Once this incident with the gate happened the rest of the visit was pretty much inconsequential as far as the woman's trial of the horse. She rode him. It went pretty well. She had trouble getting him to canter so gave up. The daughter had some kind of activity that afternoon that we knew might interfere considering the amount of time she had allotted for this trip. Even without the issue with the stool, we were pushing the limits so it made sense to stop here.
Other than that I have no idea what her perception of all this was. She said she wanted to come back another day to ride this Arabian horse again and she expressed her interest in Dandy for her daughter but I wasn't sure how I felt about any of this. I still had lots of questions that needed to be answered and I was going to do what I could to get that done.
It was when we were untacking Percy that I focused my attention more specifically on getting her talking about her history with horses. Like most visitors, the little snippets shared about their horses are hardly enough to get a realistic impression on much of anything.
Even as we talked I realised this woman was not going to volunteer anything that might tell me what I wanted to know. Something told me to ask what the story was behind her last horse in particular.
The woman had mentioned this horse several times during this visit but I was having trouble getting any kind of feel for the nature of that experience. There was nothing that stood out to me......just a feeling there was something there I should know. Since my general questions were just not getting to the bottom of things, I came out directly and asked what happened to this horse. If she loved her so much, where was she? That's what I wanted to know.
I listened to her long, drawn out story of what happened to this horse. It started off with how much she loved her and how special she was. Then it moved on to being married, having a child and ending up divorced and unemployed. According to this woman the mare had been "lost" to her for non payment of board.
In her eyes these details were more a justification for her behavior than taking responsibility for whatever might have happened to this mare because of it. When I queried the woman about where the mare ended up, she didn't know but hadn't really done much to find out. Now, with a new marriage pending so her finances soon to be stable, she was horse shopping.
Needless to say, that was the final straw for me. There had been several areas of concern up to this point about the suitability of this horse and rider but none of them mattered with this new information. I was not selling any horse of mine to a person who had shown such irresponsibility in horse ownership.
I was polite in finishing off with this visit but there would be no future ones. There was no point in putting myself or my horses through the process of presenting horses when I would never consider selling to this person. As she drove off my property, I was glad to see her gone.
As far as I was concerned I'd dodged a bullet. I have experienced horses of mine ending up in bad situations. I do not ever want to be there again. My heart cannot take seeing any horse being abused and/or neglected as it is, without it being a horse I have put my heart and soul into. I may not be able to control what happens to them when they leave here but I can do my best to assure they only leave here in the best hands possible. This woman was not the one for Percy or any other horse.
To be continued......