I've always thought that the song Bless the Broken Road has an interesting premise. Without getting into the whole thing about whether it is part of "a greater plan" or just the way life happens, it is true that sometimes we wouldn't be where we are today if other things didn't fall through before. This applies to relationships, jobs, and of course horses.
So, is there a time when you wanted one horse, and it fell through and eventually led you to end up with a different horse instead? Tell me about it!
I have two such stories:
Max -> Ellie
When my second leased horse got sold out from under me, my parents agreed we could shop for a horse of my very own. We looked at quite a few different horses. The one that stood out was Max, a 15 year old black arabian mare. She seemed perfect. She had lots of training and life experience, but still had a ton of get up and go. I was in love. Unfortunately, she didn't pass her vet check. She was lame on the flexions and on a small canter circle to the left. Being new to horse ownership, we didn't want to risk getting a horse that wasn't sound and so we continued on with the search. That's when we found Ellie, the 6 year old bay anglo-arab mare that I owned for 14 years.
Things might have turned out a lot differently if Max had passed her vet check. In hindsight, Max was probably the better fit for me as a young green rider, but Ellie became my heart horse and we taught each other so much.
|Ellie - love and miss my girl <3|
(I don't have any photos of Max)
Wilson -> Kachina
On my second horse hunt after losing Ellie, I was horse shopping completely on my own. I traveled thousands of km and rode over a dozen horses of wildly different ages, training levels and prices. Wilson was a horse I almost bought. He was a 8 year old quarter horse paint who used to be a pack horse in the mountains and had just been under saddle for a year. He was a stocky guy, but I could see from one of the photos of him chasing the fake heeling cow that he could really open up his stride when asked. He was also a good age, a really good price, and was a medicine hat paint which I thought was cool (i.e. San Domingo: The Medicine Hat Stallion by Marguerite Henry).
|Photo from Wilson's ad (not mine)|
I had my test drive on Wilson scheduled for the end of a long Sunday of looking at horses. He was the last stop after more than 1400km and by the time I got there, it was getting dark, fast. Unfortunately, he was being kept at a small acreage with no barn, no arena, and no lights. I did tack him up and hop on him for a quick ride and was really impressed by his walk and trot and responsiveness. The limited light and lack of space meant I didn't feel safe cantering him though. I told the owner that I was very interested and I would get back to him. I was told someone else had looked at him earlier the same day and was also very interested. I ended up scheduling a second ride and a vet check for him the following Friday, with the idea that I would make sure he could canter decently, and if he could and passed the vet check, I would buy him and bring him home that day. Unfortunately, the other person who had looked at him, decided to buy him on Tuesday with no second ride or pre-vet, so I got beat to the punch.
|Photo from Wilson's ad (not mine)|
I was sad on missing out on Wilson, but I knew it was the responsible thing to do to want to get a vet check and see all 3 gaits. I found Kachina the following week and I'm really glad I have her. Also, I have a hard enough time keeping Kachina clean, I can't imagine how tough Wilson would have been with all that white!