Sunday, January 15, 2012

New horse!!!


So, I got him! He's mine! I'm so excited!
Just pending paperwork, but most likely I'll get to go get him next Saturday and bring him home. :)
He's 8 years old, about 16.2hh (but I've got to stick him, he could be taller), BIG boned, bold, and with a super flashy trot. He raced for about 4 years and just came off the track last august and has pretty much been sitting in a paddock for 4 months. His legs are super clean, only blemish I could find was a tiny tiny popped splint on his inside right front leg. His feet need attention, they look as though they haven't been trimmed in quite some time, so I was pleasantly surprised at how sound he trotted out on hard ground!!
Some pictures:

My only critiques on his conformation are a shortish neck and his front pasterns are a touch short/upright. Otherwise, he is a very nice looking horse. Tons of bone, clean and straight legs, a lovely hip and shoulder. Typical TB withers, but nothing to distract from him. He very much resembles an old style warmblood. 

He was rather wound up when we got there, he had been moved to a smaller pen closer in, and as a result the other horses around had gotten excited and he was full of it. So he wasn't happy about getting stuck in a round pen where he couldn't see out!! We let him run around a while, then caught him, and I felt him down, he doesn't care about being touched anywhere. Moved away from pressure pretty good. Then I tested to see if he knew how to lunge... yeah, nope. I literally taught him how to do that when I was there. But, he picked up on it super quick!
 Free in the round pen
Learning how to lunge
I saddled him up and hopped on to see what he knew there. Again, nothing! Yeah this boy doesn't know anything beyond running in a circle to the left. Sterring was iffy at best, but he got better at it towards the end. When he actually relaxed and put his head down, his trot felt huge! This horse is gonna be awesome in the dressage ring.
First ride

My husband came and gave his stamp of approval (YAY), saying that he really liked him. So that was great to hear! I lunged him a bit more in the arena to see what he'd do, he wasn't bad, still iffy on the whole lunging idea, especially to the right, but he was getting the idea. Then I untacked him, tied him up (he ties, but doesn't know how to stand still). Struck a deal, shook hands, and put him away! Horray!!

I'm so stinkin excited, he's gonna be a huge project, he's just a big baby, but he is going to be so much fun. I can't wait to start working with him! I'm going to head out tomorrow after work to see him again, and I can't wait. 

It feels so good to have a horse again, and it's an even better feeling knowing that I own a horse that is injury free *knock on wood*. Yes!!

I need a nickname!
Now he just needs a nickname... everybody keeps saying Johnny, but I'm not doing that mostly cuz there already is someone in my family we call johnny. Not doing Cash cuz I used to know a horse named that and didn't like him lol. Some other ideas I've liked are Max, Mickey, Tex, Regi, Laredo, & Folsom. Nothing is sticking so far, guess I gotta get to know him more first.


You know Folsom is a prison on Northern California? I wouldn't use that ;-)

Okay. My critique on him, since you asked. :)

Let's start with his pedigree. There are some things I like: Nasrullah, Tom Fool, Native Dancer... all excellent sporthorse sires. There is also Mr. Prospector, which supposedly is hit-or-miss, but I have yet to find one that I really did not like. They tend to be sensitive, but athletic. Exclusive Native I believe seems to be a bit of a jump killer. Seen a few and they all had dropped toplines and, subsequently, jumped inverted.

Now on to conformation. That dropped topline? He has it. Not the end of the world, but you'll just really, really have to concentrate on getting him to lift his back. His loin is pretty long and slightly roached.

I like his hindend, especially his leg conformation. I do think his stifle is a quite high, which may limit his ability to close that joint mid-air.

His front legs also appear to be quite good, including a nice, long forearm. The pasterns are a smidge short (more prone to arthritis), but better, IMO, than too long (more prone to soft tissue injuries) for eventing. You can inject joints. :wink:

Neck, decent, with a nice uphill attachment. I wouldn't say his neck is too short, but rather too thick. Nothing to be worried about, though.

My biggest concern with him is that he is obviously downhill. That just makes him that less agile when being asked to carry himself uphill and in self-carriage since it isn't how he was build to go, which was downhill and very, very fast. (Obvious sprinter here!)

As for movement, he may be prone to go a bit lateral in the walk, which isn't too big of a deal. At the trot, he looks like he might be sore in his back...? Maybe once he settles in a bit, he will carry himself better and not like a llama.

Have fun with him!

He looks very nice, nearly all OTTBs have some weird looking conformation issues that are resolved as the racing muscle recedes and the 'carry a rider' muscle gets stronger and his balance etc. improves.
I don't think his neck is too short, it is tense, you will be surprised what it looks like with less tension and more muscle on top. His topline is typical race horse, it will improve with correct riding.
Be sure to keep us updated with pics, I think he is going to go from racehorse to swan - it just takes a while.

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