She Has Been Found

Future Baby Maker 

I have found my next mare! After looking at hundreds of mares online, doing deep-dives into conformation analysis on a ton of them, and visiting many in-person including several trips to WI and a trip to ND, I have found my next mare. Soul Ridge Xpression Highlight is a 3 ½ year old Canadian mare currently residing in Massachusetts. 

She is quite a bit younger than I was originally hoping for, and shorter, but in the grand scheme of my wish list the most important things – best conformation I could find, good personality, maiden mare, started under saddle correctly or not started yet, and within my budget – all outweighed the age and height thing. Being only 3.5 there is also a strong chance she’ll get a little taller and end up closer to my ideal height.

I was unable to see her in person so though I am very excited the anxious worrier part of me is still feeling unsettled about the whole thing and it has taken a bit of the shine off of the anticipation. We got a few good photos and videos of her and I sent those to Liz Graves for an additional set of eyes to review her conformation and she was happy with what she saw and gave her the green light. We also did an extensive pre-purchase exam, far more than I would have done for a horse I had met myself, but my inner worrier needed as many reassurances as I could give it. I am sure once she is here in person I will fall in love with her, but it is still feeling all a little unreal yet.

Speaking of worry and anxiety, figuring out how to get her from MA to MN has also been an area of concern. After seeking out the advice of many people who have hauled horses long distances, we opted to have her hauled by a professional horse shipper rather than finding a friend with a trailer and some free time. Between coordinating schedules, having to drive through unfamiliar large cities and east coast traffic with a horse trailer, paying tolls and gas, and figuring out when and where to stop and how to give her a break without unloading her, it felt far less stressful to just hire a professional. We opted to go with Brent Daak Equine Transport after getting a really glowing personal recommendation and seeing great feedback online. They have a 3-horse box-stall trailer with cameras in the trailer. One of the things I heard repeatedly from people who have done a lot of long-distance hauling was to use a horse van or a trailer with box stalls so the horses have the ability to position themselves in the best way for them and so you can stop for the night and give them a chance to sleep comfortably without having to actually unload them and find a barn to sleep at. Because they only do three horses at a time the trip is a little more expensive but it is also more efficient and the horses aren’t traveling for much longer than needed. They drive from about 7 AM – 11 PM and then stop for the night and sleep with the trailer and the horses so they are never unattended. They checked all the boxes for the advice I was given and it is one less thing for me to worry about, so instead I can worry about all the other things.

There are still a few more scheduling details to be finalized but right now the plan is for her to arrive around October 17.

We’re getting another horse!

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