Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Perfect Horse

Is there a perfect horse?
I'm scanning the online ads again. TC may or may not be coming home with me, so in the meantime I'm beefing up my search. As I read the ads, I have a set of questions in my head. A lot of owners, me included put a lot of thought and information into their ads. Their horses will do almost anything...but....insert bad quality here. 
After going through it with Desi for nearly a year, a year I will hardly forget- I've come to the conclusion that buying a horse in this years market is unlike any other horse market....ever.
Here's why...
Growing up we (the collective we) all had horses. We paid little for them and rode the snot out of them, then bought another. We asked if they were broke- that meant ' has he had a saddle and bridle on him?'. That is it. That is all.
Then we all learned to listen to horses, to whisper to them and to play games with them. We came to expect that every horse was worth a million dollars and was perfect. And if it wasn't- well we could go to any number of clinics to make them perfect- to fix our flaws as owners and riders. It's always the owners fault.
Now the market is flat as a pancake- unless you have a high dollar horse- $10,000.00 and up-and then there is just a slight swell in the market. Horses, through no fault of their own are being sold. And people who feel sorry for the horses, or always wanted to have one and now they are cheap, or die hard idiots like me that just can't breath unless they have a horse in the paddock waiting on them, are looking for mounts. And they want the perfect horses they have been promised.
uh oh!
Perfect practice makes perfect.      But what if you haven't practiced?     What if your horse isn't perfect?
What IF your horse is nearly perfect?
What if he's horrible! What then?
In one ad today , and I paraphrase "...this is the greatest horse, but he only has 15% vision in his eyes because of.....but he don't let that upset him, he just carries on bravely!"

eegads....He's cute but blind ain't perfect.

Or this one " He's got one foot shorter than 'tother, but with correction shoes he should go sound,"
Again. Not. Perfect.

My TC has a mouth issue. Not perfect.
I rode him and as I was trying to get him to lope he bucked pretty good -  not perfect.  As I was checking his legs in back, he kicked me- not perfect!
BUT I am not as picky as most everyone else. My question is still " Has he had on a saddle and bridle, has he been ridden much?" For TC I am also asking if his mouth issue is going to be a real problem or just an annoyance.
My particular line in the sand is feet and legs. If they aren't good- I don't go any further. If his conformation isn't balanced, I don't go any further. If he has a really bad attitude, I don't go any further. TC is balanced, he's quiet legged, his personality is great- he just needs to be gelded soon! I can cure a kicker if that is his issue.
So- what is your line in the sand? Where will you draw the line? What can you live with?
What is the perfect horse?
As I am next planning to find Slick a good home, I would like your input. High headed -ness, quick legs, a winning personality, trail miles, show points, beautiful coat, does tricks, easy to handle, not afraid of dogs... give me a list of your most important traits to find in a horse, and the most important ones to stay away from.

Keith and his perfect horse
Regan and her perfect pony

Four perfect horses with five riders

The perfect size horse

Not so perfect- has a fit doing his ears

Perfect mare- would do anything you asked of her

Not perfect- but I loved him anyway

working on being perfect- but for whom?

TC- He looks perfect here

And he looks perfect here

see his little crooked smile? Not perfect, but cute!

Krissy's perfect horse

I'll make up a list and post it here.