Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I have found The One.

The possible equine partner mentioned in the last post has met with the approval of all the unbiased third parties.

So, meet Tang.
At the end of "our" lesson - Stonepony Dressage, Redmond, OR

She's 1/2 Belgian, 1/2 Quarterhorse. Her mother was a PMU mare (used to produce Premarin...). If you didn't know it (cuz I told you), you'd think she was a small Belgian - the quarterhorse is not apparent at all. Her full name is Tanqueray (there is a pony where she lives called Tonic...")

She's 10, and has a lot of experience as a trail horse, lessons for kids, but mainly has been ridden Western. She has really nice gaits, and with work, she'll show them more often!

The first time I rode her was a couple of weeks ago. She's staying at a friend of Correy's in Bend. Correy had told me she was 1/2 belgian, but I forgot. When we got there I was surprised, since for some reason I thought we were seeing a more "refined" horse. Tang hadn't been ridden, or out of her paddock for over 7 months. We show up, put a dressage saddle on her, and I climb on and go. I was impressed with her willingness, her steadiness and the way she felt under me. I must have had a "look" on my face - Correy asked me what I was feeling.

I said, "I feel safe."

That was huge. After Annie, and all the others, I found the one... The downside - her owner hadn't decided to sell her yet. So I kept looking, and Correy's friend kept working on the owner.

Finally, last Friday, I got a message with the owner's phone #, and what she'd decided to ask for her. I called, and asked if I could take her to my lesson to get her professionally evaluated. That was fine.

So today, I showed up with my trailer, and she wouldn't get in. We tried, and tried, but no go. So I parked my trailer in the pasture, hitched up the trailer she was used to and we tried again. With some effort, we were successful. It helps to allow at least an hour for these kinds of contingencies. I was wondering how I was going to get her back in, but figured with 3 people, we could do it.

I took her to my riding lesson, meeting another friend there (we were going to carpool, but didn't). When I got her out of the trailer, she looked around as if to say, "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." But she calmly looked around, noted the horses in their pastures, and the riding lesson in progress. I got the saddle on, got the bridle arranged (mine doesn't fit, so had to use a loaner), and Nancy (my instructor) and Laree (my carpool bud) pronounced her Darling.

Turns out she has more training than is evident from the story of her life - she knows how to lounge (going around in circles on a long line). Nancy worked her both directions, got a nice trot, and a passable canter. Then I got on. She's going to take a lot of work to keep going, since it's hard work for her (and she hasn't had to do any for quite awhile)!! Since I'm recovering from asthmatic bronchitis, I have no wind. I can ride the walk just fine, but I'm only good for about 1/2 of the arena at the trot, and then I'm gasping!

After the lesson, I explained that I might need help getting her back into the trailer. Nancy supplied carrots, and after one false start, Tang got right in. She got another carrot before I got out of the trailer.

It's pretty ironic - for the last 7 weeks, I've been all over the state of Oregon looking at horses. Of the 12 that I considered (3 of which were not in Oregon), I've only ridden 3. I got kicked by one (didn't ride that one and crossed her off the list), and most of the other ones were unsuitable for one reason or another (usually body structure).  So where do I find the horse of my dreams?

45 miles away...

1 comment:

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

She's very pretty Laura, glad you found each other :)