Friday, February 1, 2008

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - Rhythm's Story - The New Home

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Rhythm's Story starts here

I had sold this Arabian horse with the understanding that I would always be available to help along the way. I'm not one of those breeders who sells a horse and can't run away fast enough. For me, these are my children and if there's anything I can do to make their life easier, I want to be called. Helping new owners to settle in with a horse definitely makes the transition smoother for the horse as well.

I knew sellling a horse like Rhythm those calls were bound to come. The fact that this horse was always looking for an opening to move up the pecking order pretty much guaranteed there would be issues. Combined with the fact this horse is so sensitive makes knowing how to deal with him in a way he can tolerate all the more important. Rhythm is a challenge, there's just no easy way to say it.

Sometime within the first week or so, I did get a call from Rich Baker but it had nothing to do with the horse being naughty. Surprise! Surprise! You may remember from one of the earlier posts in Rhythm's Story that Rich had wanted to dicker on the price. I had said "No" and stood firm, convinced that Rhythm was not only worth my price but much more. Well, Rich Baker called to apologize for ever asking me to dicker on the price of this horse.

Rich told me they had been looking at horses from all over the country. Horses that were priced anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. Horses from big fancy farms and small breeders. Not one of those horses had ever lived up to what they had been told.

Then there was Rhythm. Rich said Rhythm was not only everything I had said, the horse was so much more. Rich was embarrassed that he had ever asked me to set aside my price because he knew in his heart he had gotten this horse for much less that he was worth.

That conversation with Rich did my heart good. I knew without a doubt that these new people in Rhythm's life would appreciate the horse for what he is. I knew they probably hadn't a clue of the entire gift that Rhythm is. But the fact that they saw as much as they did at this early juncture gave me the faith to believe that they would indeed see the horse that those of us here all know and love.

While Rhythm can be a difficult horse, he has a side that is so wonderful that I can't even describe it. You have to get into his inner circle of trust to ever see what he holds there. It's a journey worth every rock , bump and trial to get to the place this horse submits and becomes your friend. I didn't know how long it would take, but I was convinced that Rich and Brittany would get there.

Brittany and Rich must haul to a facility to ride. The first couple of times they had loaded the horse they'd made arrangement for the loading to be done by the trainer who had accompanied Brittany to my place Because the horse had never been in a straight load trailer, they expected they might have difficulties.

I didn't think it should be any problem. If the horse knew they were in charge he would get right in. Later I heard the horse tested the trainer a bit. She had managed to coax him into the trailer. That told me a lot. Rhythm really wasn't convinced that the trainer had a clue but he was giving her the benefit of the doubt and complying with her wishes. If she showed any other signs of "weakness" he would take charge.

About a week later came the next phone call. It was more along the lines I had expected. Now with Brittany and Rich on their own for trailer loading, Rhythm was definitely calling the shots.

Rhythm was being naughty refusing to get into the horse trailer. He took one look at that trailer and said "Not on your life." The horse was walking up to the trailer, then stopping, shaking his head and planting his feet. No way was Rhythm getting into that trailer.

Brittany tried to cajole the horse into the trailer just as the trainer had done. But the horse only laughed at her effort. In the end it required the trainer coming back out to load the horse. While she got the same response at first, she did manage to sweet talk him in but it took a while. This wasn't looking good.

To say that I was concerned would be a gross understatement. I knew the horse was already running the show. I also knew that there was much more going on for the horse to be pulling this. This Arabian horse that you mustn't give an inch was clearly claiming his mile. So I asked Rich about other behaviors of the horse and the people dealing with him.

To be continued..............

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  1. I cant wait to read MORE! I want to read MORE! lol. It's interesting to read about how the behavior of Rhythm is going, because if your too soft, then it might cross their mind to take control, and them being several hundred lbs more, they sure could if they want to. And I've had to let Dandy know, it's not ok to try and walk or get in front of me when I'm leading him in and out of his stall, and he's definitely listening now. But it didn't take much work at all. He was just testing me I guess, but I did let him know it's not ok to test me. It just took a little tug on his lead rope, and he said "OK MAM!" lol. But what I am having a trouble with, is when he sees any food/treat, he wants to go to it. Like, if it's grass to graze on, or a cup of grain, or any other horse treat, he wants to go to it. Which all the times Ive seen him be loaded (twice) he always goes right in. But there's always been hay in there too, and he's totally food motivated. He would jump jumps for a carrot, and he would climb mountains too lol. He's a nice horse. And he's doing well too. Tomorrow I will put up a picture of his leg, and last I saw, hair is growing back, and it's looking closed now too. It's so exciting to know, hard work, really does pay off. And you should let Rachel know, that if she works hard at keeping the satin on the saddle pad like it should be, that he wont get injured when she rides him. And ask her, don't you want to keep him from getting injured or hurt? and if she says yes, tell her that all she has to do, is keep his saddle pad in good condition, and it will keep your horse Dandy in good shape, and he wont get injured or hurt.

    I think it's kinda funny, we both have ol' Arabian geldings, that we call Dandy. But as far as I know, Dandy is his name and that he's not registered, and your horse you call Dandy, that's his barn name.

    Maybe I should call the lady I got him from, and see who she got him from, and see if I can find out any more info on my gelding Dandy.

    Anyway, cant wait to hear more on this story :)

  2. each pair of rider/horse have to work out their own dance and I have no doubt Rhythm and Brittany will work this out too. He's too smart not to eventually learn to work with her.

  3. uhoh! Rhythm is too smart for his own good ;)

    I see this a lot with horses and their humans. Once they get one over, they have the humans buffoloed (is that a word?)

    and, it is always the 'smart' horses that pull this off.

    You are great for offering your help and following up on Rhythms new home, like you said, there are a lot of breeders who, as soon as that check is in hand, are out of touch and unable to be contacted.

    Kudos to you :)

  4. I admire that you care not just about the sale of the horse, but more important the home he goes to. That is something not seen enough in the horse world. I have gone to try out horses for my then 11 year old cousin to be quickly and violently bucked off... they were selling them as kids horses. This happened 3 times, other times we would arrive to find the horse completely foamed, and so tired it could hardly stand. Most horses are "safe" at this point of exhaustion. It was frustrating.

  5. Oh, My GOSH! While you talk about Rhythm I find myself nodding my head. My Daughter and I have a horse (a Paint) with that kind of sassy sense of humor and good work ethics...If you know her you can see that calculating brain working on "let me see...what can I get away with". You can see it in her eyes...she's laughing! It's all show, and it pretty much only comes out when other people let her know they think they know how to "handle" her. Yet, when you get past that you have her, in every way. Most others don't get it...but we do!
    I would not have understood how to manage that HUGE attitude and personality if my first Arab had not taught me her humorous side and her love of 'life'.
    Once we earned that inner circle relationship both these 'girls' give EVERYTHING and then some more! I cherish that relationship and trust!

  6. I went to my sister's riding stable, for the first time, about 15 years ago and ever since that first time I've dreamed of owning a horse farm. I have no desire to ride horses, but dream of owning a farm with many horses and taking care of them.

    Care (my sis) used to ride this big lug of a horse named Barney. For whatever reason Barney loved me and the feelings were entirely mutual. To be around these magnificent creatures on a daily basis....heaven!

    I've relly been enjoying your blog - and continue to come back to it on a regualary basis. (and I've voted for you, too.)

    I've also memed you at my web site! You've probably been memed before, but I thought what the heck!

    Thanks for sharing your horses!


  7. Seems like you can't avoid those pesky virus' ...

    Your horses have been tagged on my Random blog.