As you might expect from my record, the fussing is about Third Horse and shopping for same. The past week has included a video of a Saddlebred from the state next door, which qualifies as close around here (thank you), an offer to search while on vacation (thank you), and a notice of an Anglo-Appaloosa in my state (thank you). In each case, my initial response has been a delightful mixture of dread and ennui. What’s up with that?
Rodney. I don’t want another horse, I want Rodney? Sounds good but doesn’t feel right. Even if Rodney had won the AEC the last three years running, there is no reason I could not have a second horse going. A while back, I interviewed a upper-level rider whose work schedule meant that she could not ride one day out of three. She wanted to be at the barn every day. However, she admitted that her horse might not have benefited from her constant, undivided attention. Rodney would certainly appreciate another horse to share the load and take the pressure off.
ASB. I love the idea of competing an American Saddlebred in a non-saddleseat arena. We would inspire gasps of amazement as we galloped across disciplines winning everything in sight. Unfortunately for me, a horse with talent & attitude to achieve this also makes a mighty nice saddleseat mount. Some sellers are using the Sport Horse/Hunter Pleasure label as a way to offload less-than-quality horses. Rather like people who don’t know dressage will think. ‘This horse isn’t athletic enough to jump. We can sell him as a dressage horse.’
Time. I have none. I have no idea why. My declining performance at the show convinced me that I really need to get fit. Rodney will need eons of long, slow work, probably involving daily double sessions. Mathilda continues to be a time sink. I want to stay with the saddleseat lessons. Still, this hardly qualifies as an overburdened schedule. It’s not as if I have an 80-hour-a-week job or 2-year-old triplets clogging my days. With fewer naps and less Internet, I should be able to work in another horse.
Doubt. Am I wasting everyone’s time looking for a horse who doesn’t exist? A horse who is calm enough to ease me back into riding regularly yet spirited enough to be interesting a year from now. A horse who is talented enough to be competitive but so not talented as to come trailing a string of zeros in her price tag. A horse who is old enough to be ready to go, but young enough that the geriatric years are not just around the corner. Seriously, I have such a plenitude of personal baggage I should be shopping for a mule train.
I want to stop the carousel right where I am. I want to consolidate the progress I have made so far. However, life works better if one embraces change rather than attempting to defend against it. So, I will continue to look, even if I have to drag myself kicking & screaming.