Horses tried: 12
States visited: 3
Videos watched: 792,431
I’ll say it, horse shopping is the worst.
I know, I know; cry me a river. But seriously, it’s THE WORST. You spend every free moment scouring websites, glued to facebook groups, and reaching out to trainers. Then you finally find a few that have some semblance of balance, get there and find out that they can’t pick up a canter lead. Or they’re scared of the cross ties.
I tried two who couldn’t stand at the mounting block. One who spooked after mounting up. Spooked hard, y’all. One who almost left the arena. Two appointments who didn’t show me the horses I came for. One horse was so uncomfortable that my back hurt for a week. One person tried to bully me into buying a horse site unseen, he was supposedly on his way over from Europe – turns out he wasn’t on his way at all. Another bought a horse at auction and then added $40k to his resale price a month later. One large scale video seller refused to let me schedule a barn visit. Need I go on?
How does anyone do this professionally? It’s exhausting.
I do wonder if I might feel differently if I didn’t have my Fritzy. (but sidenote: it did take me a year to find him and I hated it then too) He’s made me realize things that I absolutely 100% need in a forever friend, and some things I would rather do without. I’ll admit that I’m much more risk averse this time around. When I bought Fritz, I thought if we didn’t vibe together, it was no big deal. He was nice enough that I could sell him to someone he suited better. But now I’m afraid that even if I wanted to look at it that way again, what if the next one has navicular changes or doesn’t acclimate to Florida well or some other thing that would make him unsaleable. I’m petrified to end up with two “retirees.”
I have to admit, I’m starting to get a bit discouraged that I won’t find my match. I’ve tried everyone I can locally and just visited some in California which was largely a disaster. So now I have to decide, do I visit the two in Illinois, the one in Kentucky, the three in Maryland… and risk the airfare and 98% chance of being disappointed? Or do I travel to Europe and come home a bit pooped but likely find a horse?
Europe just seems so… excessive. If you know what I mean. I’m not that fancy, I don’t need some crazy-talented Valegro duplicate. I feel like I should be able to find an American horse to fit my criteria. Sigh. Are you out there, horse?