Last week Mum and I felw out to Germany for a bit of a holiday and also to find a lovely horse as a potential partner for the Rio Paralympics. We have been busy as always viewing some lovely horses and seeing some amazing stables!
It's truly a different world over here, with beautiful indoor arenas at every horse property and rows and rows of boxes filled with showjumpers, dressage horses or eventers. I would take them all if I could! Briana has been amazingly helpful and I am so very glad to have her professional eye to keep us all focused.
We have narrowed down our selection to just two horses, both of which were amazing. The first horse was a lovely gelding by Furst Heinrich. Unfortunately he didn't have a name, so I called him Schatzi (German for sweetheart) as he had the most loving nature I have seen in a horse. The ride was so light and responsive and both Briana and I were very happy with the picture. At 11yo, he was fitting in to my age bracket.
The second horse was a beautiful big chestnut known only as 'JJ'. Anyone who knows me also knows my well known hatred of chestnut horses, so this horse had a lot to prove! 5 minutes in the saddle, and well he shut me up! He had the best flying changes I have ever ridden, with an amazing trot full of suspension. The choice was a difficult one, but as it turned out, 'JJ' ended up being over the budget and so the choice was made.
Fast forward a week, several horses and two more rides on Schatzi and all three of us were convinced the little black horse was the one. A vet check was scheduled for 3 days time and Mum and I headed off out of Munster to the lovely town of Estedt in East Germany. About 3 hours away, we hooned along the Autobahn in our little Mini Cooper!
As it turned out, we hooned a bit too much with Mum getting a speeding fine! Whoops! We spent a few days with our family in Estedt, laughing, eating and generally having a crazy German time. All were very excited at the prospect of our purchase of Schatzi, but the vet check was making me nervous.
Vet checks in Germany are very extensive, lawyers get involved and you video the vet check for evidence. On the Monday, mum, myself and our cousin Rike drove back to Munster to see Schatzi. We arrived and there he was, all glossy and shiny with his lovely kind eyes. The intial vet check revelaed a lump on his inside front leg which hadn't been there before. We were very surprised as my OCD had been forcing me to check his legs before and after every ride and there was nothing.
Several X-rays, tests and ultrasounds later, it was discovered that somehow in the 3 days since we had last seen him, he had a hole in his superficial tendon. I was just devestated. I could feel my chances at Rio slipping away, and I was more upset for the horse. They couldn't sell him now, and I was concerened as to what would happen to him. The injury as it turned out was career-ending. A really crappy ending to our horse hunt, but there was nothing to be done.
And so now, we are back in Estedt, wondering what to do. Briana has put on her thinking cap. Who knows, maybe we will find a horse yet.