Sunday Funday

All photos today courtesy of Arianna Arney-many thanks!

A bunch of us gathered around the arena on a beautiful Sunday.

A bunch of us gathered around the arena on a beautiful Sunday.


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.

The group approach to jump setting. One works and two watch.

The group approach to jump setting. One works and two make suggestions.

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.

Getting set to try the Flash pony.

Getting set to try the Flash pony.

Off Bella went amid guns and engines roaring.

Off Bella went amid guns and engines roaring.


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.

Trainer Elizabeth keeping a sharp eye on her student.

Trainer Elizabeth keeping a sharp eye on her student.


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.




Very nice trot!

Very nice trot!

Flash will be gone quickly as he is too cute and too good to not be picked up fast.  Any pony buyers out there?

Pony can jump, too.

Pony can jump, too.

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!

Pixie heads east

Lauren making her way up the hill from the Pine Hill cross country course on her last ride on Pixie

Some horses I buy with the clear intent of working them, training them and then selling them on. Because my heart inevitably gets caught up in this process it is not near as neat as I describe it. When Pixie first came from Florida, from the same folks we bought Feather from, I was not at all sure if I would move her on or try to keep her as Jordyn’s show pony. Snow is great, but at age 20, his best show days are past.

Pixie is four years old. A time in a horse’s life that a lot is learned. Pixie came to us with a smart, inquisitive mind. I rode her a lot in the first months. I enjoyed her. She was quiet, pretty easy to handle and at 14 hands not a long fall to the ground. But she needed finishing. Her canter was likely to be peppered with a few bucks. Her stopping was a little inconsistent. Off Pixie went to trainer Sarah for six weeks of basic training.

As usual when horses return from Sarah, they are vastly improved and this was no exception. That is the best time to sell them. A truck I needed to pay taxes on, some staggering unexpected vet bills along with Christmas coming fast, made me decide to try to sell Pixie before either Lauren or I screwed up anything good Sarah had done. It is always hard to figure a price and with all the quick interest and even faster sale, you have to wonder if I did not underprice her. I got a fair price from Dee, had paid vet and trainer fees and just wanted to cover that. Still it is hard to let go of the “I should have asked double for her” thoughts running through my brain.

We drove Pixie the hour or so to Pine Hill. It was insanely busy with Eventing starting tomorrow. I really had no clue what Pixie would do amongst hundreds of horses, trailers, riders, kids and general pandemonium. From the minute she came off the trailer to the time we left, she was calm and quiet. I am not sure ANY of my other horses would have done so well. First there was a vet check up, which involved the usual things like temp, heart rate and hoof testing. Pixie had no prior issues but you never know what the vet will find.

Then there was the ever popular, hold the pony’s leg up (one at a time) tightly coiled for a couple minutes then drop it and make Lauren trot away with her. The idea is to see if the pony has sore joints and steps off lame. We had not tried this at home so I had no idea what to expect, but she passed all four feet with flying colors.

Next, we saddled her and took her down to the beautiful, nationally respected cross country course. Gee, one time I had taken Pixie out on the hay roads but never had she seen so much open space, and so many other horses and riders. She was great! By the time we ended I did not care if they bought her or not as I was super impressed with this young pony and her quiet mind.

But in the end, we left and Pixie stayed along with her pretty pink halter we had bought just for her. She will spend the next few days getting to her new home with vet Katie in North Carolina. A forever home. A perfect ending. So why did I still have tears in my eyes as we drove away? I will miss you pretty, pink pony. Head east now to the start of a new life. God Speed Pixie girl!

Pixie looking eastward

Pix and I at our first off-site adventure