The barn has had a teensy shake up lately… and the end result is that Lori Golitizin and I went horse shopping on Saturday. The shake up is that Lori’s beloved Maverick, wonder-mustang-of-the-world, is gently becoming Carolyn Bersch’s horse. This is a within barn transfer, and I say ‘gently’ because while this makes Carolyn so excited that she cant sleep at night (if you ever want to see a very happy middle-aged woman appear to be 12 again, come watch her jump Mav in a lesson), it is also bittersweet for Lori. Lori has out-grown Maverick in riding needs and goals, but the love for him is no less. Her heart was torn between selling a family member and getting excited enough to start the process of horse shopping, which can be exhausting and frustrating.
So with that in mind, I lined up some horses to go see up in Langley BC with Lori on Saturday. I had no trouble getting jazzed for the trip, but then again I am not spending my own money! Fresh home baked scones in hand, we hit the road at 6 am. First stop is Chelan Kozak’s barn. She had 3 horses for us to see and I personally, fell in love with the first one, a chestnut mare Lexi. But then when she brought out Joey, I fell in love again. It was like trying to pick a flavor at an ice cream shop – they all looked good. Chelan and her gang were great at helping Lori feel comfortable. It is a little intimidating to ride strange horses in front of strangers when you are not accustomed to doing so. Lori pulled her BIG boot straps up and started jumping. Joey gave her tons of confidence and I felt like I was watching a new person riding, who is that brave lady?
Next stop is Natasha Brash’s Silver Fox Stables. If you ever want to feel like you have gone to a department store for horses, this is the place! I swear that we were shown at least 6 sound, lovely horses and got to ride and jump them in very short order! Dont like it? Boom, here is the next one! While you dont fully know the personality of the horse in this sales method, it did wonders for Lori’s confidence and experience. She got on so many horses and by the end could really “feel” what each horse did that she either liked or did not like. She was able to distill out the ride from a horse within a few minutes, and I think she is a better horse woman for the experience. On the final horse, a very lovely seasoned jumper, I snuck an oxer up at the end of a line to a solid 3’11″ ish height. Lori’s eyes widened a little bit when she saw me out of the corner of her eye, but she just came on down and stayed in the middle of him. That was the biggest jump she has ever jumped, and she was suprised at how easy it was! I think I may have created a monster!
My only regret is that she could go back and ride Chelan’s horses at the end of the day after Lori has all her chutzpa puffed up. I think she would see that the first horse she sat on was the best one. Alas, a trip back there is needed! Maybe she will make me more scones…