Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meet Wiseguy...No, he's not mafia, he's mini

Meet Wiseguy.  He is 10 years old.  31 1/2 inches tall.  Weighs about 200 pounds.

I went to see this cute little miniature horse.  He was so sweet and patient and calm but with a bright set of eyes.

Cassidy, my trainer, and her dad showed up.  I was glad she could make it since this is a big decision.  There are some aspects of the horse and his training level that I would want to ask questions about.

The current owner, Jan, has owned him for eight years.  She taught him how to pull a cart.  She went to the pen,  whistled, Wiseguy came  to her and she gave him a carrot.  She put the halter on him and led him out.

She harnessed him up.  It took a fair amount of time but the little guy stood patiently.  Then she hooked him up to the cart. Jan drove him a bit, then Cassidy drove him around for awhile.  I hopped in the cart and Cassidy drove while we talked.  According to Cassidy, although the horse does have a couple of really minor issues, he really is a sweet and willing little guy.

We talked about his size.  Honestly, he is small.  I will not be able to drive myself and another large person for very far and I certainly won't be able to take two of us for long rides in the country.  I told Cassidy that, although I would like that, the reality is that it will be me and my little horse going out for drives alone the vast majority of the time.  Yet, I may want to think on that as a bigger horse would allow me more flexibility.  She reminded me that she is there to keep me on track and help me achieve my goals.  Fair enough and exactly what I need.

 We talked about his trot.  He isn't especially fast.  She says, "This is his speed.  This is how fast he likes to go.  How do you feel about that?"  I thought it was a nice speed not ridiculously fast but I think you could view the redtail hawks and the swallows, the cows and the deer nicely at that speed.

His trot really is cute.  He kind of has springs in his feet.  He has a bouncy, flouncy trot.

Wiseguy was a little unhappy about the bit. I noticed that Jan was having a hard time finding the middle of teeth when she was putting the bit in. Then, he seemed to be fussing at the bit just a little.  Cassidy and I discussed the bit and the way the horse was behaving while we trotted along.

Cassidy thought there were possibly a couple of things that could be going on.  One, that he may have been steered with the reins a bit hard.  The other that he may have some minor teeth problems with a point sticking out.  She thought that it wasn't a huge issue and that it could be worked out.  He also wan't wearing a cavasson which is important so that the horse can't spit the bit out.

Later on, she did look at his mouth and he does have a point on a tooth and a small ulcer in his mouth, despite the fact that Jan had his teeth floated last fall.  This is apparently common, fairly minor.  I will need to get his teeth floated when I get him home.

Every time we pulled up to people, Wiseguy tried to snuffle their pockets to see if they had a treat in there somewhere for him.  However, he did whoa when told so that worked out okay.

Finally, I drove the little guy.  I actually did quite good.  I backed him, walked him around quite awhile.  I did manage to do some subtle reining while turning him.

Here is the rest of this story:

I was quite proud of myself for doing some okay horse driving.  We all talked a bit more.

Trainer's dad says his feet are great.  I give the trainer a chance to talk to me alone.  Trainer dad says he really likes the horse and that he is very sweet.  Trainer says she really likes the horse.  I say that I really think this is a great horse for a beginner and that he will be a great confidence builder.  So I say, "You like the horse" and I point at trainer dad.  "You like the horse", I point at trainer.  I point towards myself and say, "I really like this horse so, Jan, how about we make a handshake deal right now?"  

Someone in the crowd said now is the time to talk price but I told Jan the price is fine.  The little guy is costing me $500.  He is coming home with 2 halters and a lead rope and a winter blanket.  In addition, I am paying her $800 for the cart and harness.  It is a good deal and the type of deal I was hoping to get.  This is a pet and I do have to keep the price within the realm of reason.

I also discussed that it would be a couple of weeks before we could take him home due to needing to complete his pen and buy him a water trough and such.  She was aware of that and reiterated that that is not an issue since she has already paid to board him through the end of April.

We shook hand and the deal was done.

Jan and I walked around to see a trailer after the trainer and her dad took off.  We hit it off nicely.  Discussed how pricey the show horses are and how they are breeding some flat headed, skinny legged miniature horses.  Yuck.  We both want a little horse that looks like a little horse and not freakish and we both want a little horse that can do its job.  Pulling a cart.

I may pick up a small trailer, as well.  We shall see.

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