To me, the most interesting part about Milton is that I BOUGHT A HORSE [Meet Milton]. From a narrative point of view, the most interesting part is that I had never seen him. Nope, didn’t go look at. Nope, didn’t ride. Wasn’t even in the same country when I bought him.
For the last two years, writer, blogger, & author Karen Briggs (may her animals be always sleek & shiny) has been operating as my Horse Hunt Fairy Godmother, “Someone I trust to help me sort through the online ads & videos. And whack me over the head with her magic wand should I become overly whiny and obstreperous.” [Progress #1]
She’d find horses and send me links. I’d find horses and ask for her opinion. She kept saying, Come to Canada. We have nice horses. Come to Canada. The prices are not insane.
Finally, Karen (may all her jumping rounds be fault-free) told me she found a horse owned by a friend of hers, Linda Plank of Sprucehaven Farm in southwest Ontario. Since Karen (may writing assignments shower down on her) is an award-winning freelance writer, her emails are always amusing and eloquent. This one radiated an undertone of, You want nice horse? I found you nice horse. Now shit or get off the pot.
So I did.
Of course there was more to it than that. Photos. Videos. Karen (may her horses stay sound the day before big competitions) drove three hours one-way to Sprucehaven to sit on Milton [Teaser 1]. Red flags failed to appear. I pondered. I waffled.
I have notebook pages of pro and con. The cons you can imagine. As for pros, among others, going to try the horse would cost a significant fraction of the purchase. She was right about the prices. Then, I tried Rodney three times, including in a dressage clinic. Look what good that did me. Plus, we weren’t finding quality horses. Trainers would shut me down over the phone. If I didn’t do this, I didn’t see a useful way forward. Basically, nothing I was doing was working.
Maybe I just wanted to be the sort of person who makes the dramatic gesture. For once in my life.
Tomorrow: Shipping Milton
Gratuitous Balloon Photo from a reader in upstate New York.
“Much ballooning around here, especially in the fall. We saw three others from a distance but this one was right along the road.”