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I’m starting horse hunting. Rafi’s slow recovery is leaving me with a real hole in my life. The Fall {and my return to Florida} is about two months away.The thought of not having a competition horse this winter depresses me. Callista and I may gel. But it’s still early days as to whether we’ll compete. I’m thankful to have her for lessons and to train me but Rafi spoiled me by letting me jump on, go to a show, and basically, get away with the adult amateur version of murder!!!

So I’m in the window shopping phase. I’m keeping a list of favorites. Today I found a site with four well priced youngsters, any of which I would happily buy. But three are in Germany and the other across the country in Washington State.

I am not inclined to jump on any planes at the moment.

These horses were all on the young end of the age group I’m looking at. I’d like seven to ten with experience commensurate with the age! But these horse are being marketed to amateurs and juniors, which gives me encouragement. And I’m a much more experienced rider than I was even three years ago.

I once imported a horse from Germany without trying him in advance. I swore I’d never do it again as the horse was frankly crazy and I ended up sending him back to Europe. I did try again, going over there in 2003 to actually RIDE the candidates. I brought home a lovely coming five Rubinstein/ Donnerhall grandson. Utterly gorgeous and sweet.

Turned out to be a bolter. He got sold on to the hunting world. He did pretty well. But I lost track of him and have no idea where he ended up.

So tonight I’m wondering if I have the courage to buy off a video again. As it happens, I have  met the dealer. She was at my trainer’s barn visiting one of Cathy’s students who purchased a really nice Flemmingh son from her. The horse was everything that my fellow student wanted. But I don’t know the details. I don’t know if she tried this horse in advance or if she winged it and just imported him.

Has anyone out there gone out on a limb like this and had success? Would love to hear about it. I learned with Arie and three different horses before him, that a horse purchase really is a crap shoot. Everything can go great for a month or so as you and the horse get to know each other.

But then you begin to advance the training….and surprise! That nice, easygoing  amateur friendly, sweetheart isn’t quite as amenable to the work….It happens a lot.

So, even if I travel here, there and everywhere, it doesn’t necessarily mean that trying the horse is any more an indicator than a really good video…

Would love to hear other people’s opinions on this!