By now I feel like I have a fairly defined process for getting approval on a horse (besides of course the first and foremost requirement – that I actually like/enjoy/feel good about the horse).
So far this process typically starts once I have seen the ad, gotten video, asked pertinent questions, and am planning on going to see/ride said beastie in person.
1 . Vet and trainer have watched sales video and agree that none of its 4 legs are going to fall off in the near future and that it looks like it would be suited for life as a dressage pony
2. Trainer watches video of me riding the horse and approves it as potentially good match
3. My vet speaks with PPE vet about horse and discusses with me any potential pitfalls and sets my general expectation for the horse
Assuming we get through these 3 steps (which plenty of candidates have failed to do, by the way), we then get to the place I am now. So from here, which is essentially the trial/getting-to-know you phase, further hoops arise:
4. Barn manager must agree that the creature is not from the sixth circle of hell and is safe to work with on a daily basis.
5. The dressage trainer comes to meet him in person, typically riding the horse as well as giving me a short lesson, which helps evaluate his real potential for my goals
6. The pony travels to a local cross country schooling venue and is made to jump over solid obstacles and assessed for the probability of its landing me in a casket prematurely.7. I can jump him on my own (with safety net of other folks around) without feeling like I am taking my own life in my hands.
And that’s essentially it! Bonus points for friends approving of said animal being worthy of being stuffed with cookies and posing for endless selfies.
The BDH is going to cross country school next Tuesday… only a couple more hoops to jump through! All fingers crossed 🙂