The last time we all talked, I was giddy with excitement over the possibility of purchasing Reggie, a wild eyed, but very, very handsome young Hanoverian gelding (read my blog post here).
Well, guess what? He’s here!
Reggie arrived on my side of the state several weeks ago, and is already fat, happy, and getting used to his new friends and life in this new world. That said, the transition did not come without some very interesting bumps in the road. Oh, where do I begin? Let’s start with the dreaded vet check.
But disclaimer: Reggie is not my horse. I came to an agreement with the owner that I would continue his training here, and hopefully then we could find him a suitable home where he will be spoiled for the rest of his life. By agreeing to do this, I was taking on all the responsibility of an owner. So before we could ship him across the state to me, we had to make sure he was healthy enough for the move and to continue on with his training.
It had been a while since I was last in the horse buying business or done any kind of pre-purchase exam, so I consulted past trainers and equestrian friends about the best way to go about the entire process. To x-ray or not to x-ray? What is covered in a routine flexion test? And blood work? I was reminded that no horse is perfect, and that every doctor has a very different eye. So I should go into the appointment having an idea of what would be a deal breaker – what issues could possibly be too much for me to handle – early on. And oh boy, was I anxious. Knowing Reggie’s breeder, his brother, his mother, and lots about his fancy sire, I had an idea of what to expect. Luckily there were no huge surprises the day the vet called me to tell me how things went. Hurray!
And onto the next step. Now, it was time to find a means of transportation for Reggie to truck across several hundred miles, equivalent to a couple of hours, from one side of the state to another.
The first problem: I do not own a trailer. The second, most major shipping companies were not interested in doing what they said was a “short” trip during the off season. And third, Reggie had only been in a trailer once previous, and to put it politely, it didn’t go so well.
All I wanted was to get Reggie from one end to the other safely, but also as quickly as humanly possible. I called all kinds of people, the more sketchy types from Craigslist ads were quickly out ruled, while the pricier out-of-towners made my head spin with the enormous costs for a four-hour trip.
I even debated renting a trailer myself, but quickly eliminated the idea knowing how stressed I would be if for some reason I was the cause of any traumatic event before the horse even got home! Finally, a friend of a friend of a friend, introduced me to guy with years of hauling experience and nice big and shiny six-horse trailer that agreed to ship him for a reasonable rate.
The day Reggie was supposed to arrive I was going out of my mind. It took them a little more than an hour to convince Reggie to get into the trailer, but his breeder reported that the hauler was very kind about coaxing him in.
It was hard for me to be waiting for him all the way on the other side of the state, so I tried to channel my nervous energy preparing for him. Cleaning tack, checking over all of his supplements, dewormers, saddle pads, blankets – did I say clean tack?
But finally, he arrived.
He was wide eyed and snorting as he stepped of the trailer, winced at every touch at first, but seemed grateful to see me, of all people, on the other end. So far the transition has gone swimmingly and Reggie has made a bunch of new friends and is enjoying his new life over here.
We ride/train 5 days a week, and try to show at least once every month. It’s exciting to have a pony to care for again, only one to concentrate all of my effort and love toward. I sit at work still, months after the honeymoon period of his arrival has worn off, daydreaming of the events and places I want to take and do with Reggie. We’re making big plans, that’s for sure.
Next update: A report from Reggie’s first show!
In the meantime, here’s a short video of Reggie and I working in the arena of his new home, two weeks after he came over.
Reggie schooling at home