Tango is my daughter’s horse and according to my daughter, she is priceless.   She wouldn’t sell her for a million dollars.

Two years ago my daughter, Rachel (who just turned 11) and the pony we were leasing had to go back home, so it was time to go horse shopping.  How exciting!!   I started by reading all the Cavaletti ads and putting up my own ad on a Facebook Buy and Sell site.

My criteria was simple.

  1.  Not a pony. I wanted her to have a horse that she would never outgrow, and let’s face it, ponies offer their own set of challenges.  If you have read my blog on Pippi the Pony you will understand my views!  So I was looking for something over 14 hands.

2.  Something safe (every parent’s wish) with no buck, bolt or rear.

3.  Maximum price $5000

4.   While age didn’t really matter I was keen to get something under 15 years old so they could have many years together.

That was it, colour or gender or breed didn’t matter. 

I rang up about 20 people and narrowed it down to go and see 6 horses.  When I decide to do something I move pretty quickly, so we went and saw nearly all of these horses in one day, traveling from Byford to Donnybrook and back again, taking Rachel’s friend Ruby for company  and another opinion.  Rachel and I rode most of them and decided the best one was Zahara.  A few days later we rang up to ask about seeing her again but she had been sold.  Seriously?  She had been for sale for 6 months and she gets sold two days after we see her?  Looking back I don’t think she was the right horse for us anyway.

A few days later we got a message from a lady in Geraldton, Margi Weir, who read our ad on Buy and Sell.  She had a 5 year old mare, stock horse X, that she thought might be suitable for Rachel.  She was not officially for sale which took the pressure off us, knowing no one else would snap her up while we decided.  So I spoke at length with Margi and she sent me videos of her riding Tango.  Margi bred and trained Tango and was her only owner. 

Tango having a play in the paddock!

Well you know me.  Packed and in the car the next available weekend and off to Geraldton. We took Ruby again so the girls could entertain each other on the 6 hour journey and enjoy the horse shopping experience together. 

We got to Geraldton, booked into a motel just before dark are raced off to meet Margi and Tango.  She was beautiful, of course, and Rachel brushed her and saddled her up for a ride.  I had my sensible mother hat on looking for anything that might raise alarm bells! 

Rachel and Tango

Margi rode her first, showing some moves that Tango could do.  Impressive.  I hoped on and did some walk, trot and canter trying so hard to make it look like I could ride so if we liked Tango Margi thought we were good enough riders to have her. LOL.  Thinking to myself “heals down, hands down, stay balanced, try and stay in the saddle”.  Never mind, if I looked too unbalanced at least Rachel looked good riding her.  Rachel was a very small 11 year old and looked tiny on 14.2 hand Tango but had no trouble riding her. 

We got back to the motel room and I asked Rachel and Ruby, “so what do you think?”  We all agreed we couldn’t see anything “wrong” with her and she was lovely.  The next morning we went out to see her again.  Only Rachel rode her this time.  Walk, trot and canter, and she had an amazing stop.  Margi had done an amazing job training her and she had a natural easy going temperament.  We thanked Margi and Tango  for their time and drove the 6 hours home. 

Yes Tango was the horse for us.  A few days later I arranged a vet check, paid Margi and arranged a truck to bring Tango down just before Xmas.  The truck driver said he was so impressed with her nature he would love her for himself.

Rachel and Tango at their first Gymkhana

Tango settled into our herd well and the last two years have gone so quickly.  Tango is a great all rounder, turning her hoof at jumping, cattle work, trail riding, dressage, cross country and games. She takes it all in her stride.  For the most part Tango is a dream to ride.  However, she has taught Rachel some valuable lessons.  Primarily, if Tango isn’t doing what you want her to do, DO NOT GET MAD AT HER.  If you do she will refuse to work for you and you may as well get off and put her away.  Tango is a Princess and you must speak to her like one. Get this right and she will do anything for you. She is very compliant and patient but she certainly can have her own opinion too.

Rachel and Tango have a great relationship and she is most certainly priceless.  More about their adventures together in an up coming blog.