show Misty to potential buyers, I can potentially increase her sale price as she gets a show record, and Misty will be paid attention to. And the added benefit of not having to pay for the feed/board of a second horse and now I can focus on Jetta!

But I already really, really miss Misty. I had so many plans with her this summer: sorting events, a trail competition series, a dressage show in two weeks (that I now have to get refunded... hopefully), a combined test we were going to go to, and of course trail/beach rides with friends. 

Going to miss this girl!