I swear I haven’t had a minute to relax since I got home from Rolex. I had to leave work a bit early to run to the feed store to pick up alfalfa cubes and beet pulp for a horse on stall rest who isn’t interested in eating as much hay as he should. Then I loaded up our newest arrival to take him to the farm.
Unbridled Dispute was recently donated to CANTER. He has a mild strain of his suspensory and will get plenty of time off to heal up. This horse is 17h of gorgeous. I went to see him at the farm and my jaw dropped when he walked out. You just know a classy horse when you see one. Not only is he beautiful but he is sweet and so mannerly. I had him at my farm for a few days while we waited for it to dry up enough to make horse exchanges and I feel in love with him. I got to talk to some of his former connections who told me he was one of their favorites and is one classy horse. Very good mover and she thinks he is going to be absolutely amazing. No doubt about that!
He loaded right up and settled in at the farm. I picked up Gib to bring him back to my farm to start his retraining. Gib has always been a favorite of mine and he showed how good he was last night. He has just been hanging out on the farm for almost a year. He calmly left his friends and loaded up on the trailer. I got him home and let him hang out in a stall for a bit and then I pulled his mane and clipped him up. He was nervous but very behaved.
Later he got turned out with Slugger and they were instantly friends. He walked right into his stall this morning to eat his grain like he already had the routine down 🙂 Can’t wait to get on him!
I got home in enough time to make a little video of Slugger. I had casually been mentioning him to people who are horse shopping. Well I have seen him move and he is really nice. He is just a horse that is growing and is really gangly right now. We set up the free jump chute and he took right to it! He had so much fun he even jumped down backwards. He is so brave and when I put the “scary” barrel under there he didn’t even blink. He just has such a good brain and is so trainable. That right there is what I look for in a horse.
Here he is- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcWamSXQYMc
He would jump through and then just come into the middle like he wanted a cookie or something 🙂 He is such a funny horse. I have to say that he has turned out way better than I expected. I think it is important to trust your gut when buying horses (I admit I am nuts because I buy sight unseen all the time!). When I buy horses that just catch my eye for whatever reason it has worked out well for me. When I had watched his videos of him in his previous home he just looked like a horse that aimed to please. I saw some glimpses of good movement in there. I knew he was short backed and upside down in the neck with a shorter neck than ideal but honestly conformation isn’t everything to me either. He has a good shoulder and if there is one thing I can improve on a horse it is the neck. I am always amazed at how different necks can look with proper flatwork. I also loved that he was with his breeders and they absolutely adored him. It is so nice to get the whole history on a horse!
We all know how hard it is to find the over 16h geldings that are between 3-6yrs old with no soundness issues or vices. Then to find them priced reasonably enough that I can take a shot at buying them without going to see them is an even harder challenge. Especially when I really really try to buy something that is already off the track so I have a better idea of what I am buying. I limit myself to only spending under $2500 in case I really mess up and buy a dud 🙂 $2500 probably seems like a high price to pay for green horses but I do believe that sometimes you have to pay more to get a quality horse or to find a horse that has been let down. I can spend less buying directly from the track but then you are looking at lay up time to let them down properly (which I absolutely find essential to success) and you have more of a risk factor because you don’t always see their true personality at the track. Nor can you see them being ridden or even free moving. I have done both methods with success but I personally find it easier to restart the horses that have already had let down.
Let me just tell you the CANTER horses are a very good deal!!! I had been away from trying to buy my own horses for resale for a long time and I realize just how hard it is to find nice horses. Our CANTER horses are really so nice and they are priced so reasonably for the amount of let down time they have had and the retraining that is put into them. If you ever sit down and actually write down the expense of taking a horse off the track to the point of retraining it would probably surprise you that you have quite a bit of money invested into them before you ever start the retraining. Feet, teeth, chiro, worming and extra feed (they always just need a lot of calories during the let down process). I also like to put all mine on a generic ulcer drug. I am lucky enough to own my own farm but those of you who board would likely spend a good chunk of change during the first two month.
Then again I really don’t recommend actually writing down expenses on paper. It will scare you off horses forever 🙂