Thursday, October 3, 2019

Dreaming of a cob

What kind of horse do I want next?

The obvious answer is purpose bred warmblood with dressage lines.  Trainer Z does have this luscious Oldenburg stallion at stud.  He has a performance record up to Grand Prix, is sweet as pie, and Theo approves.  That's a pretty special recommendation.  He's ridden and handled by ammies all the time, complete with teaching adult ammies how to do Grand Prix stuff.  He's got babies on the ground that look very nice. 

Hello, Muffin

But let's be honest.  When push comes to shove, what kind of horse actually meshes with me?  Not what I dream about but the ones that land in my life and stay because they work for me.  Based on time span of partnership, fun, and amount of progress made, I like them sturdy, stubborn, hairy, and smart.  Wicked smaht.

Left: My first pony and partner of seven years, Open Gates Secretariat, a 10h Sec A Welsh Pony (holy terror)
Right:  My partner of almost five years, Expect the Unexpected, a 16.2h American Warmblood (PITA)

I like to dream about big, beautiful warmbloods that float around and get an 8 for gaits.  Who doesn't?  I've ridden several and enjoyed them.  When reality hits, I realize that I don't want a 17h gorgeous beast where I'm forever struggling to keep up.  I don't need the intimidation that comes with having so much talent and always feeling like you're getting in the way.  I'm not going to the CDIs or the Olympics.  I don't need to be that high up in the air, either.  What I dream of is having another Theo but without the years of bad handling and about a hand shorter.  Maybe two hands shorter.  There's a lot to be said for being close to the ground, especially when there's no mounting block handy and your hip makes that weird noise.

Smart, stubborn, lots of hair, around 14.2h . . . that sounds like a large native pony.  Good news, I am still very pony sized and have lots of history with training ponies of various kinds.  I cannot resist a chance to get on a pony.

Left:  Me at 25 or so riding Tanks A Lot, a 14.1h Hafflinger cross pony jumper and some how I lost my hairnet
Right:  Me at 39 goofing around on a pony of unknown breeding that's probably around 13h and I've clearly given up on style at this point

I loved both of my Thoroughbreds with all my heart but I think I'm destined for a Welsh cob.  Like Cob Jockey's Welsh cob. Or Eventing Saddlebred Style's new baby.  I think the wheel needs to turn all the way over and land me with another pony that I can love on.  Hopefully I'll fall off a lot less now that I'm an adult and have learned how to kick effectively.  I'm deeply, painfully aware of the pony 'tude that comes with a lot of native pony breeds.

This looks so familiar.  It's me every time I try to hand walk Theo.

Terri dumped me three times in just one show, adorable little terror that he was.  Theo has me well trained for handling a partner with very developed senses of self preservation and fairness.  Tell a gelding, ask a stallion, negotiate with a mare, pray with a pony.  There are days when I think there's some native pony hidden in Theo's pedigree.

It's amazing how dreams change as you embrace your limitations.  I realized something while watching the very nice horses at the KWPN keuring.  I didn't want one.  I'm not competition focused enough to pick a horse specifically for showing in dressage.  I spend almost as much time jumping as I do dressage-ing.  I like western dressage, going for gallops on the beach, riding backwards with no saddle, etc.  There's a lot of different things I want my partners to do, up to and including walking through fire.

Mad man with a gas can in action

Theo's about to turn sixteen.  If I'm going to get a youngster, which is the plan, I need to get my butt in gear if I want to have someone of riding age when Theo is ready to step down.  I've never bought a horse with a pedigree.  Or a breeder.  This is a weird new world.


  1. It's always good to be honest with ourselves - I know the horse for me is a Thoroughbred through and through and if I decide to buy a horse for keeps again I will definitely go get another TB.

  2. I'm obviously partial to Welsh Cobs :) I love, love, love my new girl, but I won't lie, I wish I could have found a suitable dressage prospect cob instead.

  3. Yaaaaaaaaaaas! I am here to enable. I love them for all the same reasons you stated - athletic enough to go pretty far, short enough to make life easier, and also super safe as a result of being very people-oriented. Of course they're all individuals, but having gotten to know dozens of them over the past ten years, I feel confident in my assessment at this point.

    Seriously though - if you want to meet a few in person, play with babies, trail ride a couple of them, take a lesson on Connor, or chat bloodlines with his breeder, I'd love to have you out for a weekend. Airport pickup, gourmet husband cooking, pony rides, whole nine yards. Basically get yourself here and I'll cheerfully take care of the rest! Hit me up at my spam address if you're interested, jalean one one at gmail dot com.

    1. Ah, you had me at babies and gourmet husband cooking! I'll hit you up when I'm doing flailing at my life choices and second guessing myself. I definitely would like to meet Connor!

  4. I rode Welsh Cobs as a Junior. I actually put the first rides on this guy (MANY MOONS AGO)

    he turned into such a cool dude. I wish he had been mine and I had kept him forever hahaha

  5. Does the Stud muffin have a name? WowsersQ

    1. That's Landsong. One of his fillies just got AHS/ARS Overall Inspection Site Filly Champion this weekend.

  6. Oooooh I looked hard at cobs but ZB was the right horse at the right time. Best of luck!