Tuesday, March 17, 2009

With or Without You-woo-woo...

So can I bear to part with Kate?
At this point (spring 2008), I've GOT to sell some stock! I've got two retired A-rab gents, two broodies, and four young fillies under 3. And Kate is the one with the most miles on her, and the most unique coloring. I've been getting inquiries all spring, and consistent contact with one family from Tri-Cities, about 150 miles away.

B and her mom seem to have fallen in love with Kate. I have some hesitation about matching such a young horse with a young (12) rider, but mom assures me that B has good basic skills, a supportive 4H leader, and a trainer in the wings. I have sent them regular updates on her training, and they have been trying to find a time around my schedule, mom's retail job, kids' spring sports, and weather.
They aim at coming out to see Kate in her second 4H show, but dad gets called to a worksite for an emergency. By the time he gets free, it's too late to make it to the show before Kate's green horse classes are done. They decide to come anyway, and meet me at the house, rather than the fairgrounds. It would certainly be less hectic at home anyway, and I'd feel more comfortable with Kate in the round pen.
When they arrive, almost-a-teenager reveals that she neglected to bring any riding clothes. After I do a little work with Kate to show them what I've taught her so far, and, breaking all my taboos about appropriate apparel, I loan B a helmet, tell her not to put her sneakered feet in the stirrups, and put her up on Kate.Kate is somewhat worn out from her morning at the show, and under the clothing circumstances, I have them just do some walking circles and figure eights in the round pen, to help everyone judge whether the match might work. Kate is cooperative, and B is self-assured, but appropriately cautious. They seem to get along fine.

B and her parents (and even her brother) are pretty smitten. The only issue now is coming up with the cash, and getting permission to have Kate join their older mare at the barn where they board. (Their plan is for B to continue showing the other mare in 4H until she and Kate have a good season's worth of working with the trainer under their respective belts.)

We decide to make the transfer of ownership right after school gets out--then they'll have time to help her settle in (and I'll have time to transport her, and see for myself Kate's new home, for my peace of mind).

Can I part with her?