How Much Does Your Instructor Really Know?

How Much Does Your Instructor Really Know?


It seems that everybody in the horse world thinks they’re a trainer or instructor. (For trainers, please refer to an earlier post So Many Trainers … Which One Is Right For My Horse? ). Just how much does your instructor really know?

Although there is a certification for riding instructors, it’s not required (in my opinion it should be) in order to give lessons so anybody that thinks they have knowledge can advertise themselves as a riding instructor.

  1. First and foremost, is your instructor safe? If you’re riding a lesson horse, does the horse match your skill level or do you feel like you’re constantly being “over horsed”?  If you’re taking lessons on your own horse, are you being asked to do things that are new and somewhat challenging to you and/ or your horse or are you being taught well above the skills of you and/or your horse?

A good instructor should know the horses in their lesson program and be able to match the horse’s level to the ability of the rider. The rider should feel safe and under control. He/she should also be able to asses your skill level and the training level of your horse if you take lessons on your own horse. Lessons should be informative and slightly challenging to you and your horse. They should not be so far above your skill level and your horse’s training that you either don’t understand or don’t feel safe.

2.     Are you progressing? It doesn’t matter if you take lessons several times a week or once a month, new lessons should be a review of what was learned in the last lesson and something new. The review is to make sure the lesson was learned and understood. Something new doesn’t need to be huge – just something to progress you toward your goal of becoming a better rider. If lessons are the same thing every time and you’re stagnating as a rider, you may be above your instructor’s skill level and it’s time to start looking for a new instructor. After all, you’re not paying to ride, you’re paying to be taught.

3.     Does your instructor ride and how well?  No longer and don’t are two very different things. No longer could be due to an accident or injury that prevents them from riding. The old adage “Those who can do and those who can’t teach” is far too prevalent in the horse world. Good riders have the potential to be good instructors, only limiting them by their ability (or lack of) to teach. Bad riders or “I don’t” riders have absolutely no business giving lessons. If you lack the skills to do, what makes you think you can teach? Beware of the person that calls themselves an instructor because they spent years watching their child’s lessons, but don’t ride well or at all. These people put your life in danger because of their lack of knowledge and just take your money so you can ride a horse.  How can you safely teach someone to canter and jump if you can’t do it yourself?

4.     Is he/she knowledgable? Can they offer solutions that work to a problem you might be having?  If your instructor is offended by or blows off questions, chances are they’re covering for their own lack of knowledge. How can you learn if you don’t ask questions? Good instructors should welcome questions and be able to give an informative and correct answer. If they don’t know, they should tell you they’ll find out and answer the question next time.

5.    Are their lessons really their lessons? Maybe …. or maybe not. If lessons are planned and you can’t deviate chances are it falls into the maybe not category. At some point in time you’ll read, hear or see something that you’d like to learn. A legit instructor shouldn’t have a problem teaching that “something” if you ask and postponing what was planned for the following lesson. Unless it’s going to be far above your skill level, if it’s an issue, it should be a warning sign. If it is above your skill level, the instructor should tell you it’s well above your skill level, but something you can work towards. They either don’t know it and won’t tell you, have a set plan that they recently learned from someone else or had to study to come up with your lesson. Another one for the maybe not category is if you’re always hearing references to another instructor. It’s fine for an instructor to be a student, but not a parrot. They should be taking what they learned and making it their own before teaching it. References to another instructor should tell you that you’re really paying for the other instructor’s lessons. You might be able to learn more if cut out the middle man and taking lessons directly from the other instructor.

Follow your potential instructor on Social Media. Do they write their own articles or just repost articles that other people have written? Using Social Media to promote your knowledge is a great way to attract potential students. Why wouldn’t you share some of your knowledge for free in order to increase your client base?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do you ride? If so, at what level? How long have you been riding? How long have you been teaching? May I come watch a few lessons (someone close to the same riding level as you)?  If simple questions are offensive, you should probably continue your search for an instructor. It’s your hard earned money that you’re paying these people for their knowledge – you have a right to know the answers.

 

 

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should


I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve thought of this while watching people with horses. I think I’ve seen it all by now. I saw a post on Facebook recently that said common sense isn’t a flower that grows in everyone’s garden. It seems to be especially true with horse people.

  • Towing a full sized steel 2 horse trailer with a little 4 cylinder Jeep Liberty or similar small SUV. The SUV could fit in the trailer. If the horses move around you could have the tail wagging the dog. Not to mention there’s not enough power to pull out of a situation if needed. I guess this person didn’t realize they were putting their lives, as well as their horse’s life in jeopardy.
  • Standing on a flighty horse on the seat of a western saddle wearing cowboy boots. This one didn’t end well. Someone came around a building, spooked the horse and this person landed on their rear on the hard ground.
  • Cantering around the ring with nothing on the horse but a neck rope when there’s horses in pastures on either side of you and people riding in the ring.
  • Jumping a fence with a spread when your horse never saw that type of jump and not showing it to them first. That was me when I was 14. I had barrels on end with a rail across them and spackle buckets on end with a rail. The spread was about 2′. Since my (14.1h) pony jumped anything I pointed her at I never thought this would be a problem. It wasn’t for her, it was for me. It didn’t end well either. I cantered towards the jump (bareback no less) she came to a screeching halt, looked at the jump and while I was about to turn away & try again, she jumped it from a standstill. I jumped it without her and landed face down in the dirt.
  • Sitting on your horse while it’s loose in the pasture with other horses and no leadline. Yes, I’m referring to the picture and that’s me. It probably wasn’t a good idea, but I raised him from a long yearling and knew it was just too much effort for him to do anything except eat. The only other horse in the pasture was my husband’s older mare.

My point to all of this is safety first. It may sound like fun, but what could happen? Is it safe for you and your horse?  Think of the outcome before you do it!

What Is Your Horse Telling You?

What Is Your Horse Telling You?


Do you listen to what your horse has to say? Horses can’t keep secrets and are more that willing to tell you their entire life story if you’re willing to listen. I know, I’m being silly ….. but am I really?

I didn’t have a horse when I met my husband and rode his. We reached a spot of the trail 20132and I asked him if he normally let her run there.  He’d look at me funny and said yes.  We’d get to another place in the trail and I’d ask again. The answer was the same. Later I just shortened it to “your horse is telling on you”.

 

 

059I had a young trainer at the barn break Rawhide for me. I don’t bounce anymore and had too many responsibilities to be riding unbroke colts. We went down one evening to watch. Rawhide had been under saddle for several weeks and had always been very good. That evening he was bucking. When he was reprimanded for bucking, he’d rear. this went on for a few minutes and the trainer wasn’t taking the (horse’s) hint. I asked him when was the last time my horse gave him any trouble. The answer was never. I told him to get off my horse. I started to examine Rawhide and found the worn cinch rubbed a hole in Rawhide and the horse was rebelling because he hurt. I told him if he had listened to the horse, he’d still have a job.

TJ told me quite a few things in the year I owned him (see my blog TJS The Bomb, from

IMG_1865show horse to kills sale & beyond). Not all were good, but he told me because I was willing to listen. I learned he was scared to death to be ridden Western in the ring. He told me he was much happier English when he relaxed and started having fun. I knew he didn’t have trail experience, but he was better when we rode form the barn instead of trailering out. He told me he was scared of the trailer.

 

 

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Wyatt has no problem telling me loud and clear if he doesn’t like something. He hates groundwork. He’s told me several times. I don’t listen because he needs the groundwork he didn’t get before he was broken. He’s only 2 and thinks he knows everything. the last time we did groundwork I asked him to back & tapped him on the chest with the lead. He thew a front hoof in my direction. I asked him to move his hind end left & he cow kicked in my direction. After discussing his crappy stud colt attitude, he did what I asked.

I had a young horse that was an angel until something bothered him. If it was near or on his head, he’d rear. If it was on his body he’d buck. Once I figured out what the problem was and corrected it, he was fine.

Most horses are very quiet when they talk to you. Subtle body language, posturing and behavior. The hints will get stronger if ignored. Listen carefully and they’ll tell you.

So what have your horses been telling you over the years that you haven’t heard?

 

Not All Farriers Are Created Equal

Not All Farriers Are Created Equal


I’m absolutely amazed at the amount of people that use their farrier because he’s cheap, shows up on time or they’ve been using him/her for years. You’ll find the same answers from both novices and experienced horse people. Do people ever stop to ask themselves “does my farrier do a good job?”. Do people even know what to look for to be able to answer that question?

Cheap and shows up aren’t necessarily good qualities in a farrier. Being dependable is great, but why is your farrier always on time? Is it because he/she is very good at time management or because of lack of clients and plenty of time? We use an excellent farrier. As dependable as he is and as good as he is at scheduling, he’s not always on time. Horse and human clients aren’t as worried about your schedule as you are. Let’s face it, when you work with horses for a living, they’re bound to throw off your schedule. If your farrier is always on time, it may be time to rethink your farrier.

How do you know if your farrier is doing a good job? What do you look for?

From what I’ve seen over the past 45+ years, the #1 problem is too much toe and not enough heel. Cutting the heel off strains the tendons and muscles, which can lead to a variety of lameness issues in the future. Some of theses include navicular and contracted heels. The angle of the back of the hoof should match the front. Some farriers trim all horses at a 45 degree angle, which isn’t correct either. The angle of the hoof should mirror the angle of the shoulder. The angle of the front of the hoof should match the angle of the back of the hoof.

Types of trims should be different. If you farrier trims a barefoot horse the same way as a shod horse, you may want to rethink who you’re using. Barefoot trims should never be flat. The hoof wall thickens and develops  a mustang roll. The sole will eventually start to dish and the horse will have a nice, deep sole.

Editors note – None of these photos are of a fresh trim. She was trimmed 3 1/2 weeks ago.

If your horse is shod, does your farrier shape the shoe to the hoof or the other way around?  Is there more time spent reshaping the shoe, checking for fit and reshaping agin until the shoe fits the hoof?  Or is the shoe close enough & the hoof is filed until they match? All good, knowledgeable farriers will fit the shoe to the hoof. The angles of the trim are the same, but the sole needs to be flat so the shoe will fit flat.

So how does your farrier stack up?

Are Registries & Associations Ruining The Breeds?

Are Registries & Associations Ruining The Breeds?


Over the past 30-40 years stock horse breeds and their registries have evolved into, for better or worse, what we have today. Years ago the Appaloosa was a stocky horse that had their own gait called the Indian Shuffle. They had a scrawny tail and a mane to match. Quarter Horses. Appaloosas and Paints each with their own distinct characteristics, breed standards and breeders that cared about preserving each breed’s integrity. Today they’re basically all the same except for the “clothes” they wear. In the western disciplines all breeds look like Quarter Horses in either plain (Quarter Horses) or fancy (Paints and Appaloosas) clothes. In the English disciplines, all could pass for Thoroughbreds. Were these changes really good for the breeds or were they pushed through because they were better for the breeders based on what what showing and winning?

How can a horse be double registered AQHA & APHA? If it has Paint blood then it can’t be registered AQHA. If it doesn’t have Paint blood, but has enough and properly patterned  chrome should it be allowed in APHA? Taking notice to stallion ads, you could get the impression that AQHA and APHA are interchangeable.

After spending the last 10 minutes searching AQHA’s website and rulebook, I’ve failed to find the definition of a Quarter Horse or breed characteristics. Have they done away with what the Quarter Horse is supposed to be and are accepting any foal that has registered parents of an acceptable breed?

In my opinion registries don’t make the rules and don’t have a huge concern for the horses, but adopt what the “money people” dictate. If registries were concerned with the breeds, they’d put a stop to the cruelty done horses for the sake of making money. The Western Pleasure horse is the most abused horse in the country. What goes on in big training barns should never be allowed, but it is because that’s where the money is. If registries cared about the horse, 3 year olds wouldn’t be expected to be fully trained reiners, cutters or reined cow horses in order to compete in futurities. A lot of the top trainers will tell you they don’t like doing this, but it’s what the clients want and they have to make a living. The hard demands of showing horses at a young age has lead to an influx of lame, unusable  6-10 year olds being sent to the kill pens.

What’s your opinion? Are registries and associations ruining the breeds?

My Horses Over The Years – Mufasa Pine

My Horses Over The Years – Mufasa Pine


After too many year of arguing with Wrangler, I was a bit leery about another Quarter Horse. Rawhide was different. He wasn’t pleasure bred, but cow and reining bred. He was born at the barn where we board (and still do) so I’d known him for a good portion of his young life. Although he lived in the pasture with the herd and wasn’t handled much, he was quiet and laid back. Just what I needed after Wrangler put the fear of riding back into me.

I bought Rawhide as a long yearling stud colt in September 2008. For the first time he had a stall and his own person. He took to his new life and his lessons well and learned quickly. We had quite a bit of work ahead of us if he was going to be ready to start breaking as a 2 year old. he learned everything he needed to except how to lunge/round pen. He was so attached to me I couldn’t get him far enough away. Oh well … not a big deal. he wasn’t going to be the type of horse that needed to be lunged before he was ridden anyway. In November he figured out he was a stallion and I had to make the decision I didn’t want to make. Being a gelding was going to be a much better life for him so he was gelded.

When Rawhide turned 2 he wasn’t big enough for Greg to start so I was the first one on his back. It had been many years since I was on an unbroken colt and Greg helped me quite a bit. Although he was really good, Greg & I decided I was too old to be possibly get bucked off. There was a young trainer at the barn. We were told he was really good so we let him have Rawhide for 30 days. Little did I know at that time that decision would cost both Rawhide and I dearly for the rest of the time I owned him. (See my post entitled So Many Trainers …. Which One Is Right For My Horse?). We had a great summer trail riding, learning how to work cattle, doing turn back for cutting and everything else I could think of exposing him to.

In the spring just before he turned 3, we decided to move him to a barn that was closer to our house. It was a beautiful place. He and Koko had the choice of suing their stalls or being outside. There were hills and a creek that ran through their pasture. We were looking forward to having them close enough to go almost every day. He got off the trailer, poofed up like a peacock and was never the same. he was wild, arrogant and study. He herded me around like I was one of his mares. When I rode I wasn’t sure if he was going to buck, rear or take off with me. He was growing into a little tank and his behavior scared me. Greg was tired of riding the trails alone so he decided to hand walk Rawhide on the trails to see how he was.  Rawhide was relaxed and grazing. It was going well until Greg was ready to head back to the barn. He pulled Rawhide’s head up. Rawhide went up and struck out with a front foot. Although he was corrected hard and quickly for all of his misbehaving, he still continued to be arrogant and belligerent. Our trainer friend stopped by on his way past to see what was going on and if he could correct it. My colt turned into a rodeo bronc. Reprimand made him worse. We were at our whits end and I was terrified to handle him on the ground, let alone get on him again. Little did I know this was the beginning of the end. We were only there 2 1/2 months when I decided Rawhide had to go back to his old barn. We trailered him back on a Friday evening. Rawhide went out in his old pasture with his newly found attitude.  The next morning we went to check on him. Docile, laid back Rawhide had returned with a few added hoof prints on him. A few of his buddies didn’t like his new attitude and “told” him about it.

Over the next few years our relationship was on a downhill spiral and I didn’t know why. He became afraid of, well… everything. He was afraid to ride in his pasture, the hay fields, trail rides, the trailer. He was alright in the ring.  Ring work became mundane and he was getting ring sour. On the rare occasion I could get him on a trail ride he spooked at everything. It was getting old. I thought things were starting to turn around. He was 5. He’d grown up and matured. We traded the slant load in and bought a brand new 4 horse stock trailer thinking if he had an entire section to himself, he’d be more willing to go in. We loaded Koko loose in the front and put Rawhide loose in the back of the trailer and drove to Green Lane. We had a great ride. We were out for hours and on trails he’d never been on.  He was perfect.

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We finished our ride and put both of them in the trailer loose. We got back to the barn and  with lead in hand I went to unload my horse. He wasn’t there. I hopped up on the running board to see if he went down, but he wasn’t there. I was panicked and hear commotion from the front of the trailer. Both horses were in front and Rawhide had Koko squashed against the side of the trailer. She wasn’t happy. We unloaded both of them. Not a mark on either, but he was shaken up. The only thing we can figure out is that the center partition wasn’t completely closed so that it latched. It was very stiff and hard to close since it was new. During the ride it must have swung open. Somehow Rawhide got around it to get upfront with Koko, it swung back hard enough it latched and locked both in front. I’m so thankful we never tied them in the trailer. Unfortunately Rawhide wouldn’t get in the trailer again, regardless of how much we worked with him.

We were stuck in the ring again. He hated the ring, but now he refused to go anywhere except the ring. I couldn’t even ride him across the parking lot that he’d ridden across hundreds of times. I talked to Greg on several occassions about selling him over the following few years and Greg always talked me out of it. He’d ride Rawhide once in awhile and had no problems. The more I rode the worse he got. I’d ask for a trot, I got attitude then a trot. I asked for a canter, I got a buck before the canter. I smacked him for bucking, he bucked again.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but when he changed so drastically after moving to the new barn and I became afraid of him, he started loosing confidence in me. I gained my confidence in him back, but he never trusted me again. It was time for both of us to move on. I showed him to a girl that just loved him. He was absolutely horrendous for me ad an angel for her. I knew I made the right decision. It took 3 people to shove Rawhide into the trailer, but he went to his new home shortly before Christmas 2014. I heard he was doing well and even being used as a lesson horse for beginners.

I met TJ on December 28, 2014. He was delivered on New Years’ Day 2015. TJ is a special horse. He was so special his story needed to be shared. You can read it in my other blog From Show Pen to Kill Sale and Beyond.

Worlds Worst Blogger

Worlds Worst Blogger


I think I officially earned the title of world’s worst blogger. I know you’re supposed to post on a regular basis and I’m far from doing that. I’m down to once a month and if I didn’t take time over the winter to write and schedule quite a few posts, I wouldn’t have anything. I do have a few more scheduled posts and a few drafts I need to finish. I usually write about a topic that’s annoyed me in some way, to better educate horse enthusiasts or give my opinions. Nothing has annoyed or inspired me, there’s no hot topics in the horse world (or at least my horse world).

This little boy inspires me to write.

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I don’t want to take the entire blog with him since it’s called My Life With Horses and not My Life With Wyatt. I really enjoyed blogging about TJ and telling his story in From Show Pen to Kills Sale and Beyond (wordpress.tjsthebomb.com), but TJ’s story ended.

If you’d like to follow Wyatt from a gangly colt to what we’re doing today, as well as what his future holds, subscribe to  Growing Up Wyatt .  It’ll be up and running in a few days.

My Horse Over The Years – I’m Sonnys Cookiebar

My Horse Over The Years – I’m Sonnys Cookiebar


Wrangler wasn’t supposed to be mine. My finance’s daughter was really enjoying riding and we went to VA to look at him for her. He was almost 3, but he was very quiet. We were told he spent a year at the trainer. She liked him so we bought him.

Since Greg just about knocked him over getting on, I’d be the one to give him more wet saddle blankets and trail experience. It didn’t take many rides for me to realize the year he spent at the trainer was most likely standing around eating. He knew virtually nothing. It turned out Felicia liked Shaker much more than Wrangler so we traded. Quiet wasn’t something I was really looking for in a horse, but he was mine. It had been quite a long time since I trained a horse so to keep myself in check I took him to the monthly shows that a local club held. We showed halter, Jr Western Pleasure Horse and Snaffle Bit all summer. We ended the show season taking Champion Jr Western Pleasure Horse despite my having to argue with him every show.The three of us also spent quite a lot of time on the trails.

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The older he got the more he resented work. He ended up being about 15.1h and strong. Resenting work I could handle. Being vindictive and spiteful was something I wasn’t going to tolerate. From spinning on a dime and bolting to trying to pull me over his head when I asked him to canter and everything he could think of to get out of work in between.  After a few years I’d had enough. Wrangler was sent to bootcamp with a trainer friend of ours.

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Boot camp did a world of good for Wrangler … while he was there. He pulled every stunt on Ryan that he pulled on me and more.  He was an angel every time I rode there. The verdict at the end of 30 days was Wrangler was incredibly lazy and still rather exert more energy in trying to get out of work than if he would do the work that was being asked of him. He was always going to be one of those horses that had to practically beaten into working. I was tired of the fight with a horse that was never going to be right for me.

My Horse Over The Years – Shaken ‘n Movin’

My Horse Over The Years – Shaken ‘n Movin’


My (ex) husband and I were separated. We had been together since I was 17 and married when I was 20. I was on my own after 20 years of marriage trying to figure out my life, my finances and how to be on my own again. After I sold Dundee I wasn’t allowed to get another horse and ended up spending 12-13 years away from them. I knew I wanted to get back into horses, but not this soon. Friends were looking for a husband safe/kid safe horse so I made a few phone calls. A friend said she did have a horse for sale. It was a 15h Appendix mare that belonged to a boarder that stopped paying. I went to look at Shaker on a Saturday morning at the end of June. She was under weight from being tossed into a pasture with other mares that stole her food. I rode her … walk, trot & canter both ways. She even snuck over a small jump. She was happy, alert and willing. I knew right away she wasn’t going to be a husband and kid safe horse, but there was something about her. I didn’t need to be dealing with a horse this soon. I was still figuring out how to live on my own, but there was something about her. The $1,500 price tag was far too much money for the condition she was in and her lack of training, but that’s what was owed on back board and there was something about her.

Later that day Greg & I showed up with a trailer that was a bit too small for the horse (but it was the only one available) and a check. I was an idiot. I wasn’t sure if I could afford the horse I just paid far too much for, but there was something about her. I found out later she was supposed to go to New Holland that Monday. We got back to the ranch where Greg lived and where Shaker was going to be boarded. Everyone was waiting to see the new horse. Although it was only about a 15 minute trailer ride, Shaker didn’t travel well. She was nervous and dripping wet from nose to tail. The featured photo was taken when she was unloaded at her new home. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I saw something in her.

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She went from a horse that nobody wanted to a well trained, dependable horse that could go anywhere. We rode the trails at Green Lane every Sunday for 3-4 hours. We went to shows and gymkhanas. Shaker and I had a blast in the 1 1/2 years I owned her. I knew she wasn’t going to be my forever horse, but she was a great horse to get me back into riding.

My finance’s daughter really liked riding her and she loved kids. She was turning out to be not enough horse for me. She was steady and dependable. She was bred to be a race horse, foaled in New Mexico and my fiancé could walk faster on crutches that she did. It was time for us to part ways and for Shaker to have a kid of her own.

Shaker got a kid of her own. She boards at the same barn we do, had a foal 3 years ago and we see her every time we go to the barn.

My Horses Over The Years – Six Bars of Steel

My Horses Over The Years – Six Bars of Steel


Foaled in April of 1991, Dundee was by Steel Test out of Tender Gold Skipette. The 7/8 Skipper W colt was bred by Bill Devito and was intended to be his next show horse and eventually breeding stallion. Sometimes plans change.

He was a rank 10 month old stud colt (soon to be a gelding) when I bought him. We spent the next year continuing his ground work and showing in halter at Penn Jersey Horse Show Association’s monthly show, where he did quite well.

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At 2, he was big enough to start riding. My (non horsey) husband at the time wouldn’t let me break him so he was handed back to Bill for 60 days of training. Shortly after he was started, he threw Bill and broke 4 ribs. It was no fault of Dundee’s, but rather Bill trusting his colts too much and not paying attention as much as he should have. A few months delay in his training while Bill’s ribs healed, I got him back ready to ride on the fall of 1993.   In the meantime I continued to show him all summer at Penn Jersey. He was so tall and leggy I switched to hunter in hand.

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Winter came and riding ceased. It was so icy all winter horses could barely get out and riding was out of the question. Spring finally came, the ground thawed and we could start riding again. At almost 3 years old, Dundee was 15.1h. He grew quite a bit over the winter and turned into a very nice looking horse. I lunged him several times before I started riding again to get him back into his work routine, but there was no need. He had a good work ethic and it’s like he never had a day off.

At that time my husband and I were renting a house at an old Girl Scout camp that had been closed for years.  Rent was cheap and we had 65 acres to play on, a creek for fishing, hunting and skating. We were having a blast. While we were saving for a house, we weren’t saving as much as we should have. Just as I was really getting back into riding after a long icy winter, a letter from the Girl Scout Council came in the mail. They decided to sell the camp and we had 60 days to move out. We didn’t have enough saved for a down payment on a house and couldn’t find anything suitable to rent. His parents offered to lend us the rest of the down payment, but the toys had to go. He was forced to sell his mud truck and dirt bike and Dundee had to be sold. I was heart broken. The horse of my dreams would no longer be mine. At not quite 30, I had to suck it up once more and be an adult, put my priorities straight and sell my horse in a hurry.

Quite a few people looked at him, but he wasn’t what any of them were looking for. We found a house and the offer we put in was accepted. A settlement date had been set and was approaching rapidly, as well as the date we needed to be out of the house we were living in. Dundee still didn’t sell. We were down to the wire. I had no choice but to take him to the sale. He was run through the Hamburg sale.  He sold for far less than he should have, but I kept my commitment to my in-laws and sold the horse. I signed the transfer report took my money and left as quickly as possible without even knowing who bought him.

A few months later we were settled into the new house and I had some time on weekends that didn’t include painting, organizing and putting things away. My Mom asked me to meet her at Green Lane Park for the National Trails Day lunch. We had a nice lunch. I got to visit some of my horse friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. Then I saw him. the horse of my dreams was being ridden by someone else. I was crushed, but I wanted to see Dundee again. It turned out that he was purchased by a local horse dealer at the sale. It took everything I had to walk up and introduce myself as his previous owner. I rubbed Dundee’s  forehead, kissed him on the muzzle and walked away. I quickly went to my car and left.

I never saw Dundee again. From his AQHA records, he’s registered to a lady in West Chester, PA, but I could never find any contact information for her. I’ve often wondered over the years how he was, what he turned out like and if he had a good life.