This can mean many things...
Trials as in many sufferings, such as those Owen is subjected to on a regular basis. Today, that meant being forced to the ignomany of wearing a large pair of fuzzy pink bunny ears attached to his bridle as I rode out as an outrider during an Easter treasure hunt. He was fairly good natured about it, until I asked him to passage with them on, causing them to flop in time with his gait which annoyed him trememdously. But this isn't the sort of trial to which I refer.
Nor am I talking about the previous accepted term for eventing.
No, I am thinking about the sort of horse trial in which a certain person who Ought to Know Better drives almost two hours to check out an equine who is on the unemployment list. This is really the fault of Michelle's friend Lee, whom I referred to in a previous post as a "sidesaddle enabler." As it turns out, she is a general equine enabler and it was at her urging that I actually followed up on the ad I'd seen on Dream Horse.com, so if I end up with an additional horsey mouth to feed I'm pretty sure where to apportion some of the blame.
But the equine in question is a 7 year old morgan gelding that was purchased long distance by his current owner for fox hunting...something he is not readily taking to. As it turns out, he is a bit on the nervous and/or hot side, a temperament I am very familiar with due to my morgan background; don't let the morgan PR folks deceive you. Far from being solid family beasts, most morgans have a hot streak in them that can take some managing. Owen himself used to suffer from this disease, and Chummie as well, so both of them required years of careful work before they were close to reliable and I have no illusions that I can simply hop on this palomino and canter out of the startbox when he arrives. I did get along with him well, and he has some training but in my opinion he was a victim of his own talent since he he seems to have been pushed along faster than he ought to have been simply due to his jumping ability. And jump he can...
This horse was eventing at training level by the time he was 5 or 6 and has never incurred a jumping fault or time penelty in stadium or cross country. Dressage, well, that's another matter. He doesn't quite know how to interact with the bit (not that his mouth isn't lovely and soft) and he loses his balance in the transitions but I do have a good feeling about him. He has tremendous potential provided he is given some slow remedial work.
Thing is, he won't be a good mount for Sis for sometime to come, even after months of work with me; I can't guarantee that he ever will be but I'm willing to consider letting her have increased access to Owen in exchange for letting me take the chance. Of course, as soon as I sat on him I looked down at his withers to see if they would hold a sidesaddle well.
The funny thing is, this horse is stabled literally around the corner from Devon's Cherry Blossom Farm down in Va. where Michelle spent some of her sidesaddle time last week. Who knows...maybe she saw him out in the field when they were hacking out. Small world.