Sept. 2004 -- Meet the horses!

When we moved in July, we did so without first selling our old house. Our plan was to get out of it, and then turn it over to a market specialist who would get it ready to sell. Of course, that meant we would be paying two mortgages for a while. Jay warned me: No horses until the old house sold. I was completely on board with that plan, but it didn't work out exactly that way.


Initially, we planned to get a weanling in the winter. I wanted to get two horses, though, because I firmly believe that horses are social creatures who need pasture buddies. But since I was planning to get a youngster -- and since I haven't owned a horse in twenty years!! -- I wanted to get an older mare who could be both aunt and role model for the baby and a gentle reintroduction to horses for me and Jay.

Enter Quincy. Quincy is a 22-year-old quarter horse -- a former 4H horse and broodmare. She loves young horses, but rules her pasture with an iron fist. She's solid as a rock, not remotely spooky. Though she hasn't been ridden regularly in several years, she's "well-broke" and fit for light riding.

Though the timing was bad, the price and the horse were right. So Jay didn't even argue. One vet check later, Quincy was mine.

Pros: Good with youngsters, very easy for me and Jay to handle, levelheaded on trails, used to dogs

Cons: Resource guarder of both food and humans, has some arthritis and will likely be sound (for riding) only a couple of years, can be aggressive toward other mares


As I was going through the process of purchasing Quincy, I was firmly with the plan to wait until we sold our house and then buy a weanling. But I was beginning to have some concerns about the particular weanling we had picked out, and at the same time I stumbled onto an ad for a little blue roan quarter horse. I knew we couldn't get the little blue horse and the weanling... but I couldn't stop looking at that ad.

Finally, Jay and I talked about the weanling, and decided it wasn't the right horse for us right now. And we decided that it made more sense for us to look for horses we could ride when we were ready. So I called about the little blue horse.

His previous owner called him Scat (as in Jazz, not as bears in the woods). He's a three year-old quarter horse -- quite small, only

14.1 hands. I made an appointment to view him, but I was already convinced he wouldn't be right for me. He's a green three-year-old! I'm a novice owner. Bad combination. I really thought he would be too much horse for me.

Then I met him. He was gentle and friendly and had beautiful kind eyes. He was perhaps even more laid back than Quincy! He perked up under saddle, but even then, he settled after a few minutes. I watched him stand calmly as two big dogs play-wrestled under his feet. He's been taught that when he's afraid of something, he should face it and then touch it. Jay asked if he had any "issues," and his owner said, "We never told him he was allowed to have any!"

I'm in love with this little blue horse. I'm really interested in endurance riding, so I think of him as my endurance prospect. (He passed the pre-purchase exam with flying colors!) Even if he doesn't make it in endurance though, he'll be a great trail horse. And best friend.

Pros: Great with dogs, brave, curious, built for endurance, put together beautifully, amazing base personality, so much potential!

Cons: Green for a novice rider, not built to carry a heavy rider (which I am right now)

M'Lady Guinevere

Sincerely -- we didn't mean get a third horse. I wasn't looking for a third horse. In fact, I thought hell would freeze over before Jay would say we had the money for a third horse. I put this firmly on Jay's shoulders.

I called Quincy's former owner to discuss delivery and to tell her about Blue. She said, "Darn. I wish I'd known you were in the market for another horse. One of my boarders decided to sell her horse the day after you bought Quincy, and I thought of you guys immediately. She would be perfect for Jay."

I mentioned the conversation to Jay a while later. Between sentences about how much money we were spending, he said, "She sounds interesting. How tall is she?" Long story short, we now have a third horse. And Rachel was right -- she is perfect for Jay.

Guinevere is a grade horse, probably half percheron. Definitely part draft. She's short -- just about 15 hands -- but very stocky. She's not refined... her front end is thick and painfully heavy. But she is oh so sweet. An absolute love. I told her that we might be buying her for Jay, but I was probably going to steal her from him. She's eight years old, but was a broodmare and not ridden or trained until a year ago, when the person we bought her from acquired her.

Pros: Gentle, good with dogs, able for a heavy rider

Cons: Too heavy for long-distance trail riding


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