What an amazing journey I have been on to find my perfect, forever horse. I fell in love with horses when I was probably 3 or 4 years old. I did everything through my childhood but own one. I took lessons, learned to do dressage and jump, and spent what little I had on horses.
Fast forward to my mid-forties. My kids began their independent lives and I had to figure out what I liked doing before my life centered around my two sons and their activities. Horses had been my early love, so I thought that maybe even at 40+ yrs old that still might be the case. I began by taking lessons, then leased a couple of different horses. Everyone said at my age I should look at gaited horses, so I did. They said nice smooth ride, not as hard on the bones and muscles. At one point I even had the chance to pick up a free horse. None of it seemed quite right for me so I kept hanging on to the idea that there was another plan for me.
That plan took form when I came across Bits & Bytes website. I think I spent about two weeks reading everything on the site, trying to learn all I could about OTTBs. I had always steered clear of Thoroughbreds because of everything I heard or thought I knew, but reading the Success Stories I realized that perhaps there was another side to the story.
I finally sent Elizabeth an email which among other things said I am 51 years old, looking for a laid back horse that I could take care of, love on and ride leisurely on trails. I think I expected her to send me back a note saying that this probably wasn’t the best choice for me. But instead she said that she was certain she could find the perfect horse for me if I was interested. One month later I owned Maverick. He is a 7 year old OTTB who I bought sight unseen.
Why did I do this? Well, I would be lying if I didn’t confess that it felt at first like I might be suffering from the much talked about mid-life crisis or something. No rational person would really buy a horse sight unseen, and a former race horse at that.
Here is why I actually did it. First I received support and guidance from Elizabeth and I got to talk with Maverick’s owner. There was no pressure, only encouragement and information. Elizabeth said several times that if I was not ready now that that was ok. She would rather me walk away without a horse than take on something I was not sure of. I also did not ask the advice of every horse person I knew. I guess the opinions of horses is like the opinion of anything it’s just an opinion, and not necessarily one based on facts. So I didn’t ask for all that free advice.
I kept talking with Elizabeth getting the facts and working through my questions. Here is what I decided: I would have a support system that no other purchase strategy would offer. Imagine, a match maker to help me find the perfect horse, training for Maverick and more importantly training for me (I am boarding Maverick at Bits & Bytes for the first month) and support even after I have him home. I was also reassured that unlike other buying options, not only does the seller not disappear never to be seen again, but the seller wants and even insists that we stay in touch. Where else could you buy a horse and have all of that?
I knew there was a reason why I had not found a horse up to that point. I was waiting for Bits & Bytes Farms and I was waiting to find Maverick.
Follow Jodi’s and Brat Maverick’s Success Stories on our OTTB Success Stories Web site.