Begin by identifying the abilities of the rider and prioritizing a list of qualities you want to find in the rider’s new dance partner (or the ‘horse’). Painstakingly book a flight that works within the confines of your busy show and training schedule (not to mention family obligations). ON the given day, you travel by plane 12 hours to Amsterdam. Then without getting any sleep you rent a car with a good Navigation system and plug in the address of the agent’s barn (she has already lined up several horses for you to see) and drive 2.5 hours in a strange country in the freezing cold (did I mention it was 75 in Florida when I left). Begging to sleep on the agent’s couch, you review by video for the final time all the horses to see and ride the upcoming two days. Wake up at 6 AM and help her to feed and clean her barn (it’s 30 degrees out BTW) so that she can free up her day to drive you around to see the ‘horses’. Choose the right one, based on the 40 total minutes that you have on his back, opt to ride the horse from the start the next day (It is even colder that day) and spend countless sleepless hours that night texting and FB messaging the client rider to make sure this is the right one.
This is all a daunting task for the trainer and the YR that has already fallen in love with him. You have to remember the basics, remember to speak the language of the horse and interpret what the horse is thinking and feeling. You also have to convey these emotions to the new owner, who sees the horse’s electric behavior (that first day) as a risk. Its all going to be OK, I say to him and to her….. His training is there so we just have to make the transition slowly and with purpose.
Pictured is Sydnie Costello and Allegro (Florencio x Cabochon) 10 year KWPN gelding Imported 2/1/15 on his first two days here at Sunrise Farms.