Monday, March 10, 2014
Online Horse Shopping is Like Online Dating
Monday March 10 2014
Have you ever used an online dating service where the person you're interested in isn't quite what he or she advertised? (I haven't, but I've heard things.)
Have you ever gone horse shopping online and found the horse isn't quite what he or she is advertised? (I haven't, but I've heard things.)
He says he's 6' 4" and slender, healthy, family values, good looking, good job, good income, outdoorsy, handy at everything. Attached photo is, well, handsome - tall, buff but not overdone, taken in the outdoors where he sure looks at home, a photo that rather takes your breath away and makes you take that chance and hop in the car and go meet him at the cafe across town for coffee.
Ad says the equine is a bay 6-year-old gelding, 15.2 hands, sound, well-broke, good bloodlines, very athletic, makes a good fill in the blank prospect, is personable and willing. The photo attached is, well, handsome - taken out on the trail under saddle in the perfect collected trot on a loose rein, a photo that rather takes your breath away and makes you take that chance and hitch up the trailer and drive across country to meet him and pick him up and bring him home to your barn.
When you get to the cafe, well, Mr Possibly Perfect is neither handsome nor tall nor slim (the only thing slim are his manners); is unemployed; lives outdoors because his on-again-off-again girlfriend just kicked him out again; gets annoyed because you aren't stacked (even though you didn't advertise that you were) and that you don't pick up the tab for his $12 9-shot expresso that he finished in one gulp.
When you get to this new barn across the country, well, Mr Equine Possibly Perfect is at least 3 inches shorter then advertised; 9 years old at the least if you're lucky; a chestnut; fat and out of shape and as far from athletic as a banana slug; is short-strided and rough as all get out; and barn sour to boot when you try taking him outside the arena as he swishes his tail and pins his ears at everything you ask of him, which is really just going forward and turning in circles, because he doesn't have a "Whoa" gear, then gets annoyed that you don't give him a bucket of grain afterwards for putting up with you.
Every once in a while, you get lucky, and you find the human or horse to be a fantastic specimen beyond what was advertised, and you live happily ever after.
But, not so often.
P.S. That's The Dude up top, but he wasn't and isn't for sale! I just wanted to show a goooood lookin' horse.