However, I what I really need is a calm, quiet, beginner horse for my kids and students to ride. Jasper is naturally a bit more high energy, and, while I can modify this somewhat, I don't know that I can modify it enough or in time for my students that are already lining up to schedule lessons for this summer.
I've found another horse that I think would make a great beginner horse. Selling Jasper would give me the funds I need to purchase the new animal. But then I waver. Jasper will have a stellar day and I'll think, maybe I can make him work. Then he'll do something silly that would challenge a beginner and I'll start mentally preparing my sales ad.
Saturday I asked Stable Boy to video me with Jasper. Afterwards, I suggested he try riding Jasper so he could see how smooth Jasper really is. Stable Boy, who as you know, hardly ever rides and would be classified a beginner if he wasn't such a confident natural athlete, jumped right on, walking cast and all (from his popped plantar tendon).
Stable Boy rode him around the pasture with no difficulties. When he paused near me, I confessed to him that if we kept Jasper, he would be for Stable Boy to ride.
And then it happened.
A little spark of interest lit up his eyes.
It was a first. Stable Boy says he enjoys riding the few times we go, but I've always known he rides with me more to be with me than to ride the horse. I think he'd actually prefer to hike, jog, or mountain bike. He asked why I wanted Jasper for him. There are three reasons.
1. Jasper is extremely smooth and comfortable. He doesn't break gait so you don't need to do anything to "help" him stay smooth. Stable Boy just wants to get on and ride. He doesn't want to have to mess with teaching the horse something it's supposed to do on his own (like gait smoothly).
2. Jasper is naturally a skinnier, lankier horse, so he'll be more comfortable for Stable Boy to ride on longer trail rides. In the past, when I've had Stable Boy on horses that were more rounded with a wider barrel, it's caused Stable Boy pain in his knees, both of which he's had surgeries on in the past.
3. Jasper has a bit of spunk and I know Stable Boy appreciates that.
I mentioned that Jasper doesn't like to leave the barn. Stable Boy asked if he could try riding him out. I shrugged and said, "Sure." Jasper tried once to turn back when he first left the pasture, but Stable Boy was able to ride him on down the road with no difficulties, even though his walking cast wouldn't stay in the stirrup. He came back about 20 minutes later saying what a nice horse Jasper was.
Stable Boy is practical enough that he said I should still list Jasper for sale. "If he doesn't sell, maybe I'll start riding him," were his exact words.
There you have it. My dilemma. My husband finally shows a bit of interest in a particular horse and I'm stuck in a position of needing to sell the animal to make room for the horse I need for my kids and my business. Nuts!