(In case you are wondering, a randomly chosen friend accompanied me, not Mr. Motard.- I was not risking having to do any sit-ups, camber toss, or other feats of strength this time)
I am in good company, there is a large population of people in my same proverbial boat. We want to ride, but cannot really afford to do so - yet - because our disposable equine dollars are tied up in our sales horses. And we can't risk buying a new horse - until we get rid of the OLD one. I am fortunate this time around and I do get to ride my horse whenever I find the time, and I do have a few other good riding options too..but I can't move on to "the next chapter" - whatever that is. I am still stuck in the old chapter - sort of a zombie state, not quite living in, yet not quite dead to, the equestrian world.
So what's a girl to do?
Well - part board of course! Surely there must be someone who would be thrilled to have my experience. Hey, I have been under the tutelage of Frau Trainerin!
(don't you love it when someone takes a one weekend clinic with someone noteworthy, then puts it on their stable webpage as having trained with the person? Hmm, enough material to bitch about here that I can do an entire page... I will save this for later).
And, It had been at least 2 months at this time since I had met any hard core equestrian weirdos - I mean, the Frau was not my idea of a party, but she was not WEIRD. Well, at least not in the "looking for a part boarder" sense of the word. So I was READY!
Sometimes even today, when I need a laugh, I read the "looking for a part boarder" ads on the bulletin boards.
Now granted, surprisingly enough, some appear to be posted by normal people. The ones who have an experienced show horse that is maybe too senior for the job, or maybe they want to show jumpers now and their beloved horse is a hunter - whatever. They are typically at good barns, and require being in a lesson program, etc. etc... not what I was looking for.
But the remainder - well, how do I put it nicely... maybe some examples would help.
Give me a sec. Let me see if I can find a good one.
Hmm... yes, "TB that looks like a WB" - seems to be important for some reason, because - why? Can anyone help here? I am not owning this horse, just riding it. I could care less if it looks like a mailbox headed camel if I have good times doing so. "Can jump, do english or wessage, good on trails" Ok, not sure if I am dazzled by the versatility, or just plain scared. (Wessage - that will be a whole separate post, for a day when I have drank more wine. I would suggest leaving anything that Elmer Fudd might say out of your ad, even if you actually do have a speech impediment). And the kicker, of course... although horse is "really quiet, and a pleasure to be around", the owner is looking for an "intermediate or advanced rider".
Yah, baby. The "advanced riding" part boarder is a hot commodity. Where do these people think they are going to find all of these hibernating Eric Lamazes waiting to spring into action and hand over $250 for 3 rides per week?
Oh here is another - Off the track beginning of November, has had some downtime, now ready for an "experienced rider". Well, that sounds like fun, doesn't it? How much will I pay for this midway ride? Oooh - possibility of showing, if interested. That really sweetens the pot. In case I want to spend MORE of MY money increasing the value of YOUR horse, you are not going to put up a fight, all doors are open! (doesn't say if he "looks like a WB". I am sure if we stuff his face with enough "hi fat hi fibre" (don't want him getting "hot" now do we) we can get him nice and meaty looking).
How about a 9 year old TB mare - sweetheart, excellent ground manners, ... guess what! "Experienced rider".
"London is super easy to ride buy requires an experienced rider"
Oh! Here is my favourite.
"Snuggly is available for pb to an advanced rider as it's critical that's she's ridden properly"
(So don't come here and start waving your money in my face unless you are pretty fricking special, cowboy).
|Of course I know what a half-halt is. Sheesh.
Well that didn't take long, did it.
Now, I am not in marketing, I am more of a techie type, so this might need some finessing, but I have this nagging feeling that these people might have an easier time finding the right person, if they just make their ads a bit more.."transparent". I am proposing an alternative wording that might work...How about this...
Hello! I have finally bought the horse of my dreams, but have determined that I can neither afford, nor handle the beast. I have thought it over, and I don't want to die, and especially don't want to die poor. Can you help? I am looking for someone who has spent many, many years, and lots more money than I have actually learning to ride, who also would like to pay ME for the pleasure of training my horse... for me! If this sounds like a plan, call 1-519-55-SUCKA
Hmm, now which one should I call first...