Update on the horse search!:
I went to see the mare in Carver, MA last weekend- she was pretty cool, but just not what I was looking for. She had some cow-hocking in the back and paddled with her right front... Overall, not great omens for holding up under the strains of eventing. I'll attach the video of her under saddle from my Youtube page- if anyone loves her, I heartily encourage you to go see her. She had a great brain- super willing to learn and please, even though she's been off for a while and previously used as a lesson horse with a woman who... well, I'm not completely sold on her teaching abilities if the student who showed me the mare was any indication. She probably has some dressage experience under her belt, and although her owner says she doesn't like it, she wasn't swishing her tail or showing any signs of irritation when I was messing with her. She had some tricks- pulling the reins out of my hands, a boost of go-power when all I asked for was a little more oomph, running into the canter... typical lesson pony tricks. Overall, I liked her brain and her willingness to please, but I can see how she might be a bit difficult to place- she'd tricky enough to need an adv beginner or intermediate rider, but probably won't hold up to the demands of strenuous competition. Overall, she'd be great for someone who wants to trail ride and hunter pace and compete casually, have a great time on their pony, and fly around the countryside. Hell, I'd have bought her if I could take 2 horses. Well, maybe not. That second stall in my barn is reserved for Texas- I'm sure his owner will see our love and off him to me someday... ;).
On the other hand, today was my third day working with Fred the Mule (he's got a trailer dedicated to him... I must take pictures of this trailer- complete with twangy banjo background accompaniment) and second day riding him. For a mule that has refused to be seen in a stall with me for the past two years, jumps/flinches every time you get within 10 feet of him, and you have to corner in a stall to get a halter on, he was really excellent under saddle. Oh yeah- and the last time I saw him under saddle, he flung Dennis off like a ragdoll. It was pretty amazing. So I thoroughly impressed Dennis with my mule-taming abilities by walking him around, working on steering (English style... I don't how to friggin' steer with one hand... Thank God Fred doesn't either, it seems.), stopping, and groundwork. And now... he follows me around like a puppy dog, I can pet him without a halter on, and... I had a moment of "That's right- THIS is how my horses USUALLY act! Goddamn Remy."
And... here's some drama dirt. Don't we all love it? Just a little? Yes. Unless it's about you. Oy. Evidently, I'm a "clueless airhead" who ruined the horse I was leasing- he needs to be completely re-trained. Don't get me wrong... Looking back, NOT buying that horse is probably the best thing I've done in a while, but ruin him? I think not. I have learned a valuable lesson, though- if there's no connection, walk away. You can't make a connection happen no matter how you try. Fred and I will have a connection- mutual trust, respect, and quiet movements. Texas and I have the same connection, plus some bonding over our temper tantrums and sense of mischief. Remy and I? We might have had something, but he is so bonded to his owner, there's no room for anyone else. Whatcha gonna do, right? Live and learn. In any case, I'm now looking for the horse of my dreams- and the only criteria I have is that she be a mare. Because I -love- my mares. And all their drama.