This is one of those stories I know the COTH hardcore live for. I think I’ve mostly solved the situation in my head - but thought I’d tell the story for your reading pleasure.
Good friend, we’ll call her April, asked me two years ago about owning a horse. I ran thru my budget, considerations, amount of time I spend. All the things. She wanted a horse then, but her DH slowed her roll at the time. April’s 16 year old daughter took “a few” lessons in the last few years. April has not.
She messaged me a week ago that she has decided to buy. No lessons. No leasing. Just “IM BUYING A HORSE”. And she doesn’t want just any horse - she wants a Friesian - and a young one. She has secured a stall at a local barn, but needs to pay full boat to hold her spot, so now she’s in a gink to find a horse to fill the stall she’s paying for - empty or not.
She found one on an online auction, went to see it, and fell in love. Sounded like a nice horse that I suspected would eclipse her 15k budget.
At the time she looked at that horse, I told her I’d help her to pick it up as it was 4 hours away. No sweat, good horse, not too far. I have a nice trailer and truck and am always up for adventure.
Couple days later I’m talking her down from this young Friesian into a schoolmaster. How about an BTDT Arabian. Morab? Appendix QH? She wants pretty. I want her on a safe mount, but hey, not my checkbook, rib cage or concussion.
Auction end is still 4 days out.
I’m sending her educated beginner horses and compile a list of half a dozen to go see. Older, some maintenance, but ones I don’t think will kill her. Three sell within this time. I’m still furiously looking for schoolmasters for her. Strategize - let’s go see half a dozen and THEN make a pick. Get a PPE, don’t buy without. Might take a couple weeks but cheaper to buy the right horse slowly than the wrong horse quickly, even forking out board for an empty stall.
So last night the auction on the one she went to see is ending. She bids, maxes her budget and still goes higher. As she’s bidding, she finds a different Friesian x on the same auction site (she hasn’t seen it, no PPE, hasn’t even talked to the seller). And decides she’s going to bid on this 5 yr old mare that is 7 hours away.
She wins the bid and is popping champagne before she’s figured out how she’s going to get her home. Good friend (me) says we will do it - cause who doesn’t love a horse road trip. April the friend doesn’t own so much as a halter but promptly gets to buying matchy-matchy bell boots, ear nets, saddle pad and breeches. All the things.
Long story short, we set out Wednesday morning to go pickup said mystery mare. No video, no PPE. Just a 120 word description that says she’s a great trail horse.
Delivering to a barn double the rate in our area, where she will be stalled 16 hours a day. (Totally understand there are different horsekeeping considerations around the country, but we live in an area where dirt is still affordable).
I have a forked prediction - either she dumb lucked a horse that will be fantastic (for a cheap price) or this will be a complete disaster and she’ll be asking me to help unload the mare after a spate of broken ribs, a five figure loss, and help sell off her matchy-matchy like-new gear.
Once we deliver the mare to her barn tomorrow night, I am only offering her advice. I refuse to be the first to ride her. I divest myself of any responsibility of her purchase. I will remind her I did not advocate for this selection.
Maybe it will all workout swimmingly. Maybe not. Friends are friends whether they take advice. Setting boundaries in my own mind is where I’m at now. And I’m good with that.
Jingles for a good transport tomorrow.