They say never buy the first horse you see. Well, I fucked that up.
On a mid-November weekend, mom, A., and I piled into the car to go see Java. His owner, L., had sent me pictures and videos, even a few of him jumping, and he seemed careful and excited to have something to hop over. I was hopeful.
Of course, he was awesome.
Totally personable, climbing into pockets, hanging out for scratches even when we put him at liberty in the ring. L. chased him a little, and boy can that sucker move. He was damn close to a 10 mover when he wasn't giraffing and looking all over, but then, I kind of expected it. L. had had him for two years, and while he'd been saddled, bridled, lunged, desensitized, long lined, wrapped, etc., he had about five rides total, mostly at the walk.
Of course, I got on.
He wasn't sure about anything, but was perfectly willing to figure it out, and we did some poles and weaving cones, etc. Nothing crazy. But I liked how willing he was, how he didn't resist, and how I could see him thinking about everything around him.
Back in the car, we all agreed. He was a nice horse. There were lots of pros, and not many cons. Sure, he wasn't broke, and older, and had some pushy ground habits, but I could easily send him for training, so that was fixable. And I knew L., trusted her, and she was willing to cut a solid deal with me on the condition that she'd get him back if it didn't work out.
Of course, we scheduled a PPE.
An awesome vet I know from the endurance circuit came and checked him out. She watched him go, did flexions, the whole deal minus x-rays and cleared him for eventing, endurance, and pretty much anything else I wanted to do. And she thought he was a great mover, too.
Of course, I bought him.
And on November 29th, Thanksgiving weekend, we brought him home.