Yesterday, I signed the papers that transferred ownership of Biltrite Smokin Dee to a Greene-area family, most particularly, an 11-year-old redheaded girl who has been riding Dee for the last month or so.
For several months, Dee has been away for training and to sell at Lane Cove Dressage in Greene, under the hand of trainer, Ashley Haffey.
My intention is to reduce my horse number from five to three, and Dee was the first I decided to move along. She was barely ridden and extremely herdbound when she went out for training. At that time, both Dee and her brother Stormkite needed to be trained to be ridden and I was feeling overwhelmed, knowing I could not sell an untrained horse and knowing that I didn't have the time or desire to train Dee. She had gotten the better of me in the past, and I couldn't muster the desire to start work with her again.
But I won’t sell an adult horse who hasn’t been trained to ride, except perhaps to a trusted trainer, because the likelihood of its having a good life, from that point on, diminishes greatly.
I believe that if you take an animal, all aspects of its life become your responsibility, including, for a horse, giving it the ability to thrive in someone else’s care. Unrideable horses may be bought and sold, and there may be lots of good intention and optimism along the way, but very often, that horse ends up on a truck to Canada or Mexico, or in some other wretched circumstance.
So my husband and I made an investment in Dee, paying someone else to do what I didn’t have time or inclination to do, and now she is most definitely a ridable horse. She is green and inexperienced, but she is carrying beginners under a trainer’s eye, and this has given her the edge she needed to be a desirable and useful mare.
Yesterday, after the exchange and some small talk, I popped my head in to watch Dee, who was starting a lesson at with a different rider, a young woman. Dee walked quietly in a circle, obviously familiar with this routine, watching Ashley much of the time, but giving me long looks as she circled in my direction. She still knew me, but I will fade from that famously-long horse memory over time, as she enjoys her work and new life with her own little girl.