A horse of a different color

June 23, 2008 at 5:55 am Leave a comment

note from carrotplease: yesterday we said goodbye to Klondike.  He didn’t make it easy- when I got to the barn he was laying down taking a snooze, and let me come in for some snuggles.  I love it when horses let you do that, even if it’s not pony club approved.  There were a few tears, but also some smiles, because he’s going somewhere where he’ll be loved and appreciated for the very special guy he is.  The following is from his new person, Mary.

 

In 1988 I purchased a two-year-old, range bred horse of unknown lineage for $325.  It was the best investment I have ever made.  We named the youngster Charlie Brown, because of a horse of a different color would have a different name.

Charlie was an early Christmas gift for my husband, who didn’t ride.  He was bought in response to my husband’s birthday gift to me… an acetylene welding torch set.  No, I’m not making this up; and yes, I’m still married to him.  My husband didn’t utilize his gift very often, so Charlie and I partnered for many great rides as he became a solid part of our family.

More recently Charlie suffered two bouts of EPM.  He went through four rounds of Marquis, many hours of TTouch, and an 8-month total rest after each episode.  We had slowly, slowly worked back to four-mile rides of w/t/c.  In November Charlie suffered a surgical colic and was euthanized.

So started what has become an epic search for a new horse.  As luck would have it, there were no horses for sale near me that met my criteria.  In six months I test rode 27 horses, in three states, and spent hours following leads from friends, equine magazines, and websites.  This search has made me a more knowledgeable horsewoman, and a better rider.

During this search I saw the gamut from lame to untrained, laid-back to hot, and honest to all out liar.  I’ll spare you the stories of the not-so-great owners or horses.  There WERE three horses that seemed healthy and sane that I considered, but did not purchase.  I just didn’t click with the horse or his personality.  CANTER’s Indy Wolf was one such horse.  Indy did nothing wrong in his test ride; he just wasn’t the perfect match for life.  He might be just right for you.

A few of you may be asking, “27 horses?  You couldn’t find a horse after riding 2, 4, or 10 horses?  Just WHAT were you looking for, a wonder horse?”   Well, in a sense, yes.  I was looking for the right temperament that I can live with for the next 25 years.  To me a horse is a partner, a friend, and a part of the family.  Why do people justify keeping a dog for life, but not a horse?  Some will call this naiveté; I call it a different outlook on life.

Enter CANTER Mid-Atlantic and Kid Klondike.  They waited patiently for me.  I was given the time to make two test rides, then take a few days to make a decision.  They did not try to push the sale, didn’t hurry the decision, and didn’t try to hide anything about the horse.  How refreshing to get honesty instead of stories. 

There is just something about Klondike that I get along with.  I can’t explain it, it’s just there.  After an iffy vetting, I was willing to wait for him to grow hoof, get shoes, and prove his soundness.  I believe in Klondike, and brought him home this morning.  I can’t replace Charlie Brown, but I have a wonderful new horse of a different color.

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A long long goodbye Atypical hunt barn

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