Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sapphire Profile: Reese & Vinnie

Sire: Soul of the Matter
Dam: Alaskan Revelation (Reese)
Clippin Time (Vinnie)
Official Name(s): Top Gear (Reese)
Watsa Matter (Vinnie)

Born: 2005

Barn name: The Boys
Peanut and Captain Klutzy (Reese)
Hey, stop eating that boot! (Vinnie)

It’s hard to believe that the brothers Soul celebrate their one year anniversary with us today, June 2.

Last Memorial Day we skipped the usual celebrations. Instead, Capparelli, Michelle Emmermann, Carolyn and I headed down to Ramona for my first serious day of horse shopping. My past horses – 3 mares – had fallen into my lap at various times of their choosing. Since that method had what could best be described as “mixed results” Michelle (and others) were bound and determined that this time I would be much pickier. Ok, let’s face it; the general consensus was that I should have nothing to do with choosing my next horse. Prepared to leave it to the experts, I had girded my loins for months of searching, sitting on hundreds of horses to find just the right one. For the record, Reese was the third horse I rode. (Ironically, Vinnie was the second but more on that in a second.)

It was freakishly cold the morning we headed down to Ramona. I figured the purpose of the trip was to kick a few tires and dip my toe into the pool of horse shopping. Teeth chattering, I rode the first horse, who was nice, but I didn’t feel any magic in the seat of my pants. Surely if he was The One (cue angels singing) there would have been magic, right?

Horse #2, ironically, was Vinnie. It took me about a half of a loop around the arena to know that I was in way over my head. It took me five more minutes to convince Michelle that my “WTF” reaction was unshakable. The problem was that she was head over heels in love with Vinnie from the first moment she saw him.

Finally came Reese. I was cold, damp, and tired so when I saw him – all 16.3 hands of him – he seemed gigantic compared to my more familiar 15.3 little mares. I was less than enthusiastic especially after the woman who owned/trained him had to lunge him again because he was a maniac. I thought, “Seriously? This is supposed to be my chance to take my time and get my NOT crazy horse.”

Then I got on him. And..... yep, still nothing. No angel choirs singing under my butt. I rode him around, he felt ok but he was also in draw reins so who couldn’t feel ok? Then Michelle says take him over a few jumps. Seriously, in draw reins? I have (or hopefully had) heavier hands than the Iron Giant so jumping in draw reins seemed like a bad idea. Surprisingly, Reese couldn’t have been more perfect. He gallumped up to the jump, floated over it, and gallumped on afterwards. Considering the fact that I was used to riding screaming maniacs you may be asking, “what more does a horse have to do to impress you?” I’m not sure but I still wasn’t feeling the love. Be fair – it was only twelve hours ago that I learned my last beloved little mare had arrived safe in her new home. Did I really have room in my heart for a new horse?

Still, Carolyn and Michelle truly believed that Reese was The One, no need to look any further. Added on top of that was the pressure that someone else made an offer on the horse so it was time to poop or get off the pot. Part of me wanted to believe it was this easy but the part was thinking, “what happened to months of searching, endless rides, etc.?” What was left to say but the words every trainer longs to hear? “Well, if you think I should buy him, ok.” That leap of faith has proven to be the best step I’ve ever taken.

Long story (semi) short, a week later both boys arrived back home. They’ve been beyond fantastic since then and in time will prove that Soul of the Matter should be the daddy of the next generation of event horses. Too bad that his owners have stopped breeding him. Hopefully, once they start showing and revealing to all just how good they are EA Ranches will change their mind. In the meantime, I’ve grown to love and cherish Reese like no horse I’ve ever known.