Monday, January 10, 2011

A Different Kind of Journey

This Journey Begins Here

Some years back during the spring I got a call from a young woman (I'm going to refer to her as YW) that I've known since I first began showing horses. We talked a bit catching up then she told me she was looking for a quality horse to train and show. She was hoping to get a horse of her own so she didn't have to deal with her mother(who I shall refer to as HM) but didn't have much money. She thought maybe I might know of something that would work for her.

Over the years I'd spent some time with YW and HM and I considered them to be friends. When I was just starting out HM was training horses for a local breeder and YW was showing some too. I don't remember their horses doing much in the ring in those early days (early for me not them) other than being naughty. It maybe that they did fine but what sticks in my mind was the conversations we had about naughty horses.

It was only after she quit training and was showing a beautiful mare of her own, that I remember she had a great year in the local regions. They were working with one of the BNT's (big name trainers) that year and the mare was going awesome. What a pretty picture in the ring, I was happy for them both.

During later times when they were showing, we'd spent lots of time sitting on the rail evaluating the horses going inside. What was wrong with them and what it took to fix them, we seemed to be on the same page. It was a relationship based in mutual respect, or so I thought.

Now that I had this YW asking me about horses I was thinking this might just be a good placement for one of my Legs' babies. While my horses are priced higher than her budget could bear I was thinking we might be able to figure something out.

At that time I had three brothers here that were the same age. Two of them were just started under saddle and one was not. The reason I hadn't gotten to the third horse yet was because he seemed to be overlooked by visitors here. This gelding was a quality horse and good mover but he did not have the fancy markings of the other two geldings.

One of the brothers was a chestnut stallion with four white irregulars markings on his legs and a fancy star, stripe, snip and upper lip on his beautiful face. He had a very flashy full flowing salted flaxen mane and tail. The other was a dark kind of mahogany bay gelding with two high whites behind and a pretty fancy marking on his face complete with a very large snip that went over one nostril. This horse too had a beautiful face with gorgeous big eyes, long beautiful mane and full flowing tail and was a fancy mover.

The third horse was kind of a medium bay with very little white. He had a beautiful face with the cutest tippy little ears and huge eyes and he was not shorted in the mane of tail department either. As I said, he just got lost in all the chrome of his brothers. I had not started this horse under saddle yet because I was putting my time in on the horses I expected would sell first. This was an opportunity to get this horse a good home and maybe get him in the ring showing the people around here what Legs could do as a sire before I would even have time to get to him. It seemed to be a win win for both of us.

We discussed a price and a payment plan. She made a modest down payment, would make payments of $100 per month for one year and then a balloon payment at the end to pay off the balance. She was supposed to insure the horse to cover the contract if something should happen to him and I made her promise she wouldn't tell anyone what kind of a deal I'd given her on this horse because it was a real steal. I didn't want the word leaking out and making it look like Legs was producing anything less than the quality he is because all anyone heard was a price.

YW was thrilled and we spent some time talking about her dream. She wanted to be a horse trainer and was hoping she could do that in the Arabian circuit. Being able to be seen on a quality horse like this gelding would help to get her noticed. Of course, that was figuring she'd get the job done and the horse would be in the winner's circle but she had a ways to go. This horse wasn't even started yet.

I thought maybe I could help her some with that by getting her seen in the ring on another quality horse. I had just put Legs into the western bridle at this time and he was going pretty awesome. I'd let her ride Legs over at the Tacoma Unit one day and she'd done fine. I was going to let her school Legs at some local shows. Depending on how that went, I might let her show him in the ring.

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

Getting in Deeper

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  1. Sounds like it made good sense at the time, not like these people were frank strangers . Sounds to me like you were giving someone a "leg up " so to speak, why do I think this is headed for the "no good deed goes unpunished" file?

  2. Well so far it seems like a pretty sweet deal for her. And it also seems like a mutually beneficial partnership concerning your horses with her showing them.

  3. I don't want to get ahead of your story, but from own experience, I'm already going UH-OH!

  4. fernvalley, you're right about where it's headed. I wouldn't be posting here if that wasn't the case but the devil is in the details.

    Arlene, it looked good to me at the time or I certainly wouldn't have done it.

    Linda, I wish I'd had whatever alarms going off that you did.

  5. The saga begins...

    I may not comment on every chapter, but I'm reading!

  6. I'm glad you pay attention to which horses your visitors are attracted to. I'm always telling a friend which of her foals or yearlings I think are most promising, and she always dismisses my choice as being wrong. Only when multitudes of other people whose judgment she trusts agree with me, does she pay heed to my tastes. I actually look at temperament and movement first. She focuses on the shape of the head, but the shape of the head isn't going to carry you over a mountain. I guess what you focus on depends on what you want to do with the horse, and I'm not into standing horses up to make them look pretty. Anyway, I have guessed at what might have led to your lawsuit, but knew you had to keep quiet. It sounds like it will turn out to be a valuable lesson for all.

  7. I got the same feeling fernvalley did.

    Is this kinda like saving someone's life with CPR only to have them sue you because you broke their rib doing the heart compresses?

  8. Ahhh - I can't wait to

  9. The only reason I have alarms going off is because I had a MUCH similar start to a story--but different, too. Still, I can tell you, we are friends no more--nor are our daughters who had grown up together and I had been at the one's birth. It was one, if not the, most painful expreriences of my life. They have since reached out to us, but too much damage was done in the ensuing years. All is forgiven in our case, but sometimes you can't go back.

  10. Leah, thanks for letting me know you're there. The support helps.

    NuzzMuzz, I am a good listener and I think what each person has to say has value. While I don't let the tastes of others influence my breeding decisions, I do pay attention.

    In this case the comments reflected the trend in the market for horses with flashy markings, they had nothing to do with quality of the horses. How a horse is judged in the ring will be based on quality and performance. I knew this horse's toughest competition would be here on my farm against his brothers and sisters. Just because he was lost here did not mean he would get lost in the show ring. His quality and beautiful movement would stand out. If his performance did too, the judges would love him. I was counting on that.

    smazouerk, it's complicated. It's not all about the parties of the lawsuit, it's about the emotional war that was waged as well.

    JJ, buckle up........

  11. Linda, I can see why you would have alarms going off if you have already walked a similar road. Hopefully in the future I will have them going off as early too. It sure would be nice to have something positive come from all this stuff.

  12. I am agreeing it does seem like it did seem like a good deal at the time, will be reading along to hear what happened and hopefully you will help us all avoid a bad situationin the future.

  13. I am feeling the clicking of he car on the roller coaster as it heads up the tracks.... only to reach the top and start heading downhill. And when it all goes downhill, it does it just as fast and freaky as the roller coaster does.

    I think a lot of us have gone into deals (on either side) with the best of intentions and hopes pinned on a hot air balloon. Only to have the balloon pop and send it all crashing to the ground. Not everyone recovers well from the fall either. Not the people, not the horses.

    I will have to check back for chapter 2...

  14. sometimes, helping friends isn't the best. But it's hard not to turn good clients into friends. can't wait to read more.