My 2003 horse shopping criteria = anything but: 1. big; 2. gray; 3. gelding.
Luci was my original purchase. She was a lovely warmblood looking thoroughbred and was really love at first sight. She was what people call a “heart” horse. She was incredibly quick and smart to train and she fit so well within the sport horse lifestyle. Sadly, Luci was ultimately unsound do to an injury sustained as a yearling. Luckily the race breeder allowed me to trade her out for another of his stock.
So naturally, the trade out was for a very large, very gray gelding. My new horse was everything I did not want. I hated him because he was not Luci and for the first 6 months I owned him I called him, “Stupid Gray Gelding”. His only saving grace was that he was Luci’s little brother. I had him on trial for a month but within the first two weeks he tried to jump out of his stall window and in doing so cut his anterior digital flexor in half. So much for a trial period. You break him you buy him?
A few months after the accident he was patched up and I was able to begin breaking him. He was a little dense to train but seemed really balanced. After about six months under saddle I started to feel his potential. He competed in three Novice horse trials as a 4 year old placing 4th at Crosstar, 1st at Holly Hill and winning the Area V Novice Championships at Las Colinas with a score of 23.5. Thus starting the best and most educational 8 years of my life.
Boom won at Novice with scores in the 20s, he won at Training with scores in the 20s and I then made the jump up to Preliminary in the fall 2007. Clearly, Boom was my horse of a life time and we were on our way. We easily finished 3 horse trials at the Preliminary level and then added a technical elimination to our record at our first CIC*. Sadly, in 2008, he suffered an injury in his pasture from which I was told he would not recover. I put my biomechanics and physical training education to work, took my time with his rehab and two years later had him competing at Training level again.
My fear of re injuring Boom added to the debt from his medical bills forced me to make the difficult decision to sell him. I had already been taking lessons at a near by hunter/jumper barn in hopes of competing Boom in some hunter derbies. Boom quickly sold within the barn and in 2011 he began his career as a show hunter. To my great joy [but not my surprise] Kaboom was circuit champion in the 3’3″ division at his first winter series.
Selling my lovely gray gelding remains the best and the worst decision of my life and some day when he is done with his sport career I hope to repurchase him and let him retire in the fields of Fortnight Ranch. I owe him all who I am.