We had an appointment today to look at a horse. We got to the farm on time just before 2 PM. This is a commercial boarding farm that runs kids camps, accepts borders, sells and trains horses, etc. Or at least that is what the web site claims. Michelle had traded several emails with the owner, and all seemed normal.
When we drove up the driveway the first thing I noticed was the collection of broken down vehicles on the property. There were at least a dozen cars and trucks that did not look like they had moved in quite a while. The second thing I noticed was the pitiful condition of the pasture. There were 4 or 5 horses trying to graze in a pasture that consisted mostly of leafy weeds that the horses apparently would not eat. It was really sort of sad. We drove by the house and towards the barn, assuming the last place we'd find the proprietor of a farm on a pleasant Sunday afternoon is in the house. I drove down to the barn and turned around. The barn was in disrepair, with holes in the walls that are a hazard to the horses.
I did see a nice looking riding ring across on the far side of the property. As long as Delaney had a safe place to ride I figured we might as well look at the horse. We had driven an hour to get there. The experience of learning how to evaluate horses is valuable, even if you would never ever buy a horse from a dump like this. And we would never ever buy a horse from a dump like this.
I went up to the house to knock on the door. The porch was littered with debris, including a pile of several hundred cigarette butts right in front of the door. It looked like somebody in the last hour or so had simply opened the front door and dumped a coffee can of cigarette butts. The whole episode was approaching surreal at this point. Little did I know it was about to get even weirder.
When the lady answered she told me that they had an emergency at the farm and she had sent us an email telling us she could not show us the horse. She explained that they had been off the farm yesterday and when they came back their farm worker was missing, and there was blood everywhere. She said the police were combing the farm even as we spoke, and we probably didn't want to be there anyway.
Remember, I had just driven around the property looking for her. I think I would have noticed a large crime scene investigation in process. I also think the police might have noticed me driving around contaminating their crime scene.
We had a good laugh over it as we left. My guess is that either she didn't really own the horse she was offering to sell us, and whatever deal she was trying to work fell through; or maybe the horse came up lame at the horse show they were at yesterday.
We had already decided to schedule a vet check on the horse we saw yesterday, so today's trip was really just due diligence since we already had the appointment. Had this horse been awesome we certainly were willing to put it in first place. However, I can't fathom that any parent would leave their kid there for horse camp, or that any horse owner would spent several hundred bucks a month to board a horse there. The place was dirty, poorly maintained, and downright unsafe, for both horses and kids. When we got home Michelle did find an email from her. It was sent at 1:40 PM - about 10 minutes before our arrival.
The tally is four horses looked at (counting this as a look). One good Appy that we gave serious thought to owning, one good Paint that we hopefully will own in the next week or so, one Paint that was much greener than indicated in the ad, and one mystery Paint living in the horse Twilight Zone.
I really hope the Paint works out and that we are done horse shopping, for now.