Farewell, Fondly.

The big pretty mare

I’m a firm believer in the adages, “When one door shuts, another opens,” and “Things happen for a reason.”

When my travel schedule ramped up in February, disrupting my riding routine with Maddie, she didn’t take it well.  She became a challenge to for me handle, on the ground and – uncharacteristically – under saddle.  Christy wondered aloud whether or not Mads was the good fit we had thought she was for the last few months.

A couple weeks ago, things came to a head when Maddie was flat out naughty, and dumped me during a lesson.  Unhurt but enraged, I got back on, and (I’m told) had the best ride of my life. However, it wasn’t fun, and afterward, Christy and I had a talk, ultimately agreeing that a horse that was better able to handle disruptions to the routine would be a better (and safer) option for me.

Shortly thereafter, Christy was chatting with Maddie’s former owner, Cassie, and told her that Mads would soon be for sale.  She forwarded some of the pictures and video you saw in the “Fancy Filly” post.  Fortuitously, Cassie knew of a talented eventer looking for a good horse.  She thought the two might click.  A call was made, and Heather came to see Mads and give her a try.

I was out of town and didn’t the two together, but I’m told that Heather rode Maddie absolutely beautifully.  Some emails and phone calls between Christy and Heather ensued, and on Sunday, Maddie went home with Heather for good.

Christy mentioned afterward that the two looked so good together that we’re probably going to regret selling Maddie.  Fact is, I already do. I regret not being the confident and assertive rider that can get the most out of a horse like Maddie.  That said, I don’t regret making the decision that I was overfaced, and admitting that I need a more sedate partner.  The reactivity that makes Maddie potentially brilliant is just too much for me, and I don’t mind admitting it.  I’ve seen people riding too much horse, and I’ve know women who suffered horrific injuries because they simply couldn’t safely ride the horses they owned.  I’m grateful to Christy for watching out for me, and selflessly suggesting that it was time to sell the horse (I was the only one riding her.) It had to have been tempting to try to keep the mare – she’s wicked fancy and could have been a great addition to the show team – and to keep trying on us.  In the short term, this might not look like a good business decision for Christy.  However, she’s cemented my loyalty, and I’m hoping that a new pony that I can lease and ride arrives soon.

Best of all Mads has a fantastic home. I think she’s going to love learning to jump, and I can’t wait to go see Heather and Maddie at a show.  I’ll miss the big girl, to be sure, but  I’m happy for Mads, and for Heather, who I suspect is thrilled to bits with her new mare.

Things happen for a reason.  This was one of the easiest horse sales ever – the planets were aligned. So, it leaves me looking at a few closed doors. I’m not sure what’s behind them, but we’ll find out soon enough!

About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital business executive and strategist with a long track record of success in team leadership, employee development, marketing and business development.

3 Responses to Farewell, Fondly.

  1. I am sorry that you had to sell Maddie, and I think it WILL be hard to see her flourish with someone else, but you are a very logical person and sometimes partnerships between a horse and rider just don’t work,but will work with someone else. I hope that she will be a happy, sucessful mare with her new owner! And you get to go on the hunt for a new pony in the barn! Exciting!!!! In the meantime, you up for a ride (or a few!) on Cloudy boy??? He’s getting a shoe tacked on, and the chiro’s out today…so I’ll know after today what the chiro plan is for him, but he’s been riding wonderfully the past few rides so I don’t anticipate any layup or anything….

  2. Meghan says:

    it’s a fine line to find a horse that challenges you but ultimately isn’t too much for you to handle. I currently have a mare that walks that line for me… kudos to you for making that decision, it’s a tough one, but I think it was the best one for Mads, and probably a really good one if you started to feel unsafe. I often have to get to the ‘enraged, but riding the best I ever have point’ to have a successful ride on my mare, BUT it’s improved my relfexes, my habits, my determination, and my belief that I can grow as a rider even under duress 😉 It’s tough, I *have* had injuries (currently recovering from a torn hip flexor). Best of luck finding another partner, sometimes the horses in our lives are just meant to be for a time.

  3. It’s so hard to admit you’re over-faced that I give you HUGE kudos for doing so…note I never got the sense that you were from reading your blog:), but you know yourself and your horse best. She is a sound, talented mare who found a great home-there is no shame at all in that. It will be exciting to see who your next partner is!

    My 0.2 cents-many young, athletic mares can be a handful and unpredictable…even more so when in heat. Now, my very first horse was an 8 year old appendix QH mare, and she was amazing and the best girl ever-however, I knew her previous owner and had known the mare a little before we bought her, and we knew how laid back she was. As a general rule though, I would recommend a gelding to someone with confidence issues (this includes me!). Again, it’s just my rule of thumb, and I know a few awesome mares at my barn you could trust with children.

    A mare that bonds with you is an amazing thing…but I do think geldings can be more forgiving of mistakes, and allow you to work on YOUR issues without throwing as much sass your way as a mare might.

    That said, every horse is an individual…good luck on your search!

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