Jul 13, 2008

The Black Colt

It's ironic that my last Stable Talk was My Dream Horse (see previous blog) and this one is about the horse that I really don’t want.  Oh, I shouldn’t say 'I don’t want', per se.  Perhaps 'don’t need' is a better (nicer) way of putting it. 

I bought Major Inspiration (aka Little Blackie, The Black Colt, Black) as a weanling stud colt.  Now a 5 year old gelding and the proverbial underused horse.  If he were the only one in our pasture that was underused, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.  But in our herd right now, we have one that is used regularly (Windy), three that are used enough to earn their hay, two that are drafts crosses that are worth more by the pound in Mexico than anywhere else - so they are on the protective species list and then, The Black. 

I bought him at an auction.  I was sitting way too high in the bleachers to really get a good look at my under $80 purchase.  He’s long necked, too high in the withers and can’t grow a mane or a tail to save his soul!  But at the time, I had a passion for black horses & he fit the color scheme.  (I’m banging my head on the desk as I type!)

He never endeared himself to me like some of the other horses.  He was kind of a nuisance; a juvenile delinquent in some ways.  We sent him out to boot camp the fall of his two year old year.  He came home with the spit shine and polish.  But we got busy with the horses we use and he went to the back of the line again.

Last year, my oldest son, McCain, took an interest in riding him.  And did pretty well with him just going down the trails.  I was proud of McCain for taking on the challenge.  And I could tell that McCain was proud of himself.  However, a colt like this takes more attention than 14 year old boys have time for.  After riding season last year, he was once again underused. 

When we started to prepare for our South Dakota trip, we had every intention of letting McCain take him – provided he put the time on him for conditioning.  As the trip got closer, there were still no rides on the Black.  So I started to work with him in the arena.  I thought some of the skills I have recently learned with Windy would translate over to this colt.  But as time went on, I realized the trust in the colt just wasn’t there.  I wasn’t having any fun trying to put rides on him.  I put him away and started to condition Blue for the trip instead.  Black wasn’t going to make the travel team.

So here it is July 2008 and the infamous Black Colt has had less than 5 rides on him this year.  I know it’s time to make some hard decisions.  He’s a good age with a good start and not too late for someone to make into a good horse.  The longer we have him, the less he will be ridden.  And they don’t get any smarter just standing out in the pasture.  Of course I reserve the right to change my mind 100 times.  Sometimes it just sucks to be the grown-up.

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