Meet The Bay

Oh, the road that led me to Fritzydoodle.  I rode eventers in a past life, giving up my favorite pastime like a dolt during college. I made the journey from California to Massachusetts for school and found a dressage barn outside Boston to call home for a little while. But as working /partying / studying students often find, time ran short for all-consuming activities like horses. I went to school for entrepreneurship and dove right in after graduation so it’s been about six years (seven?) since I rode consistently. Crazy, right?

We moved to Vero Beach, Florida three years ago and about halfway in, I realized that it was time for ponies to come back into my life and I leased a dressage horse last year to get my feet wet after so many years off. He was lovely, but he was a tiny little thing and it was time for me to find my forever friend. Disclaimer: Buying a horse maaaay not be the most recommended course of action if you’re as busy as I am, but I haven’t regretted it once since he’s been here. 💙

I started looking locally, I do live in south Florida after all – the fancy horse capital of the U.S. With a budget that seemed massive to me, I set out on the hunt. Searching for a tall, nice mover with a snuggly disposition. I soon realized that I was only able to spend a pittance in comparison to the going rate for 17hh schoolmasters. The height requirement for my leggy 5’9″ frame quickly priced out most ideal candidates. Apparently people like to put a lot of moula into those big gorgeous movers, go fig. Every horse within budget that allllmost fit the bill was too aged to be a long term partner. I’m a forever owner, so whoever came home was not going to leave me anytime soon {insert creepy laugh here} so I wanted to make sure that we could have a nice long riding career together. That magical 7 year old lanky unicorn just didn’t seem to float my way.

I found few candidates in the states that I could afford, so I started looking abroad. I had it down to two, and could not decide between the very different geldings for months. I finally settled on one and he didn’t pass the vet. Neither did the next three after him, including two local horses. It was not a fun time. In my mad hunt, I found a broker in the UK that was representing some horses out of a German barn. I’d missed out on a gorgeous gelding they had but low and behold the magic of Facebook and YouTube, Fritz came waltzing onto my computer screen. He is a 2011 Hanoverian gelding by Fürstenball out of Lady-Lou, a Londonderry mare. And he’s 17 hands of dark bay magic.

It took me two months to decide between the first two candidates, it took about two hours to decide on Fritz. Within a few more days, I had more videos and had him scheduled for screening. It was love at first trot.
But the nerves kicked in soon after. As soon as I sent the deposit and the entire month that I waited for him, I worried that I was cray cray and made a mistake. Then when he arrived, I worried that he out-horsed me.

Admittedly, he is much younger than what would best suit my abilities and lifestyle and as soon as he stepped off the truck from quarantine, his sensitive nature was apparent. My guy is gorgeous, but make no mistake he is a baby. He is terribly unsure of himself and is constantly worried about his surroundings. Thankfully, he is sweet as pie and thinks through problems. He panics slightly, but relaxes and comes back to you as soon as he realizes the world isn’t ending. He’s been here just over four months and I’m pleased to say he’s settled in nicely! I’ll tell you more about our last few months’ adventures later, it’s been quite interesting.

During my worried/waiting phase, I told myself that if he arrived and was too much for me, I could find a better owner for him. Some ambitious young pro would love a horse with those gaits to produce and make a name for themselves. But the thing is, as much as a developed horse with a bag of tricks would be great, this is my guy.

I’m not a big proponent of fate, but as weird as it sounds after only a few months together, I think I am meant to be his owner. I’m meant to be his advocate. Without sounding like a crazy mommy who thinks my 1400 lb horse is a delicate flower, he is incredibly sensitive. Much more so than any horse I’ve ever known. There is a time and place to be stern and enforce boundaries, of course, but he needs to absorb each experience in his own time. I once read an interview in which Laura Graves said that many professionals told her to move on from Diddy, that she had to lunge every ride until his seventh year. But she understood him, saw the potential and helped him find his way. Now, I’m no Laura, and he’s no Diddy. But I think we can become a team and better athletes with a little patience, practice and help from a boatload of professionals. 

The happy news; this horse has personality to spare and I love his face.  He’s incredibly affectionate, listens attentively and while he might step out of line every now and then as a baby would, he always wants to please you. He’s incredibly intelligent and thus busy… he’s the silly Cookie Monster of the barn who convinces his older (usually sensible) neighbors that playing fly-mask-away is priority #1. He will follow you around the stall while you muck, requesting scratches on his favorite spots. And while he’ll get nervous about a saddle pad that falls off the rack, he’ll stand patiently for the important stuff like the farrier and dentist. He’s a conundrum, and it’s swell.

Plus, he’s one handsome pile of fuzz. Let’s discuss that important detail…

Fritzy in Germany with his sales rider:

The travelling pony arrives in Florida:  

 He traveled from Amsterdam to quarantine in Miami via The Dutta Corporation who I would highly recommend. They were phenomenal and he was in excellent shape when he arrived. Of course, being the posh pony that he is, he flew first class and in a fun twist, he had the opportunity to talk shop with quite the accomplished flight-mate. The Hanoverian stallion Sandronnerhall was acquired by syndicate for Adrienne Lyle and happened to come over on the same flight as my little dumpling. Hopefully he picked up some tips from Sandronnerhall!

I’m looking forward to getting to know even more all the quirks and silliness he has hidden in his whiskers, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride!

xo, L

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