I first mentioned my horse search here back in August. Truth is… it started at the end of June. At first, I didn’t think my ISO was particularly complicated. 16ish – 17 hands. Under the age of 12. Scope to do Training. Sane enough to also fox hunt. Sound. But my budget wasn’t huge and it depended on location and how recently I had paid for another horse’s failed PPE… because that happened more than one.
As life turns out, this was pretty hard to find. I watched A LOT of videos, sat on a few, and spoke to everyone I knew hoping that shaking branches would produce something I might consider. With my car accident and another failed PPE, I had 100% planned on just taking a break and enjoying May for a month or two before picking the search back up. As usual though, things happen when you least expect them.
I saw a friend of mine from my old barn in KY posting on a group looking to get a feel for what horses might be out there, so I reached out to a mutual friend for the details (as one does). The conversation started with “yeah, she wants to find him a good home. Would you mind throwing together a sales ad?” So… I did… it went like this:
Granian is a 7 year old OTTB gelding by Jersey Town out of an Unbridled’s Song mare. He may only be 15.3, but he is built like a tank and takes up your leg. Granian has evented at recognized events up to Novice level and has schooled some training level questions.
As much as we love having this sweet guy in the barn, he isn’t a match with his current owner. He is QUIET but needs a confident rider who isn’t afraid to ride him forward. He is solid on trails, either alone or in a group, and has also been out fox hunting. He didn’t mind the huge group and stood well at checks.
If you’re looking for a solid, quiet guy and aren’t afraid to wear spurs, Granian could be the one for you! He’s a super easy keeper and is one of the few thoroughbreds we’ve met who stays fat on air.
I wrote the whole thing… sent it back… and then had a “wait a minute” moment, because… yeah that’s what I had been looking for over the last 7 months. His record hasn’t been fabulous, but consider I was looking at horses who had never evented before and I knew what his strengths and weaknesses are, I don’t mind spending the time to iron out some wrinkles. I also know he has the right mind to do the OTHER things I want to do more of out here, like trail riding, fox hunting, etc.
So, I talked to my old trainer, sent the current trainer some videos, and made an offer. PPE was a couple of days later… and then it took several days to get finished, as the vets wanted to take another set of rads that didn’t end up being anything of concern. I got the green light and sent the money on Monday morning, and he was picked up by a trailer heading out west the next evening.
So somehow… I found myself in the position of having bought a horse I have never ridden BUT know his entire history. And, we really put that to the test. He went on a small trailer to meet the big rig and… after some minor convincing that he would fit up the ramp, he was headed out here! The shipper had nothing but great things to say about his calm attitude and ease to handle. This also meant, I got the first drop off time in California… of 5AM.
So after 33 hours on the road, he was unloaded at the end of the VERY long driveway at our barn… in the pitch black… while horses were being fed and turned in and out. So there I was, holding my new horse’s lead rope in my right hand and holding his belongings under my left arm. I made it about 500 ft before I ended up dropping the belongings, which only got me a minor startle from poor Grayson. Better to just come back wtih my car than get us in a position where I need two hands and don’t have them. So we walked up the long driveway, in the dark, by ourselves to a quiet, but thankfully lit-up barn.
I threw him in an empty stall with some straw. He rolled, took a drink, and started munching on hay. And… that was basically the end of the dramatics. I hung out with him until the sun came up, and then I pulled him out for a quick groom and to wash his tail and legs because… he’s gray. Later that morning, a pen opened up next to the barn, so I turned him out to stretch his legs. He trotted around a bit, played a bit, but mostly just hung out and watched the goings-on at the barn.
And honestly… he has already checked so many of my hopeful boxes with his great mind and how adorable he is. In true fashion though, almost nothing of May’s will fit him, so I have ordered some odds and ends to start building his tack closet and wardrobe. Today, he got a first (and very successful) ride in California by my trainer’s working student, and tomorrow will be my first ride on him! (And May is doing great. Yesterday she didn’t have to work and still got cookies… good day in her book)