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.


OnTheBit said...

oh dear, oh dear. You poor thing! And poor pony! Well, I suppose it is better this way then 1 year from now when you had really moved on and had no place to put him. What about doing a half-lease on him for the winter? That might help keep him in work and help you keep the cost down. If he can put up with someone trying to do spins on him I am sure he would be safe for someone who wants a lease.

Jenn said...

I am sorry that Montana didn't find a new home with the PNO. But I am even more sorry for the PNO that didn't have the understanding and support at home for a hobby she obviously loves. What kind of husband would basically say "I am jealous of this hobby of yours so you can't do it."? Sheesh.

It's situations like hers that make me that much more thankful that my hubby and my FAMILY understand, yes, even appreciate, my love of horses and indulge it. But I do the same for them. It's all about learning to balance time. Do I get to ride as often as I would like to? Nope. But I do get to ride, I DO have my horses at home, I never have to hear anything about the time I do spend with the horses, my husband gets some of my time (and I participate in his hobby, online gaming, because that's what HE likes to do and he enjoys me taking an interest), my kids get my time and we are ALL happy.

A lease, as suggested by OnTheBit, might be a good idea.

Good luck, and what a good boy for putting up with that whole family.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm sorry it didn't work out with the first PNO, but that's the way it is meant to be. If she would have taken him anyway and then down the road more problems arose with hubby's time, he would have been ignored, he's a great horse and doesn't deserve that. The same way he doesn't deserve, spins and sliding stops and tie down martingales. A half lease is not a bad idea. I have a feeling that this horse is yours for a long time, it sure sounds like he is happy to be home with his mom and his pasture buddies. I'm sure in the long run this whole situation will work its way out for the best for everyone.

3pennyjane said...

Oh dear, the PNO family sounds like they would have been a terrible fit for Mr. M. A pity it's such a long distance; it would be fun to supplement the work with Lear by working on another OTTB!

Flying Lily said...

OntheBit: A lease is an excellent idea. He appears to have matured into an equine saint in the last 3 years - with training and 24-hour turnout. I will explore that.

Jenn: I completely agree that the original PNO had a right to a better shake from the family. I would have done differently in her place, if everything is just as she said. But I think I am too selfish sometimes. To me one of the best things about being a grownup is that no one can tell you 'no' any more. I'm afraid that does apply to the spouse in my way of thinking. Not very conducive to 'two hearts that beat as one'!

GreyHorse: A very comforting thought: that he might have ended up standing in the pasture without a job, if she'd bought him and hubby had complained. I too am beginning to feel that he is mine for duration and that's not a bad thing at all. I rode him today after voting, and he comforted my worried mind.

3PennyJane: Montana would simply adore you. The 'moment of zen' training tip you wrote up has been good for him. I wish it could be. And M could give Lear a lecture on etiquette, in equine words of one syllable.

c2b said...

Poor boy. I do have to feel for the first pno, sounds not as much as does't want him as can't have him.
Better to have found out now than found he had been sold on again in two weeks time....
As for that family, oh yuk.

jesterjigger said...

I'm so sorry that PNO didn't work out for him. I agree that he was very saintlike when then new PNO came to see him. I really wish people would realize there are ways to train horses without gadgets. Good luck in preparing Montana for his new home.

Flying Lily said...

c2b: Agree that this could be the lesser of several evils. And yes, the family who wanted the Horse for All Seasons had me biting my tongue all afternoon.

Jester: Thanks. If it ends up me keeping him I am OK with that. We are going to work on a musical freestyle over the winter. At least that is my fantasy...

Fantastyk Voyager said...

That's terrible for your first PNO but I can understand. As a teenager I spent ALL my time at the barn. Then, as a married, working mother, I felt tremendous guilt along with my joy of horseownership. I never rode as much as I would have liked even though my husband indulged me and my vice. I just never have enough time.
I think maybe Montana is meant to be yours or at least until you find the right PNO.

Meg said...

Don't you just hate selling horses? People never seem to be who they say they are....

Good luck sweetie, if you were closer, I might come try him!