I've been looking for a beginner horse for the boys since last summer. Pierce really wants to learn to ride. I got preapproved with a rescue for adoption, but they never got in the type of horse we needed. Finally I placed an ad on an equestrian site for Virginia. I got great response, but immediately fell for Sima, and formed a friendship with his owner. We were chatting back and forth online for weeks. I could tell how much she loved him.
He's been doing eventing (a combination of jumpers, cross country, and dressage) up in Northern Virginia, and became sour with all the jumping. He is 18 and ready for a quieter lifestyle. I reached out to my old riding friends from high school that are still in that area, and was able to make a connection through one that vouched for Sima, and reassured us that he would make a good horse for a beginner. We were so happy the day he arrived.
He's affectionate. He loves head rubs. And he's so calm. I gave him a couple of days to settle in and then took him for a test ride. He was a perfect gentleman, with a big bouncy trot. He's very responsive to the rider - the slightest shift in weight or turn of my head would change his direction. He has one of the softest mouths of any horse I've ever ridden, and on a long rein at the walk was practically dragging his nose on the ground.
The next day I looked at him and told him to take care of Pierce for me. Then I stuck him up there. He took a few turns on the lunge line, and then I let him loose. Sima was happy to just walk calmly around the arena. Pierce kept saying, "Mom, this is so fun!". And the kid hasn't even trotted yet!
I'm enjoying riding Sima once in a while myself. Although Francie gets jealous and throws temper tantrums in the pasture. So I have to make sure I ride her too!
We look forward to many more rides with Sima. I'm excited for when Pierce learns to ride enough that maybe he can ride Sima and I can ride Francie and the two of us can head off on the trails around our place.