This photo was taken in 2006 when Lily borrowed a school pony, Tudor, to ride in an event because Buddy kept bucking her off. Tudor was great and they had a wonderful ride and a great time. Too bad their dressage circles were, um, not very circular. Tudor was a good boy and did much to build her confidence. Since Buddy was doing a lot of bucking, I regretted that I hadn't found Tudor before the riding school did. I was one week too late.
If I had found this horse before we got Buddy, I would have bought him. He's a cute little QH-type kid's horse who's just perfect. He is fun and willing, and the riding school bought him a week before I called the man who was offering him for sale. Tudor was the one who got away.
Buddy is fancier and bigger. And Buddy is absolutely wonderful (now), though he will still buck. But I still have a soft spot for Tudor. I've tried to figure out ways to get him. And now he's available.
Here's the problem -- and the proposition. A while back Tudor went to summer camp and discovered that if he bucked, the little kids fell off and he was rid of that problem. So they put more little kids on him, and he bucked them off, too. So they put big kids on him. Guess what. Splat! Yes, indeed, he learned to buck the big kids off, the experienced kids, you get the picture. So the head of the riding school worked with him and restored him to respectability. An older, more experienced student then leased him and absolutely loves him.
But he's bucked her off twice. The second time, she broke her ankle. So now he needs a new home, though she still comes out to pet him, groom him, love him and wants to start leasing him again. The riding school owner is over Tudor and looking to find him a new career, new owner, new whatever.
The riding school owner, knowing how much we like Tudor, called with a proposition. We can have Tudor and work past this little difficulty. Lily is older now and very much experienced with a horse that bucks. When Tudor is back to the sweet self we all remember and love, we can sell him and get whatever we can for him, minus a small sum to go back to the riding school owner. Actually, it's not all that small of a sum. If we can't sell him, she'll take him back.
Paul immediately said, "no" because he is a wise man who knows that horses like to eat. Lily immediately said, "yes" because she's been looking for an opportunity like this. I immediately said, "Hmmm."
There are lots of reasons why this might be a great idea. We like the horse. It would feel good to rehabilitate him and help him go to a suitable home. Lily is trying to save money for a fancy warmblood (Buddy is half QH -- doesn't that make him a warmblood?). I like a project. I like Tudor. I like the riding school owner.
I called Jane today to run it past her. Jane doesn't have a crystal ball, but she does have a better sense of, well, better sense.
There are a lot of reasons that it might work. But between the depressed price of horses, the danger of bodily harm to Lily and the unlikelihood of us being able to make a permanent change in his behavior, I don't think I'll be able to say yes.
I'm sure Lily could ride him and get him where he didn't buck her off. But I'm not sure that he wouldn't buck off the next person. We don't need him, couldn't keep him, would have to sell him. I'm not sure we could find the right buyer.
And we're already very fond of this little horse. This might just be heartbreak on a stick.