My Kingdom for a Horse

Is it me, or has the horse sale market been insane lately? My sweet older Appendix Chance hasn’t been himself for over a year now, and about 8 months ago, I surrendered to the fact that it’s time to retire my handsome chestnut and find a new riding partner <see footnote below>.

It’s been a hot decade since I’ve looked at getting a new horse, and in my naivety, I thought my budget was pretty hefty for a buddy that can do lower level dressage, trail ride, maybe some low adult hunters, etc. I wasn’t looking for a fancy sport horse, just an all around youngish, sound horse with a good brain. No problem, right?? WRONG.

I started with word of mouth at local barns or with local trainers. Horses that were in my budget not 2 years ago are now 3 -4 times the cost. What happened? I heard that perhaps during COVID when people were not going into the city to work, or being forced to stay home and isolate, people either started riding or became more interested in their weekend warrior habit. I suppose riding is naturally socially distanced. Nearby horses and their board cost an arm and a leg, and perhaps a kidney too. Recently boarding fees total more than most people’s rents, and horses have price tags that have more zeroes than sports cars. As I cannot afford to raid the kid’s college fund, I would just have to be more creative in my search.

At today’s inflated market this leaves me with limited options in my area -either find an older statesman (but soon to be retired – I can’t have another one of those), a sour schoolie or find a baby and train it up. (That would most likely land me in the hospital, as I simply do not have those skills.)

I expanded my search parameters; I scanned every horse listing on every facebook horse group, every online horse sale page, every classified on Craigslist. Did I need to travel to Oregon to test out a new horse without my trainer, pay for an unknown vet for a PPE, and then ship it 3000 miles only to find it has kissing spine? I looked at every breed, every conformation, every size. You name it, I considered it. I looked at horse finding trip airfares to Florida, Ohio, Colorado and British Colombia. I Google-mapped routes to western Pennsylviania, Kentucky, Ontario. My poor trainer had to screen every listing I sent her prompting her to politely tell me “do not to buy without trying” about 5 times per week. My search consumed my evenings late into the night.

I took a step back and a deep breath. I’m a blessed person to have a horse in the first place, so I needed to recalibrate and count my lucky stars and thank God for everything I have. I will find my new partner, just not now, and just like that, my stress level went down, and a new opportunity opened up.

My friend rides at a show barn with an excellent reputation. One of their clients had her experienced, sweet and super solid chestnut gelding available for a partial lease. I jumped on the opportunity. He’s perfection and I’m so happy to have such a sweet horse to ride while my search goes on hiatus for now. I will enjoy what I have, ride Chance when he’s feeling ok, and hug my kids and doggies and be thankful that I have such a great family. If God trots another permanent partner my way, all the better.

What are your experiences? What the horse market look like around you? Where do you think the market is going?

<footnote: As soon as I said out loud I was going to get a new horse, Chance decided that he didn’t feel so lame and was somewhat ridable again. I think he knew I was looking. As soon as I decided to wait little longer until purchase, he immediately went lame again – so all I can do with him at this writing is tack walk. Funny how that works….:)>

Life after Lame

I’m sure many of us have been there. You’re riding and something feels wrong. Are you pulling on the reins too much? Is your seat not right? Are you out of balance? I naturally go to what I’m doing wrong (which is the usual suspect), but this time, it was Chance’s leg that gave out.

Chance is my steady Eddie…the Golden Retriever of horses; forever an ambassador for the equine species to kids and adult beginners and husbands alike. To see him out of action breaks my heart. His gait was never completely even, but this seems different, like we won’t ever do that training level dressage class we were working towards.

Chance has a bad stifle (the rescue where I adopted him said it was because of an injury as a colt…we’ll never know for sure). There seems to be quite a bit of arthritis in the joint, and it’s basically taken all summer to for him to feel up to trotting at a good clip for more than 20 minutes; we’ve yet to canter.

I’m left wondering if he’ll ever be back to normal, but then I think will I? My back and neck have arthritis and hurt every other day. I’ve been feeling carpal tunnel start in my wrists of late, and I have to struggle to keep off that last 5 pounds these last few years. As we age together, I’m happy to fight for every canter, trot and trail ride we have left. With enough Advil for me and bute for him, there is definitely life after lame!

xo

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Hermés Craftsmanship

Hermés craftsman, Monsieur Goblet, is featured in this documentary short.

I was mesmerized watching how much detail, work, time, perfection and ultimately love go into Hermés bespoke saddles. In fact, it was so beautiful, I felt the need to share it with my equestrian readers. Monsieur Goblet’s every hand movement is like watching a musician on their instrument. When he’s done, his masterpiece can be ridden in for generations.

Hermés has a wonderfully curated YouTube channel; definitely binge-worthy. The saddle above is the Hermés Arpege Dressage Saddle.

Simply amazing.

xo

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Story of an exceptional saddle-maker at Hermès

Merry Christmas!

christmashorseandbaby

May your holiday be filled with love and happiness, and yes, maybe a horse or two :). We spent the days before Christmas with our buddies Chance and Ron, who didn’t complain that they got their presents a couple days early.  A belly full of candy canes kept Ronnie from wanting to work ;). Today, after a big present-opening extravaganza, our tummies will be treated to a prime rib roast (Happy Christmas to me), some hot toddies and old-timey Christmas music. Nothing better.

Please share how you spend Christmas with your family (or post videos/pictures) in the comments – I love to hear different family traditions.

xo

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The Dressage Collection Trotter Tote, Classical Perfection

Dressage Collection - Large Trotter Tote - my new favorite bag! http://www.dressagecollection.com/collections/bridle-collection
Dressage Collection – Large Trotter Tote – my new favorite bag! http://www.dressagecollection.com/collections/bridle-collection

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Dressage Collection, let me introduce you to an instant classic. Inspired by equestrian style, founder and president Charles Chehebar designs his bags and leather accessories with quality, taste and craftsmanship in mind. Each bag is created by hand by Italian artisans, as a labor of love. I recently discovered the Trotter Tote at the Dressage Collection’s booth at the Hamptons Classic and I was instantly in love. The leather is butter soft with ample room and pockets for all your needs. I’m drawn to the Graphite color, as it is a perfect neutral for fall and can really go with just about anything (except, perhaps a cocktail dress or formal gown), but comes in several other options. I love how this is relaxed and cool at the same time has structure, for a more lady-like look. Purchase online, $1595.

They have a line of luggage, which is absolutely to die for – who wouldn’t want to travel the world with these babies:

For the more discerning client, Charles designs custom bags and accessories by appointment at their Manhattan location. More information can be found here.

Photos courtesy DressageCollection.com.

xo

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Okay EventionTV, you’ve done it again….LOVE it.

Just love the Schramms!

xo

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Tuesday Giggles

For my horsey readers…cute.

xo,
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