In part 1 which was yesterday, I detailed coming to the decision to sell my first OTTB to a more suitable home. He sold quickly and for double the asking. I had a bigger budget to work with to find the right horse than I initially anticipated. Which was great but worse than having sellers remorse is buyers remorse and I knew I'd have it if I spent my full budget.
We headed down to Christmas Florida Saturday night and prepared to spend the next 24 hours traveling throughout the state and looking at horses. The first horse of the morning was Chester an unregistered thoroughbred gelding with classical dressage training. I am not classically trained in dressage. We suffered through our ride together, but even though it was rocky he was unflappable and had nice smooth gates. He also had a wonderful puppy dog attitude and even now I kind of wonder if I should have bought him just for his future potential. The problem with him was that he had no jumping experience. Unfortunately I also didn't have the time to teach him, so ultimately we passed.
The next one was a petite chestnut mare who looks just like my retired mare. She had the most impulsion in a trot that I have ever felt in my life. She also had the smoothest canter, it was like sitting in a rocking chair. It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. The only problem was that once again she was not a jumper and she was on a strict mare hormone regime. That honestly made me wonder if she was crazy off the supplements. That was not on my list of things I wanted. Crazy chestnut mare? I'll pass.
Next was the original horse I was interested in, a large chestnut gelding roughly 17 hands and 13 years old. I could tell he was a nutcase as soon as we parked. He was antsy, under weight, and rolling his eyes like he was on crack. I didn't even get on, the entire situation was sketchy and I like my head where it is. On. My. Head.
Last but not least was a large grey gelding who had raced for 2 years before developing a bone chip in his fetlock. He was re-habbed correctly and returned to racing, he just didn't want to anymore. He spent the next year trail riding throughout the US and was skinny pile of bones by the time Heather found him. She rehabbed him and began retraining him. He was more than she could handle so she sent him to a professional eventer for 3 months training. He came back a gem of a horse, he's brave, level headed, and smooth when he jumps. She hopped on and showed me his paces. I hopped on after her and rode him in an open field cantering and trotting and doing simple transitions. He was so calm and chill throughout the entire ride.
I left feeling like he was the one - I debated over it for weeks. Bone chips are serious, if they're in the joint it's pretty much pasture puff for life. Fortunately his is above the joint. He was cleared by 2 vets to do up to training level eventing and since I want to stick on the baby end he should be fine. He may need a small surgery in the future, or fetlock injections, and he may develop arthritis. But he was what I needed a horse that could sit in the pasture for weeks if needed or a horse that could work 5 days a week.
I put an offer on him 2 days later and the wonderful woman I bought him from accepted. Gentry left on the 30th and 'Potato' as she was calling him arrived 2 days later. Stunning and calm and LARGE. I forgot how big he was until he super-manned off the trailer and subsequently picked himself up off the grass to tower over me. Large handsome man indeed.
Let's get to 'Potato' this horse was perfect except for the name. Everyone in my barn started to call him Spud, nope not going to work. Looking through his line he was primarily Irish with a bit of Chile' thrown in there, completely makes no sense but whatever. I thought about Connor, Ollie, Jameson, Dublin but none of them fit. He's got the personality of a labrador on crack and it's hysterical. We decided on Liam. Fits him perfectly, he comes to me when I call his name and he'll turn his head quizzically as if to say "me mom? Me?!"
I could not be happier with him and I can't wait to see how handsome he looks in my wedding!