Monday, December 24, 2018

Project pony

I think this is the third Christmas where Theo greeted me with a missing shoe. 

if you don't want to be in prison, QUIT THROWING YOUR SHOES

Fine, fine, take a holiday.  See if I care.  And to make matters worse, we were supposed to have a jumping lesson.  I got carried away building jumps on Sunday and left the course up so we could have a nice break from being serious business dressage types.  Theo decided one day of course work was enough and there we were.

At least we got to jump them one time before I had to take them down

And we had such a nice jump ride on Sunday.  Dang it.  I chucked him in a stall and Trainer A gave me some options if I still wanted to ride.  I picked the new resident green bean, a red roan named Dolce.

Hello, apprehensive pony

Dolce is ten and has very little in the way of career skills or experience.  He walks, trots, kinda canters.  He was originally marketed as a trail horse.  He had some jumping training at some point, or so the story goes, but it's clearly long gone.  Mostly he's cute and has been trading on his potential for a long time.  He's on a free lease while his mom welcomes a new baby and changes jobs.  He's also on the market, but it's harder to sell cute with no career skills, especially when they're ten years old.  This is how he ended up at the barn as a free lease.  He is used in some lessons but he's mostly there to get some miles and learn a job.

He has a very delicate little mind.  Everything new is just not okay.  His world is rocked very easily.  He's mostly hung out at a private barn with no activity.  I brought him into the upper barn and that was enough to get him snorting.  He's used to the lower barn!  His ground manners are fine, but he's convinced he's going to die all the time.  Quite herd bound.  A motorcycle came by as we were heading to the ring and he completely lost his mind.  Like trying to bolt down the road and drag me with him lost his mind.  Ugh.

The crazy part is that he's being priced by his owner at upper 4 figures.  He's cute but come on, he can't do much more than trot around looking cute.  Today we worked on trotting on the rail like a gentleman and not diving toward the center at any opportunity.  Or dragging me toward any other horse in the ring.  At 10 he's starting to age out of the 'prospect' category.

While discussing Dolce's price, one of the teens who rides Baby Pony asked what that pony would be valued at.  I shrugged and said I'd price him at $15,000 and take the best offer over $10,000.  He's a solid Beginner Novice pony that will jump anything, pops over 3' fences without batting an eyelash, goes for gallops on the beach, hunter paces, jumps in the ring all day, takes a joke, works great for a kid, is a total cuddle bug with lots of cute points, and has uncommonly nice movement.  If he wasn't an appy and 15h he'd be worth more.  He's also only seven so he's in the prime age.

 Can you believe the Baby Pony is all grown up and taking beginners out to jump cross country?

I saw her face fall and I felt terrible.  The teen is in love with him, has been leasing him for over a year and taking him to three phase shows.  Afterward I heard her bitterly saying to a friend that she'd never be able to own him.  It's rough, but the fact is that he's more valuable than my fancy dancy dressage pony.  He's versatile, could excel in several disciplines, and is half Theo's age.  He would easily sell as a BN packer with room to move up.

Baby Pony is not on the market, he's too hard to replace, but I understand the teen's feelings.  Of course she wants a horse of her own and she wants it to be the fun, sweet pony where she's built such a great relationship.  But that's what he's valued at in this area.

This whole price discussion and the green bean ride resonated with me because lately I've had the urge to take on a project.  Not as a Theo replacement, absolutely not.  We have things to do and he is my love.  I enjoy just hanging with him, giving him attention and letting him play with my hair and huff in my ear.  He's so much fun to ride now since he has a very complete set of buttons.  The urge to play with a project stems more from not wanting to forget how.  Some day, hopefully far in the future, I'll need my next horse.  It'll be a prospect.  I, like my teen friend, can't afford the finished product.  It would be terrible if I forgot how to take a prospect to a finished product.

Still a work in progress

Dolce may be a practice project for me.  I'm still discussing it with Trainer A to see if it makes sense.  There's also a school pony in the wings that needs to find his own child.  He's not happy as a school pony anymore.  He'll need some polish so he can land a good home, some show outings, etc.  He's a cutie, it could be fun.  I haven't prepped a pony for sale in a long time.  I'll have to get on top of my diet again, he's not a big pony.  I look fine on him, but I sure won't want to put any extra weight on him.

 It'll be good to ride something green and totally different.  I'll certainly appreciate Theo more after riding a horse so damn clueless.  Seriously, pony, it's called steering!  Don't run into things!


  1. Catch riding the "prospects" is a great way to knock the rust off before taking on another financially.