I’ve been searching for a new dressage partner for a long long time. I’m not in the position to spend millions and even if I was, I doubt I would…

I’m not looking for just a horse but “THE” Horse.

With the countless resources, listing and referrals I guess I’d say I’m picky. I’ve tried several times to convince myself that horsey A, the 17+ year old, trained to second+ level, been there, done that, as close to DEAD broke as a horse could get is just what I need and each and every time just seconds before I finish signing the purchase agreement, I come to my senses and run away, knowing it’s NOT what I really want.

So back to shopping I go…

Last week, I stumbled on a listing for a horse. Actually, the man had several for “sad sale”. In the listings, he explains that he lost his wife and money issues are forcing the sale. There was one horse that peeked my interest, so after a day of considering, I drop an email. Within minutes, I received a reply and a ton of pictures.

OMG!!!! It’s the one the one I’ve been searching for. He’s 5 years old, 17.1 hands, dark steel gray with big light gray patches and dark dapples. OMG!!! I got to meet him NOW!!! I’m running circles throughout the house, yelling at my husband to hook up the trailer. And he is in my price range, in fact on the low end.

I sent the pictures to my son and my trainer. I can’t breathe… it’s the one, I just know it is.

My son calls “Are you nuts? He’s uglier than sin”… Oh, no he’s not!!! HE IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

My trainer’s comment “Well, you won’t need reins… just use his ears.” They both say he looks like a mule crossed with an Irish wolfhound. To me, he is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And he has the coolest name… Jeff, ahhwwwwww perfect.

I am ready to run alone into the dark woods to meet this horse. I am horse CRAZY!!!

STOP and think…

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve toddled off to some unknown farm located off the map, down some two track dirt road. ALONE! Is it really wise? Heck no. Take lots of people with you.

Better yet, ask if they can bring the horse to a more public setting like a reputable training barn. Use the excuse I want to see him move in footing more like what I’ll be dealing with, or just tell them flat out I’m not comfortable coming out to one mile South of Deliverance.

It’s not always possible to prove ownership of a horse. Ask lots and lots of questions. How long have you had the horse? What have you done with him? Ask for references. Call the vet. Ask the vet how long Billie Bob has owned Jeff. Has he been kept current on his shots? Ask to speak to the farrier. If you are told what shows they took him to, call the show secretary and ask if any one recalls this horse with these people.

Sadly enough, our world has become crazy and dangerous.  Let’s be safe.

After the third email conversation with the “owner” of Jeff, red flags went up. The first email contained pictures and a well worded detailed description of the horse and what the horse has done. The next two emails were very short, poor sentence structure and riddled with bad spelling. In the first email, typical horseman terms were used the next two odd phrases such as…even a child can walk him on a leash. (?)

Something did not feel right, so when it came time to set a date for a visit, I made it clear that my husband and trainer were coming along. I have not received a return email since.

When in doubt, go with your gut. There are a lot of horses out there. Be wise and safe.

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