Monday, August 22, 2011



Things have changed. AGAIN. And I'm going to stop trying to figure out what's going to happen. I'm not going to give details, but suffice it to say that I might not know until the end of the month if I will own this horse or not.

I have a specific set of parameters that I'm working with, and certain things that must happen in order for it to work out. Believe me, I want it to work out and I've done everything I could do (and have been willing to do) to make it happen. Now I have to just relax and let things be.

If it's meant to be, I will own this horse. If it's not meant to be, I won't. I believe everything happens for a reason and if it works out now, then great. If not, then I can at least say that I did everything I could and it just didn't happen. Sure, I'll be VERY VERY sad if it doesn't work out. I could really see myself having a fantastic partnership with this horse, and I think he has the talent, heart, and brain to go all the way. Yup, I'm talking FEI material. If this doesn't happen I'll always be sad about what could have been. But I'll get over it. Eventually.

I will update you on the situation when one of two things happen - either I have his signed registration papers, or someone else does. Only then will I know for sure what the outcome is.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Up again? Sheesh!

Okay, you all are probably thinking that I'm jerking you around. But seriously, this thing might actually work after all.

The last 24 hours has been totally NUTS. I'm waiting for a phone call today that could finalize the details that make this all come together.

Of course, it could all completely fall apart again, which would mean another "boo-hoo this sucks!" post from me. If that happens I apologize in advance for being whiny fool.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Farther down...

Despite my best efforts it's looking like I'll have to back out on buying this new horse. Realistically I don't have enough time for the self-care option, even though right now I think I could make it work. No other option has panned out, from inexpensive retirement barns, possible therapy programs, and "work off your board" barns. I can't rely on someone to lease Kaswyn because they could back out at any time and leave me in a financial bind. Self care, while it's certainly cheaper, still isn't as inexpensive as I'd like and leaves me with too little time for anything else.

I just don't have the time, energy, or money it takes to have two horses and still keep my family happy and healthy. I'm very sad.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Down, down down

Unfortunately my great situation for Kaswyn didn't work out today. A few other avenues that I explored today also didn't pan out.

I'm trying really hard not to get discouraged here.

On the plus side, the new horse vetted very well yesterday. Flex tests were negative for lameness. The x-rays showed two minor issues but nothing that should cause lameness now or in the long term. I want to make an offer on this horse but I'm hesitant until I can get a plan that works.

Right now I could do a partial self-care on both horses where Kaswyn is. It would take a lot of work on my part, but I guess I'll just need to suck it up if that's what I want to do. I'd have to clean their stalls twice a week, buy and deliver my own hay and grain. I guess it's workable. I have a place that will sell me about 100 bales right now, but that will only last me about 3 months for both horses. Then I will need to get creative.

Maybe I just suck it up, buy the horse and do the partial self-care until I can come up with an easier and more affordable plan. I know I won't be able to do it long term - I'll get too burned out.

And I thought this would be easy? HA!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do the pieces fit?

Tomorrow my trainer and I will take the possible new horse to be vet checked.

If he passes, on Friday I will be visiting a farm for a potentially great situation for Kaswyn.

If both things work out, I will have to move both horses - to different barns. Not the perfect setup as I had imagined it, but it feels like these scenarios are presenting themselves for a reason.

It's like the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. There is still a lot that needs to happen to make this work, but right now it's looking very promising that I will be able to purchase this new horse and have it NOT be a financial strain.

Here's hoping!! Send good vibes my way, huh?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I think that outfit might be wearing HER

So, today was "dress like a cowgirl" day at camp. Macey dressed herself.

If you can't tell, she is wearing a pink shirt, with a denim vest and skirt, pink striped knee socks (with purple roses on them), and paddock boots. It's... um, interesting.

After seeing what Macey was wearing, Lily opted not to dress up. Can you blame her?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Whoa. Not so fast...

Well, I might not be buying a new horse after all.

I'm certainly not completely ruling it out, but it's not looking really feasible right now. It all comes down to money.

Yes, I had a plan to have my friend lease Kaswyn, and that would have been great. But my friend looked at her finances and said she didn't think she could really pull it off. Which made me think - what would I do if I were leasing Kaswyn to anyone, and they had to end the lease? And then what if I couldn't get another person to lease him? I can't afford both horses, and I can't knowingly put my family in a bad financial situation by owning two horses. Basically two luxury items.

I'm still thinking about ways I can make this work, but nothing has been workable so far. I'm not giving up just yet, but I'm not hopeful.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Letting it go

So I still get weepy when I think that I'll never ride Kaswyn down the centerline again at the upper levels, but now that I've finally made a decision that I'm not going to try to get him back to where he was I'm much better. In fact, I'm considering buying that young horse. Seriously considering it.

Here is the thing - I like to show. I've been showing other people's horses for the past few years while Kaswyn has been off, and it's nice and all but it comes with certain issues. I can't always do what I want to do with a horse that is not mine. And since my horse will never be fit for me to show again, I really would like to have another horse. A horse that I can train how I want to, ride when I want to, and show how and when I want.

The idea is tearing me up though. I can't just dump Kaswyn, but I can't afford to board two horses. I want Kaswyn to be where I can see him - maybe not every day but at least a few times a week. I have thought through several options, and I think what is going to work out right now is to lease Kaswyn out for someone to lightly ride him 3 times a week. That will keep him fit and moving and will offset some of the cost of having two horses. And I'll still be able to see him every time I come to the barn, and I will probably be able to ride him also.

I've leased out Kaswyn before when I've had financial problems, and it wasn't always the best thing for him, and hasn't always ended well. But right now my friend is considering leasing him so she can get more experience riding. She's what I'd call and advanced beginner and really just needs miles in the saddle. This might sound bad, but she doesn't know enough to do anything to screw him up. Just walk trot and canter, and try to get him on the bit. Easy for him, and practice for her. And Kaswyn stays at the barn where I can see him, and watch her ride him, so I know what is going on.

I do feel terrible, like I'm cheating on Kaswyn. I wasn't looking for another horse. Not even considering it. But this horse came to the barn, for sale, and I thought he was neat so I got a chance to ride him. And then I thought he was something special. Smart, willing, eager to please, and really nice gaits. He's a six year old purebred Arabian gelding who has shown three times in the Arabian Hunter Pleasure ring, where he won some classes. But he's not going to be a National contender and his owners have too many horses so he has to go.

For a dressage horse he's very nice though, and I thought he had potential. So I had my trainer come and give me a lesson on him to get her opinion. Not only did she say "You're not crazy for liking this horse.", she said "This horse reminds me of Kaswyn as a six year old." And after she mentioned it, I could see the similarities. Long neck, sweet face, tall and narrow, smart and willing. But then she said "This horse has better gaits than your horse."

The price is right, and my blacksmith also thinks he's nice and that I should buy him. So I have an appointment for a pre-purchase exam on August 18th. I'll make my final decision based on what my vet says, but I really do like this horse.

Today my friend come out and rode Kaswyn, and I rode the young horse. I watched Kaswyn go and he really did look good. And for a little bit I was scared that I was making the wrong decision. That maybe I shouldn't buy this new horse, and that I should stick with Kaswyn and try to make it work. But I tried for SIX YEARS to make that work, and he's 20 years-old now. Sure he looked good. All she was doing was getting him on the bit to walk, trot and canter him. That doesn't mean he can go do a fourth level test, today or any day in the future.

So, I think it is time to let the dream go, but hold onto the horse. Eventually I will retire him completely and let him live out his life in a pasture someplace. He's not there yet, but I need to stop trying to push him into something that I want, and that he will do if I ask, but something that is beyond his physical ability. That's setting us both up for failure.

He has already given me things that some people only dream about - three National Championships, three Reserve National Championships, multiple Regional titles, and the chance to ride at the FEI dressage levels. I think I'm making the best decision for him, and for me. I still doubt myself, and at times I feel really terrible about the whole thing.

I think I'm doing the right thing, but I'm still scared that I'm not. I guess the only way I'll know for sure is if it turns out ok or if it goes horribly wrong. I'll letcha know.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Heart made of lead

I had a very sad revelation yesterday.

I rode Kaswyn and we worked on our usual stuff of the moment - straightness, some circles, and then I fooled around a little bit with some flying changes just for fun.

Then I rode this new horse, a six year old purebred Arabian gelding (who I have really become quite smitten with... more on that later) and I realized that this young horse has a lot of go. I had to take my spurs off and didn't have a whip, and this young guy was still flying. He doesn't get the half halt yet, but we're working on it. He had plenty of go left in him 45 minutes later, even after a lunge before I rode him.

Kaswyn used to have a lot of go. Yesterday I had to push him a lot to keep him going.

Kaswyn used to be like this young horse. Now he's not.

I know he loves to see me, and he probably likes to be ridden, but I'm not sure he really enjoys the work anymore. I didn't really see it until I had something to compare it to. Now I can't ignore it, even though I want to.

For all my insistence that "I'm not going to retire him!" and "He doesn't want to retire!" and "I WILL NOT RETIRE HIM." I'm starting to think that it's time. What do you think?

I'm just devastated.

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr