December 30, 2009

The Eventing Pony

Have I mentioned I'm going to look at Haynes the Eventing Pony next week?  I don't think so, I'm mentioning it now.

I'm finally at the place in my life where I know what the next few years will look like.  My finances are in excellent shape, I have a great job lined up after graduation and I'll be living rent-free for at least a year after  I graduate.  After four years of being an equine studies major and going into my IT job full-time, I feel like there's going to be this giant void in my life that can only be filled by a four-legged child.  Plus, if I get him soon I can jump him in Jump II and take him to the off-campus schooling show.

So what am I looking for?  Venice was the first pony I'd even ridden in my life (at the age of nineteen, I know!) and I realized with him that ponies are just what I want to ride.  Not the boring fat ones meant for children, but the leggy, athletic TB/Warmblood looking sport ponies.  I had confidence on Venice that I haven't always felt on bigger horses; I'm a chicken at times, and at 5'0 108lbs, it's hard for me to ride some of the really big ones anyway.  Venice would be high as a kite and bucking and I could just laugh it off, whereas I'd be a basket case on a 16.2hh'er.  I also liked the amount of control I had over his body while in the saddle.  I'm aware that it gives me a disadvantage in certain types of showing, and while I am going to show, it's not my priority (nor my checkbook's).

He was 13.2 and I looked completely normal on him, so that said, here's what I'm looking for:
- 13.2-14.2.  I won't totally discount something that falls toward either end of the range, but 13.2-14.2 is the goal.
- Athletic.  I want to do eventing, athleticism needs to be a priority.
- A fun ride.  I don't like riding crazy, but I also don't want a dead head children's pony.  I'm looking for that pony whose temperament description is "Not really a children's pony, best for an intermediate rider or above."
- 3+.  I'd take a three year old, though I'm really looking for at least a four or five year old.
- Well-built.  I thank my lucky stars for my equine studies education in situations like this.  I know exactly what traits I can live with and what I will cull for.  I'm not made of money and I'm not sinking my money into something I KNOW is going to have hock problems/knee problems/other problems due to the way he's built and used.
- Good strong feet that are barefoot!  I'm not a crazy barefoot person, but I AM looking at ponies.  More than any other type of horse, they're the ones most likely to have those legendarily hard pony feet and will never need shoes.  All other things equal, I will select for feet.
- Confident and can take a joke.  Sure I want to event, but I'd also love to try fox hunting or cutting a cow or skijoring or...
- GELDING.  If God's gift to man comes down from the sky in the form of a mare I'll only be a little disappointed, but I will select for a gelding.  I've always liked them better, and besides, after four years of women's college I've got all the estrogen I can handle.

I'm currently poor because of my car, but I'm upholding a date to meet two possible prospects next week anyway.  They are located here:  Haynes is the top choice, SS Nova is the second choice.  Thoughts?

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