Monday, February 18, 2008

Lovely Lexi Goes to a New Home

Lexi has a new home. But with a twist.

I'm sure you're wondering, "Why did Cindy sell her golden girl?"

I sold her for the most common of reasons: She simply was not the right horse for me any more. One of the hardest aspects of life with horses is accepting that sometimes a horse you love is no longer a good match. Such was the case with Lexi.

When I bought her, I had just begun riding again after my jumping accident (the one that left me with chronic pain and some paralysis in my right arm). Because I'd loved competing so much, I guess I imagined myself competing again. Of course I wasn't up to showing in any sort of jumping event, but I figured I could show in amateur western horsemanship and pleasure classes. So when I saw Lexi, and tried her out, I fell in love. She was exquisitely trained and had an extensive show record. She was the horse for me! I eagerly shelled out the money for her. It was the most I'd ever paid for a horse.

Then reality sunk in. There was this endless list of "stuff" that I needed to buy in order to compete, and it was all very, very expensive. Even when I liquidated all of my hunt seat paraphernalia, I was still thousands of $$$$ away from having all of the accoutrements required to dive right into the western show pen. So that dream faded away. Quickly.

Still, I enjoyed riding Lexi in the arena at my parents' small ranch. OccasionallyI'd take Lexi out on the trails, and she was great. But when I bought this new house, and began to go on more rigorous, adventuresome trail rides through hills and... *gasp!*... rivers... Lexi began to express her dislike for such excursions. As I've shared here before, crossing rivers and streams is not high on Lexi's list of "Things I'd like to do Today." I could tell that being a 4-wheel drive Humvee was not her role in life. She was, as her name implied, a Lexus.

So she's now with someone who will take her back into the show ring. I'm sure Lexi will still stroll around town on the trails once in a while, but her primary role will be that of a show ring princess.

When I saw the buyer's trainer sit on Lexi, and bridle her up and work her like a western pleasure horse, I knew I had made the correct decision. Lexi seemed so relaxed and confident in her job. Even better? The trainer is the woman who bred and raised Lexi; she owned Lexi's sire, too. And the buyer has loved Lexi since she was a baby, often envisioning her as the epitome of her ideal horse.

All's well that ends well, I suppose. Of course, Wally seems a bit lonesome and I'm now in the predicament of trying to find another horse. But at least this time I'll have a clear understanding of what kind of horse I'm looking for, and I'm confident that my riding goals aren't going to change.

Have any comments to share? You can email me directly at hc-editor@bowtieinc.com or simply click on "comments" below.

6 comments:

Nancy said...

I'll apologize in advance for the long post!

I always felt that my animals were a lifetime committment - that i would provide a home for them no matter what.

About three years ago, I had a 15 year old recued thoroughbred mare named Cat who had been pretty badly abused. She was off the track, had been pin fired, ridden with a bit so severe her mouth had scars where it had bled. Had been tossed from owner to owner.

At this time, I also decided to adopt a pmu/premarin rescue foal - Leo was a 3 month old Percheron/Thoroughbred cross who traveled 3000 miles from a Premarin farm in Canada to New Hampshire. I'd go to the paddock and Leo would be pushing all the other horses aside to get to me, couldn't wait to see me. Cat, on the other hand, made it very apparent she had no use for any people. Would never come, would turn her tail to me.

Cat bit me twice, and kicked me several times. One bite was totally unprovoked and very bad.

After a year of gently working with Cat, I still was only able to ride her about 15 minutes in the ring, and she hated it. I rode her with a bitless bridle. She'd pin her ears the whole time, very disgruntled. After having her totally checked out by vets, holistic healers, chiropractors, accupuncturists and determining there was no physical reason for her dislike of being ridden, i had to make a very difficult decision.

I had a vision of having a partner that I could trail ride with. Working full time, and having two horses, it was really hard to split my time between them. And here was Leo, clammering to be with me, while Cat had no use for me.

I just kept getting from Cat that she hated people, and wanted nothing to do with anyone.

I made the decision to return Cat
to the rescue I had gotten her from. It was a very, very difficult decision for me, because, again, I always felt my animals were lifetime committments. But I also realized that Cat could never fit my vision of what I wanted my horse to be.

Since then, I've focused my attention on Leo. He'll be four in July, and is growing into the partner I envisioned. He can't wait to see me, leaves his hay and the other horses to see me, loves his lessons, loves people, is just joy, happiness and has a great sense of humor.

I loved Cat enough to give her up, and didnt try to force her into a life she was miserable in.

Congrats to you Cindy for realizing the same with Lexi. She'll be very happy in her new life.

Jessica said...

Cindy,

I admire you greatly for having the strength to let Lexi go to her new home! Reading your blog almost made me want to cry for you! :-( But I believe that you were right in your assessment. Best of luck in your endeavors to find a new friend!

Derj said...

How sad but true in the life of horses! I look up to you for doing what so many horse people cannot...and looking at what your horse wants first, not what you want. Good luck in finding a new horse!!!

Ami said...

I'm so glad that Lexi is going to a good home!
Plus, they say that if you love something, you're able to let it go.
Good luck finding a new pasture partner!

Halsgal said...

I'm sorry to say that we'll all miss hearing your delightful stories about "princess Lexi" but i'm sure that you've made the right decision. That is really good that her owner is also her breeder, so you know that they'll have a great connection. Are you going to buy a new horse to keep Wally company?

Cindy Hale said...

Reading the comments here did make me get teary-eyed! Believe me, I also want my horses to be life-long commitments. I want to take care of them in their old age. But I'm glad that you all also realize that trying to fit the "square peg into the round hole" doesn't work with horses, either.

I'll miss Lexi. She was truly the most beautiful horse I've ever owned. And she made me appreciate the qualities of a highly schooled western riding horse. But she simply wasn't a good fit for me any more. I'm confident that if she could speak, she'd say that she would prefer NOT to go swimming ever again, LOL!