Yesterday I took a float plane over to Saltspring Island to meet a thoroughbred (never raced) mare registered as "Shut the Trap" but called Ebony. Her current owner rescued her from a pretty horrendous situation 18 months ago. She was pregnant and locked into a 8X10 stall because she was "unmanageable". Out of stall confinement and in the hands of a confident horsewoman she quickly turned around, and Jenn was riding her out daily within a month. Ebony proved herself to be a confident and willing trail horse as well as an excellent mom. Now that her foal is sold Jenn is looking to rehome Ebony somewhere that she will continue to thrive.
When she picked me up from the dock Jenn immediately warned me that Ebony had come into heat the day before and that I was going to see the worst of her. She did not put her best foot foward, to be sure. Unlike Tonka she was pushy on the ground, trying to run us over to get back to her baby (who was recently weened and is headed to his new home today). However, when Jenn put her to work on the lunge line she settled right in and got down to business. Being responsible and conscious of my own safety I asked Jenn to ride her before I got on. Ebony was obviously hot and bothered, but still manageable. When she tried to careen out of control and back to her baby Jenn was able to get her attention back without too much trouble. I asked for a loaner helmet and hopped on (in a western saddle, which is mostly foreign to me). My initial application of too much leg had us off like a shot across the yard, but I relaxed and she relaxed and we headed out. In the first few minutes she halfheartedly tried to buck me off a few times, but she settled right down when she realized that I am both sticky and persistent.
Out on the road she was unflappable, and completely willing to go on without Whisper (Jenn's mount) when asked. This is exactly what I'm looking for in our second horse and I was quickly smitten with her attitude. Jenn and I were able to spend an hour chatting, and it became clear that she's the kind seller I really like too -- she prefers right of first refusal in the event of a sale, and she would like to be able to visit Ebony now and then. So I'm going to buy her. Jenn will hold her for the next several weeks so that David won't have two horses on his hands while I'm back in Toronto for family health reasons. Then she will be moving to Deroche to join our little herd. Last night I had very pleasant dreams about riding her out along the river with David behind us on Tonka, so I think we're off to a good start.