Our intent has always been to get a total of 7 lesson horses to have a full 'set' for 6 student lessons with one extra. We have the 4 now, so this spring one of our tasks is to pick up 3 more. But then a few weeks ago an friend sent out an email announcing that an acquaintance of hers had a horse that would go to a good home for free. Well, gee, we aren't quite ready for this but we can't exactly pass by an opportunity for a free horse either. So I read her message closely. Fortunately she was explicit that the horse was not suitable for beginner riding lessons because he'd figured out that he really didn't have to obey beginner riders. So it was an easy decision this was not the horse for us. Never the less, it did raise the discussion that getting horses may happen sooner than this spring if the situation were right.
Barely a week later another friend sent out a message saying that she knew of someone who was trying to sell his 4 horses. He was selling his property where the horses lived. They hadn't been ridden for a long time. He was even considering donating them to a non profit. Based on all of this info I thought we'd pass as well, except that the person who'd sent the message followed up with me saying that he also had a 4H horse trailer that he might be interested in selling as well. Well now - that changed things.
So I called him and found out that the horses were quite young (6 - 12 years old), and the trailer sounded very nice. At the time he didn't have a price for either, but he was in an extrordinary hurry because he was in town only for the week. So we sent David over Tuesday to do a preview. He came home with pictures of horses and trailer. He observed that the trailer probably was nicer than we wanted to buy, but the seller still would not give him a price. So we started thinking about what we might offer to him for all of the horses and trailer. Ginger and David went back on Thursday to ride the horses. They were clearly not in a riding frame of mind, and one was not catchable. But the horses were healthy and very friendly. After all this they finally got down to talking turkey, and the guy said he wanted $3,500 for each of the horses! This is so far outside of our range it was rediculous. He even said he might make a deal for the horses and trailer all together - and the deal was still more than twice what we thought we'd offer. So, no go there. We just wish we had pushed harder to get a ball park price in the first place.
They say things always come in threes, so I'm waiting for our third opportunity any day now!