Saturday 3 March 2012

Doin' a Do-Over

No matter what it is we are doing in our life at any one time, we do all wonder what would have happened if we had made different choices.  

What would we change, if we had - a do-over?

For example, Jamie is probably still crying, wondering what would have happened had she only had that one night stand with David Lee Roth back in the day.  

Ok, this time... I am buying better laces, and a horse from Charlot Farms

Hey, I am no different.

(No, not about that.  I never even met David Lee Roth.  I am not that old, they were already Van Hagar by the time I saw them at the CNE).

There are a few aspects of the whole adventure where I am sure I did make the best choice possible.  Fairly sure anyways. Kind of. Maybe.

One would be choosing the Viva Voltaire offspring.  He really did turn out to be a good "bang for the buck" local stallion (yes, I realize he is not truly LOCAL local, in that he is imported, but I mean, in the neighbourhood).

The year I showed PSG, there were at least 3 other 9 year old Vivas out there showing PSG as well.  He was the only stallion with two offspring at the latest Pan Am Games, with Viva's Salieri W winning Silver.  So, although he is often described as being "jumper bred", he does seem to create some decent dressage horses.

(Yah, yah, meow-meow-meow...I know what's on your mind, don't bother posting...Whether or not you consider going to the Pan Am Games for an obscure country not actually known for dressage as a noteworthy feat or not is up to you to decide all on your own, not for discussion here).

In fact, it has been suggested to me that perhaps Ms. V is the most remarkable of all of his 2001 offspring going, since she actually turned out fine... while being ridden primarily by me, and not by someone wonderful like Tom Dvorak.  Uhh, thanks.  I think.

The other thing amazing about Ms. V - and the scientist in me says it is ok to type this, even though the irrational freak in me is thinking jinxies - is how incredibly sound she has been from start to finish.  This, I would most definitely NOT change. She has missed only about a month along the way due to a stone bruise - which probably wouldn't have happened if she was not 8 yrs old and still barefoot due to her absolutely perfect looking, chip free feet.

(No, I am not a militant barefooter.  I am just cheap.  I nearly cry every time I think of the beautiful shoes I could be buying myself for the $200 a month I now hand over to the farrier).

I am not sure what I attribute this to.  Breeding?  Maybe.  Size - likely.  I was also pretty dedicated to keeping her lean in her early years, since there is good research in dogs showing that low body weight does reduce the likelihood of a dog developing osteoarthritis.

(Getting barn managers to feed to what I considered to be a lean body condition - well, that's another story, for another day).

So what would I do differently - if I were to do it all again?

Really, all of the different choices I would make relate to only one thing...

I would consider, from the very start, that the day would come when I would get sick of riding and decide  to sell my horse.

Alas, I made choices that are not conducive to this activity.

First... I would have hunkered down, saved my money for a year, and bought something:

1.  Taller - 16.2 at least
2.  Male -
3.  With sexier breeding - imported Elite something or other.

Sorry guys.  I want to believe in the underdog breeds.  And although I am no judge lover - I truly don't think breed prejudice in the ring is rampant.  I have never, in all of my time scribing, seen an "off breed" marked down for anything other than being shitty.  And I do think horses of different breeds CAN make it up the levels if they are good enough. So if one is going to keep their horse forever, it can be whatever breed lights their fire, and probably crappy riding will be the limiting factor to their success.

But breedism in the horse industry is rampant, not in the ring, but in the average everyday people out there.  People who want Nike swooshes on their runners, Coach handbags, and imported horses.  So if you plan on selling shoes, purses or PSG horses, you may want to take this into consideration. Logical?  No.  Reality?  Yes.

The other thing I would do differently is not show my own horse at any show likely to leave an easily searchable trail in cyberspace.

70's ridden by a pro looks a lot better on paper than 50's ridden by an amateur spaz... even if the end buyer is another amateur spaz, who will never ever see the 70's again.  I have never totally understood this one, but I guess people want hope, not reality.

Lastly, of course - I would have made different choices relating to training, all along the way.  And that, my friends, will be the focus of the rest of my blog.

But - for now - who knew what the future held back then.  I was just glad to have finally decided what horse to buy.  I prepared to run back to the barn in London, sweep her off her feet and wedge her into the red rocket, and bring her home.  Wherever that was.

Actual product not exactly as shown.  I am female, Ms. V is a horse


  1. $200 a month for shoes? Please tell me you're kidding.

    1. I believe I live in the same area as Stephanie and yes it does cost that much for four shoes. Could be more or less depending on what farrier you use. The one time I got fronts on my horse I paid $160 I think, he had pads as well.

  2. If your lovely horse is the same lovely horse that I see for sale in Dressage Daily for a LOT of money, I think that the real problem is not her size or your past scores, but rather that horses at that price level are not selling right now regardless of whether they are ridden by amateur spazes (sp?) or pros. Times have changed in the last couple of years.

  3. Wow that's double UK prices for a full set of shoes!!

  4. I'd cry handing over that much for shoes each month!

  5. I am looking forward to reading about the training process, but pullleeezze don't stop being funny, or including appropriate photos, or anything else - I love your style! I am quite sorry to hear that you're now sick of riding, though. I wasn't quite getting how come you're selling Ms. V... I hope you will find something else horse-related that you DO like, or maybe after a break you'll be ready to try again.

  6. Ok, maybe I exaggerated. It is $200 every five weeks.