Between the first time I saw her ad on Dreamhorse, and Lisa's phone call to her seller, somebody else put a deposit down on Samba, taking her off the market. But the morning of Lisa's call, mere hours before the scheduled vet check, the buyer forfeited her deposit, canceling the sale. "My trainer saw the video, and told me this horse makes my butt look too big." Seriously. I was getting the opportunity to buy my dreamhorse, because someone ate too many Quarter Pounders with Cheese.

I would bet a week's salary that if I asked you to describe February 4, 2009, in detail - everything you did, what the weather was like, how you felt - you would probably offer me a blank stare and a weak smile. You know, the kind you reserve for Aunt Tillie, who always pinches your cheeks at the annual reunion and exclaims, "My, how you've grown!" (In spite of the fact that your midsection is the only part of your body getting any bigger...) But I remember the day in Kodachrome detail. I can't tell you what I ate for breakfast this morning, but I promise, February 4, 2009 is etched in my brain.

Lisa, not the morning person I am, agreed anyway to meet me at my house at the butt-crack of dawn. We loaded my saddle into the back of my Chevy HHR, made sure the digital camera batteries were charged, and tucked my new Flip video into the center console. We were ready. Well, except for a caffeine and sugar infusion. Thank goodness for drive-thru Starbucks.

Four hours of sunshine and open freeway later, we were pulling into the long driveway at Canyon Spring Ranch in Lompoc. We were soon greeted by Tom and Denise Peterson, owners of the ranch and sellers of draft crosses. Two nicer people you will never find, and I can't say enough about the care they take raising young draft crosses for sale. Tom brought the cutest little (if sixteen hands, give or take, can be considered little) mare I had ever seen into the round pen, and showed off her temperament. He roped her head with a lasso (gently tossed it over her);she tossed it off with a flip of the nose and a smug look. He shook a plastic bag on the end of a stick at her...she didn't bat an eye. She looked bemused. "Is that all you've got?"

Her trainer hopped on, and showed off her gaits. She's a cute mover. Nothing fancy, but nicely put together. So then Lisa got on, to see how she would handle being pushed a bit outside what she was used to. She did really well, and when Lisa convinced herself this was looking like a good fit, I rode. Just a bit of walk and trot, to make sure we jelled. I could not stop smiling.

I brought her into the center of the round pen, hopped off, and held her reins while she stood next to me. Lisa, Denise and I were doing the whole "is this really going to work out?" dance, and I felt warm breath on my neck. Samba was resting her chin on my shoulder. Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

So, we skipped (ok, drove, but I felt like skipping) up to Tom and Denise's house, scheduled a vet check at a nearby prestigious facility for the following week, wrote a deposit, and called it official. And that's when I did the math. WHAT? I've just committed to buying a THREE YEAR OLD?!! Oh well. Too late now. I'm in love. I swear, if you could stuff a horse into the back of an HHR, I'd have taken her home then and there. We did have one more body in the car going home, though: Olivia. See, Tom and Denise also breed rat terriers. Lisa had one at home that needed a friend. Tom and Denise had puppies ready to go to their new homes. Kismet.

This is where I would insert pictures and videos of our wonderful day. If we had ever bothered to get the cameras out of the car, I might have proof that my butt looks just right on Samba. I guess I'll just have to take Lisa's word for it.

From my blog: Green on Green

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Comment by Teresa on October 1, 2009 at 10:03pm
I have been riding for 2 years but i still feel like a greenie but i just bought a five year old arab yesterday and i think that greenies can buy greenies as long as you connect with the horse and are willing to get your hands dirty and if you buy young horse that has had a really nice start then its almost better than buying and older horse that has been thru lots of owners but is bombproof, cause you might have a harder time connecting with them and then you might end up with trust problems.
Comment by Geoffrey Pannell on September 9, 2009 at 1:07am
That's deffinatelly an chick thing!! LMGO I don't think I have ever heard such a strange reason for not buying a horse, not something that I would consider( maYbe I SHOULD I JUST HAD SOME KFC)
Comment by saddlebroke on September 7, 2009 at 1:45pm
Thanks, Ferrous!
Comment by Ferrous on September 7, 2009 at 12:51pm
Thanks for sharing your story. Congratulations on finding your dream horse!

It was great to hear about another "greenie on a greenie" as I have had a similar year. I was not looking to buy a young horse but after looking at a lot of horses, the horse of my dreams found me in the form of a two year old gelding. I had a few trainers warn me that I did not have enough experience to get a young horse (green on green blah blah blah), and I did try hard not to consider buying him. Really... I did... honest. However, despite trying to push him out of my mind, I couldn't stop thinking about him.

Life often seems to take people in unexpected directions. My boyfriend decided that he'd heard enough of me talking incessantly about this horse, and said that trying to convince myself that he was not the right horse was just silly. For my birthday have gave me the news that we were "buying the horse". Wow.

It turns out that this youngster is the perfect horse for me. I am sure that there will be days when I will be black and blue.... but I have had that occur with seasoned "bombproof" horses too. If I had not taken the chance on getting a "greenie" I would have missed out on my dream horse! (actually, he is too young to even consider green yet... he's just a sprout!) If I hadn't started working with him I would not have discovered that I really love working with youngsters, that I am good at it, and that I can handle even the 'intense' moments. My youngster has given me confidence, taught me patience, and rewarded my determination. We are developing a bond that I think will be even deeper for having been together through his maturation. I also have a horse that will be trained exactly as I want. Thankfully, I have found good supportive trainers to help us (people whom I may not have found were it not for my boy).

I do think that horses are their own best salesmen. I fell too deep to ever get out when my wee lad rested his muzzle on me and sighed... the warm breath of a horse "snuffle" has melted the hearts of many horsey folks, I'm sure! ;)

Best wishes for many great adventures with Samba!

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