After a brief and whirlwind weekend trip from Texas up to Calgary, Canada, I am back home again and (mostly) functional despite how exhausted I am. And I very happy to say that Miss Sophie, the entire reason for my northern journey, was everything I could have wanted her to be.
The trip was short and tiring, but well worth it. After an exhausting flight north on Saturday (which took me from Dallas to Toronto to Calgary... could it have possibly been more out of the way?), we never made it to the barn due to ice, and had to settle for our trailer out to a local indoor the following day. I was all too happy to crash early that night, seeing as the excessive amount of travel, schoolwork and work that I've been doing lately, not to mention looking for a place for Future Hubs and I to move to, has completely worn me out, and I've been severely lacking on my sleep! I got a solid 10 hours, thank god, and awoke at 6am bright and ready to roll.
The sun was just rising as we reached the barn, early dawn still creeping dark around the edges. A Chinook had rolled in early that morning with the typical howling winds that it brings, and I could hardly believe it when I felt the outdoor temperature.... almost 45F degrees!! It hovered around nearly 50F that entire day, which is UNHEARD of in that part of Canada at this time of year. The weather rolled in and rolled right back out again after I left, so I consider myself VERY lucky. (The weather in Dallas yesterday was FAR worse.... 40 degrees and sleeting all day! Barf!) We hooked up the trailer, grabbed all the tack, and proceeded out to the pasture to catch Sophie. I knew exactly who she was from the moment I set foot in the field... she was the first one to notice us, and the first to break away from her friends and walk towards us. She was beautiful... far prettier than I had expected, and in better shape too. Considering that all she has done lately is stand around eating on a roundbale free-choice (no grain, no blankets, no riding, no grooming, no supplements, no nothing at all), she looked really quite good, and actually had something resembling a topline. Must be all that eating exercise!
We loaded her and another mare into the trailer (other mare was owned and ridden by the woman who was trailering us to the indoor), and headed on our way. Once we unloaded, I had a chance to interact with Sophie, grooming, handling, and tacking her on my own. She ties, trailers, stands for the farrier, goes out solo on trail rides, is independent, quiet, and sensible. Her owner said that she had been bucked off twice by her, and that she could be fresh, but I lunged her beforehand and she didn't do a thing.... she was lazy! Her bad habits include pawing and wiggling when bored (like when mounting or standing around... that will stop immediately!). Once on her, I discovered that someone had put quite a lot of time and effort into her... as soon as I picked up contact, she immediately set herself right on the bit, and off we went. Starting off at the trot, she was a bit stiff to warm up, but once we cantered she was much more fluid and smooth. I can't exactly blame her for that... she's 15 and not on so much as a joint supplement, so I understand!
Was she a bit creaky behind? Yes, a little. Not outwardly lame by any means, and it improved dramatically once she got going, so I can't fault her for it. Will be she a serious competition horse? I doubt it, although once she gets on a good joint care program and has some conditioning, who knows how she'll go? I distinctly remember how much a little Adequan and Cosequin did for her father... he was a new horse on them!
She was lovely. Not an extravagant mover in the slightest, but well trained and 110% willing to give anything I asked. She was an absolute peach. I loved her.
Also, don't mind the neon blue Vetwrap on my boot.... busted zipper. So classy, I know. Eventers are resourceful after all....
The rest of my pictures are being cranky and refusing to upload, so I'll have to keep fighting them... ugh!
At this point, we are pending a prepurchase (she will not pass a sport prepurchase, I just want to see what we are working with here in terms of usability), and then we can move right along with things. There are lots of trucks that make this journey on a month basis, and I have a barn potentially lined up, so there are lots of movements in the right direction... without any finality yet, of course. I can't believe this all worked out the way it did.... what luck! What timing! Karma, don't fail me now!