They say that when one door closes, another one opens. They should add that you have to quick yanking on the closed door to find the open one.
Deciding to sell Cava was a tough choice, but I realized it would give me the opportunity to begin again with another young horse, hopefully with enough money in the bank so I could take the new horse to all the clinics and shows I wasn’t able to do with Cava. So, to make myself feel better after listing her, I began casually glancing through pages of horse classifieds, trying to get an idea of what was out there, and trying to decide what I wanted. I knew I wanted a young horse, but one that had already been broke and had a start under saddle. I was pretty open on things like size and color, and open to most breeds, but correct movement was essential for me. I would have loved to find a warmblood, but on my budget, I knew I was most likely looking for non-warmbloods, being more willing to compromise on breeding than on conformation, soundness, saneness, and correct gaits.
I looked at lots of ads, not seeing quite the right horse, feeling pretty discouraged about things. I knew what I liked, and for the most part it was far outside my budget. Finally I happened on a horse that caught my eye. From the pictures, I couldn’t tell if he would be a spectacular mover or not, but I liked his conformation and kind eye. I had a talk with myself about how I really wasn’t a serious buyer until Cava sold, but I argued back with myself that if I started now, I could have a horse ready to show in the spring. That still left the financial problem, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this horse.
Then I got a call from Diamond’s owner. I had been keeping Diamond as a school horse while his owner, a good friend of mine, got some things settled in her personal life. She told me she was ready to take him back. I saw my opportunity. If Diamond went back to live with my friend, I would need a school horse to take his place, but my students were ready for a little more horse than Diamond, as I no longer have any beginner riders. There were also a few other horses in the barn that could cover some lessons, so I really didn’t need a horse dedicated just to lessons… and maybe if they started riding Cava, someone would fall in love. That meant that instead of buying a new school horse, I could start a new prospect myself.
I went to see the horse I had found, and he was every bit as sweet as I thought he’d be. A 4 year old thoroughbred, off the track after a short racing career, he was sound and quiet and gentle… and ready for a new job. That was almost 2 weeks ago.
He settled in easily, and we started right to work. The first order of business was teaching him about all types of treats. He found carrot training the most difficult, but also the most enjoyable. He still hasn’t learned to grab the end of the carrot and bend it to break off a piece the way Liam does, but he has learned that attempting to chew the carrot with his front teeth results in large pieces falling out of his mouth, and he has progressed to using his back teeth, which is much more effective. Once he masters carrot training, we will begin apple training. He is also learning about walking and whoa-ing, cross ties, and mounting blocks.
I am really looking forward to working with him, and blogging about his progress. I am also finding myself with a fresh motivation and renewed inspiration, just in time for the long winter which seems to be too quickly approaching. Yes, maybe one door slammed in my face a year ago and I only now realized it… but I have finally found the new door that opened in front of me.