Fortunately the nephew of the owner was there who is a professor at the University of Toronto. A delightful man who was on holiday this week. He was to be found with an avocado and some guava sitting under a tree outside the stables and volunteered to translate between us and the handler.
Yesterday all three horses and all the saddles, bridles and anything else had to go. Today, apparently, only one of the three horses was for sale. This discrepancy, to my displeasure, was put down to my poor Spanish and mis-understanding. Not so I thought out loud to myself and gritted my teeth with obvious distain. My instincts told me otherwise and so did my due diligence with another horse neighbor afterwards, who confirmed he had also been told everything must go - all three were for sale. Apparently, this is normal here. If you do not want something its yours; If you want it - no longer for sale. More disturbing to me, it is OK to say one thing one day and another thing the next, blame your customer and neighbor for mis-understanding and expect to be treated as a gentleman tomorrow? Wishful thinking in this case.
Maybe this is a waiting game. If so, I am quite sure I have more patience than they do - I have an empty stable and no work or expense. There are plenty of horses out there. They have quite a handful of hormones on their hands and not too many folks who can ride well enough to handle them. Time will tell.
Also, the other part of horse trading in Panama. The price had changed. Gone up of course by about $300 and that was for the bad one of the bunch that is not worth even the original price (in my humble opinion).
Well, we asked to see them all anyway. The one they wanted to sell was the one I would never buy. Apparently, it was purchased for the wife. I doubt it as it was much taller than the one the husband apparently rides - if there is one thing I have picked up from riding in Panama it is that the husband does not like to be seen on a smaller horse than his wife. I did tell the handler this in my bad Spanish and even got a smile.
No, my guess, he wanted it for himself but was a little over-horsed. Typical modus-operandi, tell a story (any story) to provide a convenient explanation. She is probably blonde enough and stupid enough and Gringa enough not to figure it out. Arghhh. Or, should I be grateful - Sun Tzu 'The Art of War' - never under-estimate your enemy. This is a strategic advantage of being female here in general. The last laugh is ours boys.
It was a six yr old stallion/stud that even the handler was so scared of that it was hardly handled, hardly ridden or otherwise hardly used. As a result it was very under developed and rather grumpy. Skinny hind quarters and narrow chested and tense back. Tried to bite us all. Did not go close enough to be kicked.
The other two very nice, the Columbian in particular was a gorgeous little horse. We registered our interest and left our phone number. Not sure I want to do deals this way. Or, do I just get on with it, play the same games myself and have some fun with it. Girls know best how to play hard to get I think.