Everybody needs a Mort in their life

Did I ever tell you that I really don’t like chestnuts? Yet somehow the majority of CANTER horses and resale horses I buy are chestnuts.

I admired this horse at Delaware Park known as Mort Robbins. His trainer was frustrated that nobody would even come and see him so he is now coming to CANTER as a donation. I’m picking him up tomorrow morning (ha, I promised I would take at least a week off from picking up horses).

We also picked up a lovely cute mare named Wonderful Wise and I somehow missed taking pictures of her. She was even at my farm for a few days before she went to the layup farm and I still missed getting pics. Oh well I shall be over there this weekend and the mare field is on my list of things to do. I spent a few hours this week in the gelding fields checking out the horses. I brought everyone out and lunged them, took a recent pic and even got on two of them.

Lunging eight horses was quite a workout especially since most of them had NOT a clue about how to lunge and thought I was a crazy person waving a whip at them. Some (well mainly Houndy and Diamond H) thought going faster than a walk was totally unnecessary so then I really was the crazy person waving the whip.

In order: Shine my Shoes, Dance with Bill, Houndy, Ray, Diamond H, AllaboutMack, Esstoga Tune and Track’s Protege.

I also rode AllaboutMack and Track’s Protege

Keep in mind these horses are in various stages of let down some not handling it as well as others, barefoot, uneven ground and being asked to do something they are totally unfamiliar with. They were all super good. The only gelding I missed was Letterman’s Humor who didn’t want to be caught yet 🙂 He is a recent arrival and said no way are you taking me out of this lovely field full of grass.

Ray is a new arrival and we are thinking he is probably just dealing with an abscess. Diamond H is still a little bit off but he had the ligament surgery done and his feet were quite ouchy. Houndy was much sounder than when he was at my barn which was exciting to see. Time has a way of healing all their body aches and poor Houndy was just so body sore. He has gained a lot of weight and just had a much happier look in his eyes.

Shine my Shoes did crash quite a bit after he came off the track. Sometimes the transition to a new lifestyle is harder on some that others. He had lost a ton of weight. I think part was pain from the injury,  his feet hurt and also the really excessive heat and bugs. Those factors combined can cause them to lose a lot of weight. He was really depressed but boy did he feel good this week. I expect him to only look better from here on out. Sometimes you have to just understand that some of them are going to look worse before they look better and don’t panic about it.

Allaboutmack is very recent off the track but looked quiet so I did get on him. I only got on those who looked absolutely ready to ride. Mack was one cool dude and spent the whole time I was tacking him up sleeping 🙂 Esstoga and Bill are 2yr’s so they will be hanging out with CANTER until they turn 3 and are ready to move into a riding career. They are really big 2yr’s! Both had very minor tendon injuries and caring owners who stopped them right away and donated them to CANTER.

I have been having great rides on Kiss a Monster. He is really doing great at home starting to understand forward and working into the contact. I have people asking about him and I have a hard time describing him. He is a quiet horse but he is still a 3yr. I read a fantastic post here called Three Good Whacks and thought about how true it was 🙂 http://retiredracehorseblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/three-good-whacks/

Monster is a fantastic horse and super athletic but he is in that 3yr mode of everything comes with attitude. Someone asked me if this is going to go away and my gut says of course it is but I can’t promise him that. I would hate for someone to buy a horse from me and be unhappy with it down the road. I have ridden a lot of 3yr’s and they just happen to be a bit defiant. He is really not that bad because he doesn’t do anything scary but he is still testing me. I’m not making his life easy and I am requiring him to do more than just trot around on a loose rein..well trotting him on a loose rein would be totally stupid and a great way to invite him to be bad. I ask him to come forward and march up into a contact and relax that back. He is still saying MAN come on this is hard…yep deal with it buddy.

I had to go school a horse x-c on Wednesday so I loaded him up and took him along just to ride him around. He was good on the trailer although he was a little bit nervous. Once he got off the trailer he was super relaxed. X-c schoolings are a really tough environment as there are big open fields, horses going everywhere and just so much to process. I got on and just started trotting right away. Don’t force a nervous horse to walk as that also invites trouble (my opinion anyway). I trotted up the hill (gotta love hills for keeping them focuses and working) and found my trainer’s group. He started out a bit silly but just doing his typical head toss and neck wring. Then he settled down nicely and actually produced some relaxed work. You have to remember to ride them forward when they are being disobedient and I also used my stick to send him forward a few times if he got nappy.

He was really relaxed at the end and walked back to the trailers on a loose rein and drank a whole bucket of water 🙂 These outings are what put a great foundation on a horse. I rode for 15 min and just kept it short and simple. Each time you do a little bit more but don’t ask for to much. Reward them and then next time they go out will be even better.

He is going to do a combined test this weekend which should be a bit interesting as I haven’t jumped much. I have been super busy and he hasn’t had as much in the ring work as I would have liked but no worries it will all be fine 🙂

I have had tons of people emailing about horses we have. Unless they are on the CANTER available now site then they aren’t quite ready for one reason or another. Cool Casey is looking like a million bucks but he needs some work on his feet before he is comfortable enough for me to ride. I’m hoping that will be soon but not worth rushing into. I want him to feel good before asking him to do any serious work. He is such a lovely horse and so kind. We will get his feet fixed up so he can start into work. I think he wants a job but his feet are not comfortable enough yet.

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3 responses to “Everybody needs a Mort in their life

  1. I still really like Bill – liked him when you posted his photos when he was new, and that video doesn’t change my mind about thinking he has dressage potential.
    I’m kind of not-very-secretly hoping when he’s available we’re all set up at our new horse property and you’re willing to ship a horse way out west. 🙂

  2. I thought Mort Robbins looked like a super classy athletic horse and had been hoping to move one out so I could take him! I’m glad to see that he is with you. If it is possible to visit your facility I would love to do so!

  3. jessica
    Thanks for all you do. I was so excited to find this blog and those pics and videos of the new guys. You put your everything into it and somehow make it look easy. Thanks also to your videographer… none can do it alone. They are all beautiful and awesome and i cant wait to bring 2 home.

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