To thine own self be true...

Xanthoria
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To thine own self be true...

Postby Xanthoria » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 pm

As some of you know my voice journey has been bumpy. Rocky. Turbulent.

Over the years, I have had horses suddenly die, get weirdly expensively sick, and been sold horses under false pretenses. My current horse at seven is once again on a nine+ month layup. Woe is me.

Last year I saved up money to buy a new horse. With a good budget in hand I started looking at horses for sale to go Prelim. One of them I went to view with a friend was a horse who had competed at intermediate eventing and was for sale for a pretty reasonable price.

The horse was extremely fit, haven’t had any turnout in a couple of days, and I could not get her to settle. However, I absolutely loved her and didn’t feel unsafe.

Her competition record though was very spotty, with her professional writer and another Olympic rider having failed to get her consistent. Videos of her in dressage were friendly scary.

After I got off my friend and I took her to the barn. And my friend more or less said well that’s an obvious hell no!!! She’s a dressage rider ;) but... I admit the mare was spicy, but I would’ve tried again to ride her... I was trying to be pragmatic.

We went back up to the stables and I told the seller that I wasn’t sure I could do the mare justice. Later the seller asked if I wanted her on a free lease. By then I’ve been laid off from my job and I had to say no.

Today I saw a video of the mare putting in a foot perfect dressage test at prelim, and having an absolute blast in the jumping with her new amateur owner.

I have so many regrets right now… :cry:

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby blob » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:02 pm

Oh, Xan, this is a common feeling. I'm sure all of us have at least one 'horse that got away' kind of regret.

But also, I do believe that if the timing didn't work out, then it wasn't meant to be. You will find your right horse at a time that makes sense for you. And although it sounds like the mare was a good one, I also think you made the right decision saying no to taking on the care of something when there were still plenty of uncertainties.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Xanthoria » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:11 pm

I know... and am usually able to say "oh well, on to the next" but the feeling of regret this morning has been STRONG.

I should have found a way to make it happen. Just UGH!

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Hayburner » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:49 pm

You have no proof that you would have had the same results. Let it go, it was t meant to be

You will find A other, chin up!

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:00 pm

It is frustrating. I think the lesson from this experience might be to open to leasing your next horse...

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby StraightForward » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:06 pm

Argh, so frustrating! I often wonder how different it would have been if I'd bought that lovely 3 year old with the x-ray finding that my vet and the examining vet said wouldn't present any future problems. Horses are such a total crapshoot, I feel like buying one at random is just as effective as spending a year looking.
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Xanthoria
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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Xanthoria » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:11 pm

StraightForward wrote:Argh, so frustrating! I often wonder how different it would have been if I'd bought that lovely 3 year old with the x-ray finding that my vet and the examining vet said wouldn't present any future problems. Horses are such a total crapshoot, I feel like buying one at random is just as effective as spending a year looking.


I passed on a stunning 3 yr old OTTB mare with a great attitude due to a hinky xray.... and always wish I hadn't!

piedmontfields wrote:It is frustrating. I think the lesson from this experience might be to open to leasing your next horse...


In fact I've just asked the same seller if he knows of any lease horses... it's that or take lessons for a year on school horses!

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Wicky » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:26 pm

Oh, regret is useless. I just bought a VERY expensive GP horse that had a very acceptable PPE, which I was present for and videoed and sent to my vet, and has not been right since he walked off the trailer at my barn a week after the PPE. And has now been diagnosed as neurologic, at Tufts. I was going to pass because of a manageable issue, but a very good friend convinced me to buy, because he WAS sound and ammy friendly.... and I may have to put him down.

At some point I will write it all up and share, but am not ready to do it.

SO, Xan, YOU DON"T KNOW what would have happened. You only think about the best possibility, not that the horse could have broken a leg coming off the trailer (I had one that broke a leg during a lameness workup). It could have stumbled like Courtney King Dye's horse did. Regret is useless and misleading.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Xanthoria » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:32 pm

oh my god Wiccky - what the actual?! I'm so sorry :(

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby musical comedy » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:01 am

Omg Wicky, that is horrible. I'm sorry for you. That said, my opinion (and I know I have strong weird ones) is that most FEI horses sold have some hidden issues that wait to appear until after they are purchased. Especially I've seen soft tissue injuries that were likely old ones that had been rested.

Xan, I lost a good one too, but for a different reason. I keep seeing her results at fei and it makes me sick.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Chancellor » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:55 pm

Xan, here's another perspective. I bought the horse of my dreams. But for whatever reason, we just didn't work well together. Other people got on the horse and rode him well. I got on and he was a spooker.

You just never know.

And Wicky....How sad! Horses!

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby fergusnc » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:43 pm

Wicky wrote:Oh, regret is useless.... Regret is useless and misleading.


What wicks said...so true, so clear, but still so hard to absorb sometimes. Can, so sorry you are feeling badly about it all, even though I bet you know that what everyone has said is true. Feeling icky is still just rough. And Wicky, I'm so sorry...that sounds like a rough, rough time.

Sometimes I really, really wonder how horse people get out of bed each morning...and especially how we keep coming back for more after all that happens in life when there is a horse in it. I wonder if brain scans would show that our brains are just not wired the same way :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Srhorselady » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:44 pm

So so sorry. All your hopes and plans plus the $$$. It makes me sick for you.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby goneriding » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:54 pm

When I was horse shopping in about 2009 I looked at a Warlander mare I loved, super fun ride and very lovely. Seller and I couldn't come to terms so I moved on. I weirdly bought a chestnut Oldenburg mare who was a "project," something I was sure I did not want. One week later, the woman boarding Warlander called and said they had put a lien on mare for unpaid board and I could have her for what I'd offered. I was so torn, but I felt like I'd made my decision and there's a reason for everything, right? Chestnut mare ended up being a nutcase that I put down after 8 years of futile effort to help her be a safe usable horse. I regretted not buying that Warlander every day. But... turns out Warlander has ringbone, and is sound only for the lightest of work, so I still wouldn't have had a riding horse. (though I would have had some years of fun, but never mind that lol).

Now I have a Shagya mare who came to me as a 2yo foster, and I fell in love. I still adore her, but she has some mysterious nqr in the right hind and will probably never be qr. At least I enjoy my time with her, whatever we end up doing.

I seriously don't think I will get another horse. This one's for life, and I figure I'll have her into my 70s, so there ya go.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Chisamba » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:34 pm

Well, regrets cannot change the past but they can guide us in future. Trust your instincts more but not completely. Lol

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:09 am

Chisamba wrote:Well, regrets cannot change the past but they can guide us in future. Trust your instincts more but not completely.


Lots of wisdom here. So sorry to hear that happened, Wicky.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby scruffy the cat » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:26 am

Xan- that mare had issues. Serious issues. She hated her job, which was the most revealing thing of all. I'm very glad she went foot perfect for that ammy but there are better horses out there for you. I know there are. I also know you are in the deepest of dark places with your current horse situation, so it's very, very easy to feel like everyone has it better than you right now. I wish I had better things to say to you, but I can say with assurance that if you got that mare, you would have been taking on ANOTHER horse with issues. You don't have to do that. You are deserving of more.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby PaulaO » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:47 pm

Horses are like buses. You miss one, another one comes along. Maybe not at this very moment. The horse may come when you least expect it, maybe when you aren’t looking. That mare may have done a foot perfect test for that other ride, but maybe she wouldn’t have done the same for you. Don’t have regrets. Look to the future.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby KathyK » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:05 pm

I'm so sorry for your misfortune, Wicky, and Xan, I also have one that "got away" (due to what turned out to be dust on the x-rays that only got figured out after I had turned him down). Many years later he still crosses my mind now and then.

My current story, however, is quite the opposite in that a year ago I let myself succumb to pressure from my trainer and bought a horse my gut told me not to buy. My gut was correct. Fortunately, my trainer bought her from me so the financial loss wasn't too bad. Then, as Chisamba suggests, I let that lesson guide me. I trusted myself and this year on my own I tried several horses and only when I felt 100% happy about a horse did I make an offer. So far, it has worked out very well.

Paula is right -- there are lots of horses out there and eventually, one that is right for you will show up. I can't wait to hear about it. :)

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Hayburner » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:58 pm

And then there is the story of my first horse that 2 vets told me not to buy, because he failed his flexion tests. Back then, I didn't know enough to X-ray, etc. but my heart said to buy. I bought, and he never took a lame step. Had him for 18 years he lived to 31 1/2 years when he got into his very high 20's he had a bad stall accident that ended our riding but I never regretted my decision to buy him.

Then the mare that I had 2k worth of X-rays on and the vet missed a nice bone spur and her being pregnant! Lol. Turns out she was/is a major handful after she foaled.

With horse you never really know. It's always a chance.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby mld02004 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:13 am

You’ve had quite the run of bad luck, Xan. You try to make the best choices/decisions you can but honestly it’s all a gamble, isn’t it?

And wicky, I’m so sorry. No words.

My heart horse just rehabbed one tendon injury from last summer only to injure her check ligament this year, in the same leg. Ironically and cruelly, it happened right before breaking ground on my very own dressage arena. Prognosis is not great for returning to third level work.

There were times when I just wanted to walk away, maybe buy some goats for my farm instead. They are heartbreakers for sure, but we love them so much anyway. Each ride must be cherished, who knows what tomorrow brings.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby LeoApp » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:35 pm

I never had big show ambitions, so I didn't get a fancy horse, but I was certainly very fortunate with the horse I bought with no vet check. I was a complete beginner. He never took a lame step, never colicked, was always kind to me, and lived to 33. I had lots of fun and many adventures with him and I always called him my Timex watch because he just kept on ticking. Now I realize I had a unicorn.
Horses can be heartbreaking and you never really know how much luck you will have with them. I don't blame anyone who decides they're done with horse ownership. A lot of my horse buddies are now horseless. They are in their late 60ies or even early 70ies and when they lost their last horse, they didn't have the intestinal fortitude to go searching for another one.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Rockabilly » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:48 pm

LeoApp wrote: They are in their late 60ies or even early 70ies and when they lost their last horse, they didn't have the intestinal fortitude to go searching for another one.


Yes, I think that is very true, but something else may be at work here. I am grateful Billy left me first as tragic and painful as it was because I would not want to go first and leave him behind. I would be in agony knowing even though I had plans in place for him that no one would love him and take care of him as I did and I wouldn't want that burden on someone else.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Xanthoria » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:08 am

mld02004 wrote:My heart horse just rehabbed one tendon injury from last summer only to injure her check ligament this year, in the same leg. Ironically and cruelly, it happened right before breaking ground on my very own dressage arena. Prognosis is not great for returning to third level work.


Oh lawdy - that's awful. I'm so sorry :(

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Xanthoria » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:11 am

scruffy the cat wrote:Xan- that mare had issues. Serious issues. She hated her job, which was the most revealing thing of all. I'm very glad she went foot perfect for that ammy but there are better horses out there for you. I know there are. I also know you are in the deepest of dark places with your current horse situation, so it's very, very easy to feel like everyone has it better than you right now. I wish I had better things to say to you, but I can say with assurance that if you got that mare, you would have been taking on ANOTHER horse with issues. You don't have to do that. You are deserving of more.


Thanks scruffy... I'm trying to stop bashing my head on the brick wall of horse ownership, really I am... why is this so hard? Answers on a postcard, please...

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Silverado » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:39 am

Please be kind to yourself....it wasn't meant to be...

Years ago I took one of my mares to be bred to a lovely stallion and while I was there saw a gorgeous mare in the pasture. My mare did indeed get pregnant and I have a lovely gelding now. The owner of the stallion decided to close down the barn just taking a few horses with her to a smaller farm. We had become friends by that time....not close friends but friends. She sold the rest of the horses. At some point, I mentioned how much I loved that one mare and wish I had the money to buy her. I knew she was going for a lot of money. She literally stop in her tracks and said..."If I had known you had wanted her I would have given her to you. A great home who would have appreciated her and done right by her". Yeah...oh... well...I won't tell you how many years it has taken me to get over not speaking up and getting that mare.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Tsavo » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:25 am

Xanthoria wrote:

- competed at intermediate eventing and was for sale for a pretty reasonable price.
- I could not get her to settle. However, I absolutely loved her and didn’t feel unsafe.
- Her competition record though was very spotty, with her professional writer and another Olympic rider having failed to get her consistent. Videos of her in dressage were friendly scary.
- Later the seller asked if I wanted her on a free lease
- Today I saw a video of the mare putting in a foot perfect dressage test at prelim, and having an absolute blast in the jumping with her new amateur owner.

Because it makes no sense that a random ammy could get good performance out of this mare when a pro and an O rider could not...

Because her competition record was spotty presumably with a pro...

Because such a horse was offered on free lease...

The case must be that she had a physical problem that was eventually diagnosed and addressed successfully. You can't beat yourself up over that. And it was a crapshoot whether it would have ever been identified. You really should stop beating yourself up.

A trainer I worked with had to go through several vets before she found one that could diagnose and address a physical problem in an ex-jumper who suddenly refused to jump. At least two vets PASSED the horse and found no issue. Finally the problem was found and treated and this ex-jumper went on to third level in record time and with style with the pro. He probably would have gone further had he not been sold to a lower level ammy.

Also, every once in a long while, rest does seem to completely rehabilitate a horse. There is an I2 horse in my barn who was sitting in a field for a few years before the present owner, lower level ammy, bought him. The horse was owned by an ammy but ridden by a pro as I understand it. It's all pretty hazy though. Because it is unlikely a pro would just step off an I2 horse for no reason, the horse must have been injured and I think the present owner said something like that. Again, very hazy. But I have now watched this horse ridden several days a week albeit lightly and all training level. I have never seen the horse take a lame or uneven step. Now maybe the horse would have broken down at anything above training level, who knows. But it is still remarkable.

Xan, there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns. They all add up to you having to cut yourself some slack on this mare. No jury would convict you. :-)

On balance, I think you dodged a bullet.

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Chancellor » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:49 am

Not having the intestinal fortitude to get another one.....YEAH! That about sums it up. I have had more than my fair share of bad luck with horses. And I had a couple really good ones too. But crap, it is HARD to find that unicorn.

I remember searching the WantAdvertiser for my horses. It was the best place to find horses. Now, you have a million and one Facebook groups and other social media. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack!

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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby StraightForward » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:46 pm

Xanthoria wrote:Thanks scruffy... I'm trying to stop bashing my head on the brick wall of horse ownership, really I am... why is this so hard? Answers on a postcard, please...


Y'know, if anything goes wrong with Tesla, I think I'm just going to go buy a mustang out of one of the training programs. And if that doesn't work out... well, I guess I'll take up crafting.
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Re: To thine own self be true...

Postby Josette » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:45 pm

Consider it kismet and that it was not meant to be. I like Chisamba reply about learning from the experience - but now it's time to move on. There will always be another horse and another wonderful opportunity in the future.

For me, the replies from LeoApp and Rockabilly hit home as I am an older rider and very bonded with my pony. As much as I admire and view watching sale videos (mostly my favorite rider/trainer) - I always stop short of another purchase because of the ownership commitment.


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