Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's Official!

I didn't want to post anything until everything was official-- but now it is, so I can tell you!

Pandora sold this weekend, and as I type this she is on her trailer-ride up to her new home in Washington. An extremely nice lady came down to look at her on Sunday and absolutely loved her. They had a great test ride, and she decided right there that it was a done deal!

I am a bit sad, but Pandora is going to fit her new owner perfectly. She has her own beautiful place where she keeps her horses, and Pandora will get to live out in a big paddock with a run-in shed. Pandora's neighbor will be an old Appy gelding who looks very handsome, in the big beefy Appaloosa sort of way. Her new owner has ridden dressage and such for years, she's learning to event, and she loves to go on trail rides over fences and at the beach. After she told me she was just dying for a horse with lots of "go" but who still had a good brain and who she just wants to have a lot of fun with, I was pretty sure they would work out great!

So today she went off with both saddles, a couple bales of hay, and a small collection of blankets. Her new owner can't wait to start riding and I am very happy for both of them.

Of course it is bittersweet for me. I've had Pandora for just less than two years, and in that time I have been able to watch her grow up so much. She has gained a ton of confidence, built up all this gorgeous muscling, and learned a lot under saddle. On Sunday evening after we were winding down, I went for one last ride: bareback in a halter, of course. We hacked down the road and back up, nice and quiet, basking in the evening sun. Then I nudged her over into the grass beside the road, went for a gorgeous smooth canter up the hill, and called it good.

Look at those perked ears and that awesome canter.

She is the sweetest horse I've ever met, and probably has the best attitude of any horse I've ever met too. I will definitely miss that, and her sweet face poking out through the stall window every day.

But at the same time, I have a great sense of accomplishment about this. I feel like I can dust my hands off and say, "My work here is done." I took a sweet but slightly unsure young mare (she was only 6!), one with a LOT of physical tension, and turned her into a soft, supple, confident partner. I took her out schooling XC this year and had a beautifully responsive ride and a horse who cheerfully handled every single fence. In dressage lessons, I actually heard Leslie say that we were Working Correctly. Pandora is now on the road to a long, happy life enjoying her work with someone who adores her for her sensibility and her athleticism.

And I need this time. Keeping up two horses for the last four full months has been very tiring - on me AND my checkbook! - and I am ready for a break. Further, the horse trials at Inavale are in just two short months and I will really need to use this time to prepare myself and McKinna. This summer I'll be doing some working-student type work for Devin, my eventing trainer, and I think I'll be really glad I only have one horse. And, as I keep reminding myself, there are SO MANY HORSES OUT THERE. So I try not to get too hung up on "giving up" something truly special-- because I know she is, but I also know that she will be very special to her new owner now and there are always more special ones out there waiting.

It's all been a bit of a blur these past few days, magnified by a particularly busy week at school. I'm sure I will have more to say on this once the dust settles a little, but suffice to say that I am so pleased with everything Pandora and I have accomplished together and I can't wait to see the wonderful time her new owner has with her.

Rating report up in a few days. Off to write another paper...


TallDarkAndSpotty said...

I'm so glad you found her the perfect home! I have just listed my training project mare for sale. She's been so much fun to train and ride that I know that I literally WON'T be able to give her up unless I know she'll have a new owner that will appreciate her and continue her training. Its also really encouraging that you sold her in a month. I agree, its been exhausting for me, and somewhat unsuccessful for my forever horse, to try to keep two horses in serious training.

Nicku said...

Wow! That is bittersweet news. I know the feeling well though...both emotionally and financially :) Good luck getting ready for Oregon! My barn is going too! We're not ready of course but maybe next year!

Val said...

Sounds like the confidence-building went both ways. That is a great thing about horses.

I, for one, cannot relate to this situation. I had to play the waiting game to get my horse for far too long. I did have horses that I was riding sold, which was not pleasant and made it all the more evident that I really needed my own horse. If only horses could be free!

Albigears said...


tangerine said...

So I hope you don't mind my asking, but I am trying to sell a very similar horse, one that has a lot of 'go' but is very sensible is exactly how I describe her. She's been eventing BN and schools 2'9"-3'3" at home... what did you ask for Pandora? Of course a good home is really important for this horse too so I'm more concerned about that, but I also am having a hard time getting people out here because I don't know where to put her on the scale. I totally understand if you'd like to keep that info private, or give me a range that you think that kind of horse should be selling for. I am in CA just for reference too.

manymisadventures said...

TallDarkAndSpotty - project horses are FUN. :) But there is a time and a place, and I was definitely ready for a change.

Val, there's no doubt that horse shopping can suck just as much as horse selling!

Tangerine - I don't mind at all! I asked (and got) $5000 for her. Trouble is, I didn't have a ton of serious interest - several one- or two-email conversations, but only one other person came to look at her before the lady who bought her did. One thing that both people loved were the videos we had. Here's the site we put together: http://sites.google.com/site/pandorathehorse/. I think $5000 was a pretty good price for her in this market, and I was prepared to accept a bit less if necessary. However, YMMV, especially since you're in Cali. Just don't get discouraged - it seems Pandora sold very quickly, but like I said we didn't get a ton of serious interest and I was starting to get worried! Thankfully it all worked out for the best.

manymisadventures said...

Also, as a side note, I discussed pricing with my eventing trainer and she thought the price was pretty fair as well.

One useful thing we did was check Dreamhorse for similar horses in terms of age/breed/discipline/etc, and see what they were going for. Pandora fit this interesting niche: she wasn't dead quiet but she wasn't super hot, she wasn't green but she wasn't extremely experienced, and most horses seemed to be either in the $3000 range or the $10000+ range. That may have worked for or against us - I'm not sure.

Leah Fry said...

It's kind of like when your kids leave the nest: that's what you raised them for. You said she was a project horse and you did an awesome job preparing her for her new life. Hope you got a good price and that it will help you out financially with your plans for you and McKinna. Congratulations!

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