With the sale of The Unexpected Miss Bennet, I have allowed myself to look for a horse. As anyone who buys a horse knows, it’s not the initial expense that hurts, it’s the upkeep and the miscellaneous expenses that kept me from looking for many years. But now I’m in a good secure place where I can own and maintain my own horse.

So the first horse is Gus. He’s about 10 years old, a fleabitten gray, 15 hands, grade (meaning no particular breed). Owners call these horses Heinz 57, and indeed they are many varieties. Gus is probably part quarter-horse and possibly Arab, though it’s hard to tell. When he was being made to run in the ring to get some of his extra energy out, he had his tail up and head up like an Arab, and his trot floated.

Pros: Kind. Excellent ground manners. Inquisitive, smart, and sweet. He’s a people pleaser. I’ve ridden him in lessons and I like him.

Cons: Will need training over fences. We popped him over a few jumps and he did okay. This is actually a very small drawback. I am not looking for a 3 foot 6 jumper so that’s not too bad. He is however uneven in his gaits and doesn’t know how to collect himself, was very difficult to canter on his left lead (and it wasn’t just me, my instructor also had trouble). Finally, the owner is asking too much. All of the above is workable, except that his price is too high.

So I’m still looking. I’ll remember to bring a camera next time to document the search.

Here’s what I’m looking for (and Gus was almost there):

About 15 hands, excellent manners, sweet disposition, 6-10 years old, and a horse I can grow with as a rider but who knows more than I do. Must be able to go in the ring or on the trails. Mare or gelding, don’t care as to breed or color. So if you are reading this and you know a horse like this in Central Texas, let me know.


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