Friday, June 18, 2010

Aidol's Story....................the Second Introduction.....

Part 1

By the time the couple had pulled out of our driveway, I only had twenty minutes before the next party was to arrive. You could pretty much guarantee with me being behind schedule, the party coming would be on time, or worse yet.........early.

I headed in the house to grab a quick sandwich and make a pit stop. There's nothing that breaks up the flow of conversation more when showing a horse than the primary party taking a potty break. Fainting from lack of nutrition probably wouldn't look good either so I hustled my buns to get things done.

No sooner had I taken a bite out of my sandwich and I heard a vehicle pull into our drive. I debated about wolfing the sandwich down but figured I'd probably choke to death in the process so I tore off a corner and headed for the door.

Trying to compose myself and not spray these people with food as I talked, I introduced myself. This time there were two young woman. The one driving was the one interested in Aidol. The other came along for moral support.

The situation with this woman was different than the earlier one. She was definitely looking for a show horse for the hunter pleasure division. She had experience riding, but if I remember correctly, this was going to be the beginning of her show career. She needed a safe horse that knew the ropes.

I knew ahead of time the woman wouldn't be riding the horse today. Seems she'd broken some ribs during a spill from a horse she'd tried. She'd been told the horse was well broke but had not seen it ridden. The woman had actually intended to buy that horse until she got hurt. I suspected I knew where this had happened but didn't ask for confirmation.

I looked down the see her companion was wearing riding boots. I asked her if she wanted to ride Aidol and was surprised at her reaction. I swear the woman actually backed away from me with a startled look on her face. "Only if you do, first!" was her response. The defensiveness was not something I've experienced before but I guess considering what had happened to her friend, it made sense.

I explained I wouldn't think about putting anyone on a horse of mine that I hadn't ridden first. I think it's common courtesy to show someone that a horse really is what they are advertised to be........and mostly for me that's about safe. I let her know she could see how things went and then let me know if she wanted to ride. That seemed to reassure her a bit.

We went through the barn to meet horses and chatted for a while just as we had earlier in the day with the other couple. Then we loaded Aidol up and make our way back over to the park. Again, the people were surprised at how easily the horse loaded. Again I gave my little explanation of why that happens to be. Still it surprises me all the people who think difficult loading horses is the norm.

We went through the same routine at the park getting the horse tacked up before I rode him. I still rode him in a western saddle even though I was going to ride him in a hunter frame. I usually school that way most of the time anyway and I figured the young woman would feel more secure on a strange horse in that western saddle.

Normally I wouldn't have lunged the horse but they wanted to see him on the lunge line so went through the motions. Aidol lunged just like he was still fresh. I made it short since there was the possibility the other woman would ride. I didn't want to make him sore with all the work when he'd been playing pasture ornament instead of serious show pony.

Then I climbed on, did a little flexing and bending, then we headed down the rail. Aidol didn't even think twice about the shift in gears. The horse loves to go forward and at the request his ears sprang forward and his step perked up. The horse was ready to book.

I laughed out loud at his response. Aidol just always does that to me. I don't think it matters what my mood, the horse's joy at getting to work tickles me. I was going to miss this.

I put the horse through his paces. We did just enough for them to see that he was safe and that he knew his job. Then I asked the second woman if she wanted to take a spin.

This time her response was totally different. She stepped forward with a small smile on her face. It was clear that Aidol looked safe to her. I couldn't wait for her to see how much fun the horse was too ride.

It always helps to know someones skill level before you put them on a horse. I know people who don't even ask. Me, I always gather as much information as I can get. I try not to be obvious about it but I want to know what I'm dealing with before the ride........not during it.

In this situation I'd been asking little questions here and there ever since we first met. I knew the young woman had shown and even competed at regionals. She'd started out slowly as far as ribbons go but was now finding herself pretty regularly in the ribbons.

I asked her when she got on the horse if she wanted instructions from me or if she wanted to fly solo. She said instructions would be good so I told her to shorten up her reins and they were off.

It took a couple of adjustments for her to get the right length of rein but other than that she did pretty well. I knew how her trainer trained and basically Aidol's cues were pretty much the same. It only took the horse a minute or two to loose the concerned look on his face and move out like he would for me.

The prospective buyer and I stood against the rail watching as I gave her a mini lesson on my horse. I mentioned to the woman next to me how much fun Aidol is to ride. Her response was, "I can tell. She doesn't normally smile like this when she rides." I swear I could hear a twinge of jealousy in this woman's voice. She was wishing she could ride this horse.

Before all was said and done that day, I gave these two young woman the same shpeel I had given earlier in the day that time was of the essence. I told them about the other party coming to see the horse earlier and the fact they'd really liked the horse but needed to check with their trainer. ( Actually they liked him enough they had asked if I'd negotiate on his price. The answer was no but I figure when you get to the point that people are asking that question they are serious about the horse.)

I didn't let these women know my thoughts about their trainer's approval. It was up to him to tell them that. I don't know if they knew the trainer and I had talked about Aidol already or not but we had. I guess that conversation is why I expected he would approve her selection if she decided that Aidol was "the one."

As I watched their truck pull out of my driveway. I wondered which one of these two parties would call me back first. That was the one that would end up with the horse. I was pretty sure Aidol had just "sold" himself to everyone he'd seen that day. I remember the tear that rolled down my check as their truck pulled out of sight.

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

The Callbacks

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  1. What a good boy. I'll be interested to know which party calls back first and who gets to love this great horse as their own.

  2. Can't wait to read which way he went .Either way he sounds like the perfect choice for both

  3. Thanks for the comment! I am also interested to know where Aidol ended up...

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I read your bio - 25 horses! What a big job!

    I'm enjoying the story of Aidol.

  5. Its always sad a bit when you have to let a horse that high of quality and heart move on to the next family....

    I love your comment about riding him first. I went to look with a friend of mine and our trainer at an Arab in CA - and my trainer told me afterwards, "You NEVER ride a horse you're looking to buy without someone who knows the horse riding it first. Its just good common sense."

    Since I am perilously short on common sense most of the time, I hadn't really thought about it.

    I love your blog, BTW. I know it isn't easy to keep adding to it daily, and I want you to know I appreciate it!!!

  6. Arlene, he really was a good boy. I was very proud of him.

    fernvalley, he really did fit the needs of each part even though they had very different need. The most important part was they both needed safe and willing. Aidol is definitely that kind of a horse.

    Albigears, thanks for stopping by. Aidol ended up in the perfect home.

    Terry, thanks for reminding me about my bio. I need to change that number to 30. ouch! LOL