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[RC] Newbie gets an experienced horse--oh no! - Mary Krauss

Ok, now I have a whole host of new things to worry about. After several false starts with my other horses, I finally did the smart thing and bought a lovely, fit mare with 1400 miles of endurance experience. Her name is Maui's Independence, brought up and trained by Gayle Lynch who knows what she's doing.

So how do I avoid screwing up Indy?

Before turning myself over to your good advice, I have to tell you how I came to buy her:

Our family braved the horrific weather to drive south to my Mom's New Year's Eve party. (The event turned out to be a 60th b-day party for her new boyfriend--who knew? I clued in when the party ended at 10:00 p.m. On a hunch I asked one of the guests to show me her invitation. Ohhhhhhh. )

At some point that evening I wondered aloud to my wonderful sister-in- law whether it would be insane to drive on over the border to Redding, CA the next morning to see a horse (ahh, the dangers of Dreamhorse). This lovely woman who has zero interest in horses said, "heck no--I'll take you!" Then, my husband chimed in, "I am SO sick of spending money on horses...." As I tried to interrupt, he said, "no, let me finish, I am so sick of spending money on horses and having you stuck nursing them rather than riding them. I don't mind the money if it gets you RIDING them again. Go buy the damn horse!"

Wow. Husband's are surprising beings.

So, a quick phone-call to my friend and riding-partner at a distance Joanne led to her decision to bring her broken-legged self, her husband Clay, her mother Lollie, and her two boys Marcus and Emmet on a three hour drive north to meet me in Redding!

You gotta love horse people and the people who love them.

Gayle and her husband were terrific. Indy is lovely. She is an intriguing horse--kinda' aloof in a way that makes one admire her-- the look of eagles thing. Riding her was dreamy--she knows exactly where to put her feet, how to curve around trees, when to speed up, when to slow down. She doesn't mind leading or following. She loads, ties, eats, drinks. She's fit and has great feet/legs. No issues. Can this be real?

Since I'm up here in Washington Gayle arranged a pre-purchase exam with x-rays, and mailed the results to my vet here. We hired AAA Horse Hauling who just happened to be in the area, and, voila, Indy arrived today!!!!!

She settled right in, took a long drink, wandered the property with me, rolled in the round pen, munched some hay, deigned to sniff noses briefly with my excited herd, and generally seemed unimpressed by all the changes in her life. Of course, it's going to take a while for her to realize Gayle's not here.

The good news is that Gayle is willing to coach me along from a distance, and even offered to crew me through the Prineville ride in a few months (yikes!).

I plan to listen to every word out of the woman's mouth, and I really do want advice from anyone else who has positive things to offer up. It's one thing to bring along an unfit horse and learn as we go. It's a whole different thing to ride an experienced horse with expectations! Indy's gonna' know that I'm an idiot. How do I protect her?

Mary K.

(she's been ridden in a Boz saddle with an S hackamore. I have a Freeform, a dressage saddle, an Arabian tree western saddle, and an endurance bridle halter/snaffle bit combo.)


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