Every morning I walk a couple miles. I used to walk indoors on the treadmill watching CNN (I’m a news junkie) but for the last month, I’ve actually been walking outside in the neighborhood. I can walk twice as far without getting bored and sometimes I am fortunate to be accompanied by my neighbor Cheryl (who is also on the crew for the TV show). Lucy, my Westie, has learned to love the walks as much as I do.
It’s great to be home this weekend but today will be bittersweet. We will say goodbye to two geldings, Tucker and Tequlo, who will load in the semi-van on their long road trip to central California to their new home. It will only be bittersweet because Rich will say goodbye to Tucker, his beloved gelding who is on his way to his new “retirement” home. After being a show horse for 10+ years, we are happy that he will get to serve out his next decade on easy street.
Once Rich realized that he didn’t have time in his day to ride two horses, we started talking about what kind of home we would want Tucker to go to and what type of human would best appreciate his solid gold temperament and stellar training. We toyed with many scenarios before we settled on the perfect one for Tucker and were fortunate to find a family that fit the bill to a T and they jumped on the offer to buy him. Tucker has been a cutter/reiner for all of his show career, so you might expect that at 15, his joints would be shot like mine. I knew they weren’t because in the 3 years we’ve had him he’s been sound as a dollar (maybe that’s a bad pun) and healthy as a horse. We were happy to see him fly through his vet exam with flying colors and happy to know his new owner will have many good years left on him. He’s been on Cosequin ASU for the past few years and I am sold on that joint supplement!
Congratulations to Peggy and Rod on their new horses, both fine geldings. It’s a lot easier to send Tucker off with his old buddy Tequlo, who will be Rod’s new fun Western project. After riding jumping horses for the past few years, he’s excited to learn cutting and he couldn’t have made a better choice than to buy a finished 9 y/o cutter, who also happens to be drop-dead gorgeous and very gentle.
I love buying and selling horses and it is sort of my hobby. I don’t really make much money off of it by the time I pay all the costs of keeping horses but I sure love to find really nice horses and pair them up with the perfect new owner so that both are blissfully happy together. I grew up in an environment where we traded horses all the time, so this comes natural to me. We had one or two horses that were keepers, like the old Morgan broodmare (my first horse), but my dad constantly bought and sold horses in search of the perfect gelding—of which we’ve had a lot of.
Old wisdom says that you are lucky to have one really good horse in your lifetime, but I know I’ve had more than my share. I’ve got one perfect gelding now and I’ve had several others in the last 35 years since the old Morgan died when I was 14. And I’ve sold quite a few dream horses to people that now have their horse of a lifetime. I just bought a palomino gelding that will be someone’s perfect horse. What’s been your experience? Have you had that horse of a lifetime? Have you had more than one?
Most of the people I deal with in my business are loathe to sell a horse and move on to a new mount, even when it has become painfully obvious, literally, that they are mounted on the wrong horse. When do you know if you’ve got the wrong horse? Maybe when the medical bills surpass the purchase price of the horse?
If you are in the sport for the lifetime and especially if you have big goals in your riding, you’ll find that you’ll need a succession of horses to fit your needs throughout the years. You will outgrow your beginner-safe first horse and need to upgrade to something with more training and maybe more get up and go; this pattern will continue throughout your riding career. It’s unreasonable to think you would keep all those horses and chances are the horses would be happier in a home where they get attention and feel useful. Moving on to a new horse should not be seen as a failure or abandonment, but a commencement for both you and your horse. Would you agree?
Enjoy the ride,