Friday night I was curled up under the covers in our hotel room in the Luxor, when suddenly I had an epiphany: I’m not a party monster. I never really thought I was, but my trip to Las Vegas confirmed it. I don’t like to drink, I don’t like to gamble, and I don’t like to stay out all night at the clubs. I’d rather curl up under the blankets with a book or share a quiet dinner with a few close friends than wile the hours away writhing on the dance floor.
Likewise, when it comes to riding, I don’t harbor any grand aspirations. I don’t really love horse shows, I like low energy horses that take a lot of leg to ride, and I bounce back and forth between being ferociously confident and disappointed with my own ineptitude when I’m in the saddle (here’s a disclaimer: undaunted might be a hopeful misnomer). In short, I’ll never be a competitive rider—or, more aptly, I don’t want to be a competitive rider.
So here’s the story of how I bought a horse from two states away, during a vacation to Sin City:
Almost three weeks after I originally went out to meet my new horse, I realized that: 1.) I never want to feel as terrified and frustrated as I felt with my first horse again; 2.) jumping is fun, but if my life takes me down a different path I’m okay with that; and 3.) my heart wasn’t in the search for a horse anymore—it was hung up on the sad eyes and speckled face of a cute amber champagne tobiano palomino APHA named Ezhno.
I emailed his seller on Friday to see if he was still available. When she let me know that she had a couple of potential buyers coming to see him that weekend, I made the snap decision to put in an offer. I shot out a middle figure where both parties would come out of the deal slightly unhappy. She turned it down, I told her to keep me in mind… and then her potential buyers cancelled on her and she agreed to sell him to me for the price I wanted. It all happened over dinner at Sage on Saturday—I almost had a heart attack before we even got to the main course!
On Monday I woke up at 5:00AM, finished finalizing Ezhno’s pick up plans two minutes before I boarded my plane, landed in Bellingham at 11:00AM, scrambled to find a Plan B when my truck and trailer fell through due to a miscommunication, booked it to a family friend’s house to help her ready her trailer, and finally made it down to Carnation at 4:30PM to load him up. He trailered like an (excited) pro and I finally had him safely stalled up by 7:00PM. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the time I got home, and I still had to shower and unpack before bed.
With the rush to purchase and transport him, I didn’t end up getting a vet check done for Ezhno. I spent Monday night restlessly tossing and turning in bed, imagining that I’d find him dead in his stall the next morning from some unseen physical malady. You can imagine my relief when I found him alive and whole, happily waiting for the start of our first day together.
It was early enough in the morning that the barn was empty, so I gathered my courage and got him out of his stall alone, with no one around to supervise us (I know, I’m a pansy). I put him in the cross ties and spent some time grooming him up. Then we went across to the arena, where I walked him around for a little while so that he could look at everything and then put him on a lunge line. I was relieved to find that he was clearly green (lifting with his back and traveling in a nicely bent circle was a foreign concept to him), but sound and healthy.
I thought that would be the end of it, but by the time I’d finished my ride on the Pony, the Trainer had arrived and she encouraged me to tack Ezhno up and take him for a spin in her 1:00PM lesson. I got him back out and, after a quick hair cut, I put him in the dressage saddle and led him out. The Trainer hopped up on him for a couple of minutes and then I climbed aboard and rode him around the arena with the rest of the riders in there! He gawked at a lot of things, but he was a perfect gentleman and by the end of the lesson I felt comfortable pushing him out into a working trot, which I consider a massive success!
We ended the day with one last grooming and some treats, and we have a private lesson with the Trainer tomorrow. I’ve got zero regrets about my split second decision to purchase him, and I’m dying to go out to the barn to see him again! 🙂