All photos today courtesy of Arianna Arney-many thanks!
More often than not, Lauren is gone most of the day on Sundays, taking that one day off a week to get away from the barn and its activity. I had not had a day out at the barn for awhile, at least not one with beautiful weather and lots of riders. I had been sequestered in the house, afraid to take a chance on uneven ground, gravel driveways or misbehaving horses while recovering on crutches.
This last Sunday the weather was perfect! It was sunny, clear and near 70 degrees by the afternoon. All of the boarders thought it would be a pretty great day to ride. Jordyn had stayed over night both Friday and Saturday. She was on a marathon horseback ride, switching off between new pony Piper and tried and true Mickey.
It was wonderful to have all the activity. I knew one of our boarders had a nice pony to sell that was cute and talented. I expected some visitors to stop by and try out the pony on this nice afternoon.
As it often is in the horse world, we tend to do things with a group or at least our friends. The previous night had been the year-end awards banquet for the Greater Houston Hunter Jumper Association. The pony had been discussed with one of the other trainers and they were headed out my way for a trial ride.
Horse buying is tricky. It is a wing and a prayer sort of thing. Sometimes you make brilliant decisions and sometimes you end up with real disasters. In retrospect someone can always point out what you missed but at the time, you just hope for the best.
By the time the gang arrived from north Houston to view the sale pony, things were hopping around the barn. We had a Porsche, a Prius , sturdy trucks and SUVs lined up and parked. A group of girls arrived with the friend of the pony seller to demonstrate the pony and just watch the proceedings.
The arena was being dragged again by one of the dads with his 4×4 truck as our broken tractor sat idly in the sun. Jordyn, Libby and Isabel were still in the arena riding as the truck worked over circle after circle of the soft sand pulling the drag behind. Jordyn was thrilled to be playing “who can trot the fastest” with the other much older riders. The big truck and dragger did nothing to deter their forward motion or their enthusiasm.
I immediately recognized the potential pony buyers as they got out of their truck. No, I did not know their names, but knew their faces and their horses. It was fun to talk with them about their barn building projects which had started last April like ours. It wasn’t long before Michelle looked at me intently and said “I read your blog!” That is always a WOW moment for me, because I write pretty much for myself and it is sometimes embarrassing to think of all the things I have said.
We dragged her off to meet baby Betty Sue and see pony, Piper. She was telling us about a great horse they had for sale. It is that information sharing that usually lands a horse with the right new owner.
As we walked to the arena to watch the sale pony, Flash, work, I told them to go on ahead that I was a little slow. Michelle immediately said she had read about my hip replacement. GEEZ. It was cool but little eerie.
The pony did well as we all watched. One of my charming neighbors decided that this lovely Sunday afternoon should be filled with guns and proceeded to fire off like a thousand shots, seriously, one after another, disrupting the quiet afternoon. But the pony didn’t seem to care, he went along quietly and easily. Then my other neighbor started working on his car engine. I thought we were in an episode of Street Outlaws (where they drag race illegally). It was not what I wanted when trying to show off a sale horse at my facility. On the other hand, Flash reacted not at all to all the disturbances so I guess that was okay.
In the end, it was decided that this was not the correct match for the girl who was looking. It was a little sad as I thought it had gone swimmingly well given all the activity. But that is how the horse (pony) business goes. They did say they liked the bay horse with the star. I was dumbfounded for a moment, thinking we don’t have a bay horse with a star, when I was told my Piper pony was a bay horse with a star. DUH. Well, she is not going anywhere soon.
Flash will be gone quickly as he is too cute and too good to not be picked up fast. Any pony buyers out there?
Anyway, it was a great day and lots of fun for us all. Still, I was glad as I saw Lauren head down the drive returning from her weekend off. I think I was asleep by 7 pm.
The best thing I heard from one of my riders this weekend was after they watched me walk down the driveway. Jo Ann told me that I was looking and walking pretty well. She could still tell I wasn’t completely sound-but almost! Wow, I think a lot of people would agree I have never been completely sound and they would not just be referring to my obvious limp.
Thanks for riding with us at Six Meadow Farm!