Buying horses that will be suitable for the riding school is always a challenge when all the facilities are available to try them out, ideally I would like to see school work in a school, roadwork in heavy traffic, how much control there is on grass and whether it jumps, ideally I could also want to see whether it lunges, loads, stables can be caught or clipped. Its rare you would manage to see all of this and most of us choose our horses on the basis of seeing and riding them in a school and maybe over a few jumps but this doesn’t always happen. Proper riding surfaces were rare in Wales several years ago and I have bought many horses from seeing them trot up and down a main road or struggle to canter on the side of a mountain or in a boggy or rutted field. A few weeks ago Carys and I went to Merthyr to see an approx 16hh cob x tb 12yr old that has hunted and hacked for the last seven years. We wound our way to half way up a mountain where there was a large green stable barn and a large flat car park, no school no field and several unfenced drops off the edge of the car park. Have looked at the horse and watched it trot in hand we now needed to see it ridden. The lady selling it was nearly 7 months pregnant so her partner rode it, having seen a few psycho’s over the years I refuse to put a rider on without seeing them ridden first. Anyway he seemed to be a sweet and willing sort. Carys rode him and trotted a few circles in the car park. Deciding to give it some thought we left promising to ring later. Even though I hadn’t seen him canter or jump gut instinct said “buy it” so I did. Comet arrived on Sunday morning. Carys rode him in the mini hunter trials sunday afternoon. He jumped everything. He is forward going but not strong, fairly clueless in the school but a quick learner. A willing jumper but his canter is quite weak so being careful not to over face him. He has improved considerably in the last few weeks so on the whole I am quite pleased with my car park horse purchase.