Tuesday, November 4, 2008
She Does NOT want to buy him
Here is my roller coaster ride of the past few days:
1. Thursday night: Montana's Prospective New Owner (PNO) calls and says let's meet at your barn Saturday morning at 9, I'll give you a check for Montana, I'm so happy with him, I love him, he passed the vet check with flying colors, all is well.
2. Friday afternoon, I come home from work to phone message from PNO: She can't buy Montana, it is not about him, he is fine, but she can not do it, she will have him returned Sunday morning at 10.
? I am flummoxed. Thursday I had packed up all his papers, Jockey Club registration, baby pictures (as a 7-year old when I bought him), halter fleece, all the last things. I had cried and said goodbye in my mind. I was prepared to hand him over.
When PNO and I finally talked after phone tagging for one whole evening, she said it was about family concerns. She and husband went out for their anniversary dinner on Thursday and he got to talking: she's at the barn too much, he feels left out of this hobby, their family needs her home more, the new horse would take even more time away from them
With my friend Laura for moral support, I ended up retrieving him from her barn Sunday myself, and through floods of tears all around we achieved an understanding. Montana was upset by all the emotion but glad to get back to his old pasture buddies, who chased him around for a bit, then he chased them, then they all fell to eating as if nothing had happened.
Then because it never rains but it pours, that very same day (this past Sunday) I get a call from another PNO who wants to bring the whole family up from downstate and see Montana....Sunday afternoon! I told her he had just come back from a 2-week trial and might not be at his best, not settled....no matter, she says, we want to come today.
So! By 3 p.m. Sunday we were doing this:
And this, with the dad who wanted Montana to do western spins and sliding stops, but had never ridden in an English saddle before (his daughters teased him hard about his posting):
Dad said M's head was too high and they would 'put him in a martingale'. This struck fear into my heart for many reasons. Montana's way, when he is not sure what is being asked of him, is to slow down and do less. The confusion of new riders and strange aids caused him to be slower and more cautious than usual and I believe this PNO found him too sluggish. And frankly that is OK with me.
Here's the bottom line: I was so impressed with Montana that day. Thinking what he had experienced, looking at him patiently carting around all these new people -- two daughters and the dad -- for almost 2 hours, seeing the look in his eye ("I am trying to figure this out but it is gibberish to me") made me think so highly of him.
When all the emotion settles, I will make a long-term plan for working with him this winter; then something will happen to upset that plan, because this is horse life after all and nothing makes much sense in the end.