From the Edi­tor

Horse & Rider - - Contents -

HORSE-SHOP­PING isn’t for the faint of heart. It re­quires stamina and a sense of ad­ven­ture, not to men­tion a hint of “throw cau­tion to the wind” and the abil­ity to re­main de­tached un­til the deal is signed, sealed, and de­liv­ered.

In the May is­sue, I shared with you that my sons’ horse, Old Paint, had died. He lived a full, long life and held a big space in our hearts. But with time, we were ready to start look­ing for a new ride. We had cri­te­ria—not a su­per-se­nior, but noth­ing too young, ei­ther; ex­pe­ri­ence across a few dis­ci­plines, giv­ing the horse a di­verse back­ground; quiet and even-keeled; and a pretty face wouldn’t hurt!

Here’s a short ver­sion of our horse-shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.


Things at H&R HQ were pretty busy this spring. The work­load meant I wasn’t go­ing to be able to spend hours a day por­ing over for-sale ads on­line. I’d check a few Face­book groups here and there and look at list­ings friends sent, but I wasn’t putting in a valiant ef­fort. I’ll ad­mit that some of the un­knowns of horse-shop­ping kept me out of the game, too. Is this seller hon­est? Is this horse too good to be true? This horse wasn’t for just any­one—this horse was for my kids; the stakes were high.

En­ter my mom. She looked. She per­sisted. She made phone calls, sent text mes­sages—she was re­lent­less in her pur­suit to get her grand­sons back in the sad­dle. I’m not sure I could’ve per­se­vered the way she did. Count­less times, “the one” would be sold by the time she got in touch with the seller. She even got so far as call­ing to put down a hold pay­ment so they’d keep the horse around un­til we could go try him the next day. That one sold just be­fore she sent the money. Mom kept get­ting told “no,” but she wouldn’t take that as the an­swer.

Weeks into our horse-shop­ping ad­ven­ture, Mom found a 9-year-old mare with ex­pe­ri­ence in every­thing from rein­ing to work­ing eq­ui­tation to driv­ing. She was noted to be quiet and sweet. And she was pretty. Mom didn’t hes­i­tate. She mes­saged the seller im­me­di­ately, even though it was past a man­nerly hour to do so. She wasn’t go­ing to let this one pass her by.


The next morn­ing, Mom texted me the for-sale post and told me about the con­ver­sa­tion she’d had with the seller; this time, Mom was the first one to inquire. She asked if I wanted to take a two-hour drive to go look at the horse. My first re­sponse was, “I just can’t right now…I wish I could…but I’m so busy.” In­stantly re­gret­ting that re­sponse, I called her right back and told her I’d be ready at 9. Heck, I could edit ar­ti­cles in the car and work just as I would’ve at my desk.

The mare turned out to be wholly as ad­ver­tised, and we knew she had to be ours. So, Min­nie is now part of the H&R sta­ble and a won­der­ful ad­di­tion to our fam­ily. She’s lov­able and sweet, and she has all the tricks the boys


Apart from horse buy­ing, have you ever rid­den an unfamiliar horse, maybe on a trail ride while on va­ca­tion? Did you wish you could mag­i­cally con­nect with that un­known mount for a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence? “Quick Con­nec­tion,” page 44, of­fers five lessons to help you get the most from an unfamiliar horse in a va­ri­ety of sit­u­a­tions.

Then, learn how to be­come the fa­vorite of your vet and far­rier with tips to make their jobs eas­ier in “Vet-Friendly Barn,” page 52. Con­tribut­ing vet­eri­nar­ian Barb Crabbe, DVM, of­fers 10 fea­tures to keep in mind that’ll make the jobs of those work­ing on your horse eas­ier and more ef­fec­tive.

Fi­nally, if you’re plan­ning some endof-sum­mer travel, we take you to the Na­tional Snaf­fle Bit As­so­ci­a­tion World Cham­pi­onships (page 18), and trav­el­ing trail rid­ers Kent and Charlene Krone share their trip to ex­plore the redwoods in Cal­i­for­nia (page 58).

Let us know what you think and keep us posted on your horse life at need to learn to take their rid­ing to the next level. I’m sure she’ll ap­pear in plenty of photo shoots, and I’ll keep you up­dated on her adventures with the boys.

Min­nie, Joe (rid­ing, age 7), and Leo (age 10) are ex­cited to share their horse life with you.

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