Well we loaded up Pistol and sent him away. Not forever, just sent him to summer camp for a bit of a tuneup. I'd be lying if I said I was totally comfortable being the first to hop on him. So we came to the decision last week that maybe it was best if we sent him away to a trainer for 30 days. And since we had planned on leaving for the badlands with the other two we worried about Pistol having a melt down about being left home alone. So going to the trainer was also a sort of like boarding him while we were on vacation. I told hubby that maybe we should buy a small pony to keep him company. Totally got shot down on that suggestion , I don't know why!
We found a trainer and had been in contact with him via email for a while. He said he had room to take him last weekend. So we loaded him up on Saturday. And I gotta say this horse is so easy to load. Makes the other two look like jerks. Even with my trailer anxiety he got right in and settled right down. The trainer was about a hundred miles away and Pistol rode the entire way like a champ.
When we go there he unloaded just fine and wasn't looky or nervous about being some place new. I'm sure since he's been shuffled around so much he wasn't even phased by the fact he was going to be someplace new. Poor guy, I hope he doesn't think we've pawned him off on yet another person.
We were completely honest with the trainer about him, and he was thankful for that. He said that one of the last people that dropped off a horse said their horse "occasionally bucks" what that actually meant was that the horse bucked every time you looked at it. We told him that we bought him at auction and really didn't know too much about him other than he was extrememly head shy and we'd been working on that problem. We also told him that the one time we tried to saddle him up as we adjusted the rear cinch something pissed him off or scared him and he let out some pretty big bucks. That was before we had him vet checked so it could have had a little something to do with the fact he had giant beans growing in his umm undercarriage.
But i had full confidence that this trainer was going to be great. He asked us what type of bit we'd like used on him and showed us his tack room which was a 10x10 room with bridles neatly hanging all the way around. I told him that he'd been ridden in a tom thumb but would like something less harsh. And he told me any bit can be harsh in the wrong hands. I really liked that because that's how I feel. But he said he would try him out in a snaffle and see how it went.
Before we went into the tack room he had me tie up Pistol and I was actually pretty nervous about that. Piney doesn't tie and usually stands pretty well ground tied. And since he's destroyed cross ties in his day, I just don't tie him. I tied Pistol up and held my breath. Champ. He just stood there. Exhale.
We left him and made the journey home. The next day I was working in the yard when I checked my phone and saw that I had an email from the trainer. He said that he had saddled him up and rode him that morning. He said that he rides pretty nice but he had some trouble getting him to open his mouth and accept the bit. He said that he used a ring snaffle on him and had no problems with it. He neck reins and stops but has some trouble backing up. and then he said "All in all I think you have a pretty nice pony on your hands". YAY!! That made my day. Hubby said that he felt pretty stupid sending him to the trainer now. Especially since it took a stranger ONE ride to figure him out. I don't feel stupid at all. I'm glad that we sent him to someone. There are a few quirks of his that I'd like worked out, like the accepting the bit, and being fly sprayed. But I am so happy that we can probably go get him before our trip out west to the bad lands because I'm pretty sure Piney isn't going to be sound enough to go. And Piney won't go absolutely crazy being left alone.
I am SO happy that Pistol is going to turn out to be the horse I know he can be. I really believe that he is a been there done that fellow. But since he was a bitch to catch and was so head shy I think somewhere along the lines his previous owners just got rid of him because they didn't want to deal with his BS anymore. He is a dream boat to lead and my hubby thinks that under saddle he is probably the same. So far, with his purchase price, and vet visit, the trainer, and farrier, we have a nice horse for far less than he would have cost had we found him someplace else. I can't wait to get him home. Obviously it would have been cheaper if we had just saddled him up ourselves and tried him out, but I am a chicken who doesn't bounce back quickly after hitting the dirt. I'd rather pay someone to try him out first. Let's hope he can work out his other little quirks too!
I can't wait to get him home and try him myself :-)
In other horse news. I gave Piney a bath. I LOVE that he is a saint during bath time. Since basically he had a bath every single time he was exercised or set foot on the track he stands there like a statue while I hose him off. He probably enjoyed it after the hot icky weather we've been having. I've never had a horse stand as calmly and perfect during bath time. Duke was up next, what a gong show that turned out to be. I am sure he's never in his life had a bath. He basically thought the water was going to make him melt. Hubby had to hold him and I sprayed him down . We both got soaked but I think that Duke started to enjoy the water once he got over the whole "I'm melting, MELTING" mentality. Oh Duke, every day is a learning exercise with you...