It has taken us about two and a half years, but we have finally found what we hope is the perfect horse for our son. She is a 23 year old Appaloosa mare. Due to the weather conditions (mud, cold and wind,) he has only ridden her three times, but each of those times she was pure gold.
He has had a pony for the last few years but she is getting old and sore. Plus he is getting to big for her, so it was time to get him something else.
It wasn’t easy finding the right horse for my son. He needed something pretty well broke, a reliable stop and bomb proof. My son is ten years old and is pretty far behind on his Gross motor skills. Throwing or catching a ball, jumping rope and many other physical activities are difficult for him.
This is not the first horse we have bought for him in the last two and a half years either. It is the third.
The first one we got was pretty good at home. Had a nice walk, trot and lope. His stop wasn’t all that good and if you tried to ride him out in the pasture he would bow up. My son likes to barrel race and this horse had been around the barrels. He was no world beater but he knew the pattern.
The first barrel race they entered, the horse started off at a nice easy lope, broke down to a trot and then back into a lope for the second barrel. By the time they got to it he was beginning to build up steam. He rounded the second at a pretty good clip, headed back towards the first barrel and darted for home. I wasn’t there, but my wife said she was scared to death. They got him stopped and everything turned out okay.
My son rode him at home for another week and they got along great. Brought him to another jackpot and I went along to watch. They made an exhibition run and things went well. The horse loped to each barrel, broke down to a trot when he went around them and loped home.
He entered the pewee barrel race. The horse was a little wound up at the start. He loped to the first barrel and trotted around it. Broke into a lope towards the second barrel and began to pick up steam. My son was trying to slow him down as they headed for the third barrel. By the time they got around the third barrel the horse was really moving out. My son was pulling back for all he was worth and was petrified while he was doing it. When they got back to the starting gate, the horse went one way and my son went the other.
According to my son, there was a silver lining in all of this. One was, it was the fastest time he had ever gotten at a barrel race, and #2, he got to wear his arm in a sling for a week. No broken bones thank goodness.
He did ride the horse at home for a couple of more weeks and they got along good but we knew our son didn’t have the skills to ride him in competition, which is what he really wanted to do.
We ended up selling him and he went to the perfect home. A family was looking for a barrel horse that could run faster for their six year old daughter. They tried her and the little girl got along well with him. We let them take the horse to a barrel race before they paid for him (I wish we would have had the opportunity to do that.) The little girl creamed the competition and they bought him.
He was/is a nice horse. Just not the right fit for my son. Time to try again.
The next horse, I hate to use this kind of language but, we got screwed. It was really muddy when they tried the horse, so about the most they could do was walk around. It was the perfect sized horse. Good to be around. Supposedly been everywhere and ridden by kids.
My son didn’t really care for him but my wife was getting tired of looking. After listening to the ladies believable spiel about the horse, my wife, against my sons wishes, went ahead and bought him.
Long story short. It was a complete disaster. The horse had a lot of bad habits. He would lock up while you were walking him around. He would kick up when you tried to get him in a lope. And when you loped him in a circle, you never knew when he would try to spin out from underneath you.
We ended up selling him to a friend of my wife’s who trains horses at a considerable discount.
Everything works out in the end. We finally got a horse that is the right fit for my son and he couldn’t be happier.