About ten minutes after I wrote that last post, the prospective lease-to-buyer changed her mind about wanting to try out Willow. There have been a few nibbles since then, but nothing has come of any of them. And . . . and . . . I think I've decided I'm going to keep Willow and bring her back to Oregon.
She's been for sale for almost two years at this point, and I'm hearing that the people who have tried her have found her too sensitive. For such a freight train of a mare, she is terribly picky about the rider's balance and contact. The trainers have no trouble with her, but the amateurs who try her don't get along with her.
Additionally, in the intervening time I have been riding at a facility with no indoor arena. Where I have to scrape through the giant mud ball to find the gelding underneath. And I guess you might say I have gotten less persnickety about the barn I'm at. I no longer feel that I must be at a dressage show barn. Any facility with decent care and a covered arena will do.
I've been watching old videos of Willow and really liking what I see in them. Sometimes you have to get a little distance and see things with fresh eyes. I see a mare who was solid first level and schooling almost all of second.
Willow has really been enjoying learning to jump, so what I'm hoping for is this: 1) find a cheap but decent barn with a covered arena, and 2) find someone to pick up a half lease who would like to keep her jumping. I think she'd enjoy the variety, and I would really like not having to work her six days a week. Also, I'd like to find a way to keep riding Huey at least a couple days a week. Since I sent Willow away, I have met several riders in the jumper/eventing worlds, so I'm feeling much more confident that I can find a half-leaser than I was two years ago.
Isn't it strange how things work out sometimes?