Saturday, January 16, 2010


I had a somewhat frustrating day at the barn on Friday. I went out to do some ground-work with Steen, and the sound of the snow sliding off the roof of the indoor arena had him totally freaked out by the time I gave up and put him back in the pasture, so I'm not sure how effective the session was.

However, today Brian and I went and checked out a potential candidate for our second equine family-member. He is located in Grinnell, and seems like a pretty neat horse. He belongs to a woman who has lots of other horses, mostly show-horses, and he's her steady go-to guy for kids and family friends, etc.. As a result, he's obviously gotten used to being a bit lazy and disregarding certain cues he'd rather not heed (mainly, walk forward). But, we stuck with it for a while and he seemed willing enough once persuaded he really did have to do what was asked of him.

He's good-sized for a paint, definitely larger than Steen, and Brian did not look too big on his back at all, which is a definite plus.

One of the woman's daughter's kept Brian company on her mini horse while Brian rode. It was pretty funny.

So, we shall see. We've made no decisions, but Steen may have a brother before too long.


  1. Just some words of advice from a 2-horse, but only one really horse-person family. It can be rough. If Brian's commitment level is significantly lower than yours, you're probably looking at a lot of frustration. If he's not going out to the barn "most-of" the times you are, you'll probably find yourself taking care of two horses and not really getting to work with either. Even just the grooming/feet/maintenance vetting (eye ointment, thrush treatments, etc) for two horses can cut in to your riding time pretty significantly (I don't know about you, but I feel compelled to at least pick feet and brush both horses to a reasonable extent every time I'm out). Then (at least it always seems) that one horse will be a butt-head or be sick/injured and you'll have to deal with that, and so much for a relaxing ride.

    Obviously a lot depends on the horses/people involved. If your second horse can just be ridden every now and then and be fine, that helps. If Brian goes with you most the time, and/or goes out on his own to take care of stuff, that helps too. I'm not trying to sound condescending, just, being in a somewhat similar situation, trying to share what I've experienced.

  2. These are definitely the sorts of things we're taking into consideration, and the understanding on this second horse is (if we get it) it will be Brian's, 100%. Ok, well, I'll help him with it if he needs help, but we're trying to find a mellow personality that can make do with less consistent work than Steen requires, that Brian can ride alone with no trouble.

    Since we got the use of Cal, Brian has come along to all the farrier and vet appointments, and he's ridden her on his own quite a few times as well. She's really not an ideal horse for him though, in that she's uncomfortably small for him and highly unenthusiastic. Still, Brian is increasingly interested in horses and plans to spend a lot of time at the barn this summer. I think he'd be even more inclined to go out alone if he had his own horse to invest his time in.

    But, we'll see how the reality sinks in as we start shopping seriously. It's a significant increase in commitment and expense to have two instead of one, but Brian is not the sort of person to get interested in something, make a big decision and then lose interest. So, in the end it's going to be up to him. I would never buy a second horse for myself at this point. Steen's enough for me, that's for sure. :)


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