And Then There Were Two

I have somewhat seriously, somewhat casually been searching for a second OTTB for the last few months. And yesterday I found him.

Meet… well, to be honest, he doesn’t have a name! New Kid is a two year old by Courageous Cat (Storm Cat) and out of a Red Ransom mare named Taken by Storm. He’s been on the track and been training but he’s had no published works.

Here’s his pedigree for those who are interested:

I was personally really excited to see the Roberto line in his dam as they usually make wonderful jumpers and my husband got a kick out of just how old the dam lines were. Rahy on his sire side is also a nice turfy influence.

New Kid definitely needs a good trim and some growing up (oh my gosh, did I really buy a two year old?! am I crazy?!) but I see a lot of potential in him.

Right now we are working out the shipping but I am officially the owner of two horses! Time to buckle down the budget and get lean.

2016 Retired Racehorse Makeover

Just have to give a huge shout out to New Trainer who won the dressage division and America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred at the Retired Racehorse Makeover this last weekend with her OTTB, King.

wp-1477914075513.jpg

Gus and I are so proud of her and so happy to be working with such a wonderful OTTB ambassador. Plus, King is one of Gus’ BFFs so hopefully King will share his dressage secrets wit Gus…

And Then This Happened

Shortly after I wrote my last post, I got an email back from one of my inquiries. The horse I was writing about (a five year old bay OTTB who had been lightly restarted) was out on trial with a scheduled vet check. So he was basically gone. But the seller had another OTTB still with her race trainer that she just hadn’t been able to get down to her farm and restart yet. A big, steel gray, sound, five year old with fancy movements and a good personality. Was I interested in seeing pictures and a jog video?

No, I really need something that’s restarted… oh who am I kidding? YES! That is basically my dream horse. Then she sent me the jog video and I was sold.

So now I want to introduce you to Gus, aka Smoky Four. He’s a five year old thoroughbred by Stevie Wonderboy and out of an El Prado mare. He won three times on the track and earned just over 34k.

wpid-img950680.jpg

We scheduled a vet check for Thursday and when I got the call from the vet, all he could do was rave about his movements. He passed with basically flying colors (his back feet are tender but the vet thought that would be an easy fix with a good farrier and not being stuck in a stall). Then the race track trainer got on the phone and said if I want him, there’s a shipper going out tonight who can take him from West Virginia to Georgia and he could be there on Friday. Holy crap. But alright. Let’s do this!

So, Gus arrived very early this morning around 12:30 AM and was very crabby after being on the trailer for 24 hours. We left him to relax and rest. Then Eric and I went home and got to bed ourselves. Then, after only a few hours of sleep, we dragged ourselves out of bed and back to the barn to see what kind of animal we really had.

wpid-20150411_112005.jpg Gus_2 Gus_3 Gus_5 Gus_9 wpid-20150411_112045.jpgFor being fresh off the track, he was super well behaved (even before I put the chain on). Sure, he was was up and definitely aware of his new surroundings but he was very polite and never lost his marbles. After a few minutes, he settled down to graze and was just curious about the place. I even led him through the little stream and he had no issues!

Tomorrow he gets his first turnout for a few hours and I am going to scrub up his legs. They are covered in this weird tar sticky stuff and of course I went out today without my bath kit. So excited to start working with this guy!

I’ll leave you with two things. First, this totally epic slow motion video of him jogging.

The second, Gus has something really cool in his pedigree for those that are pedigree or racing enthusiasts. I’ll talk about it in a later post but cookies if you find it before that!

Unicorn Hunters

ISO: A 6-8 year old fancy thoroughbred (OTTB okay) with something special to their look (dapple grey, bay with four white socks, chestnut with a big chrome face, etc…). Sound and sane with an amateur friendly mind. Currently jumping 3-3’6 courses, has competed through Novice level eventing with dressage scores in the low 20s but is just as happy to hack out on a solo trail ride.

Sounds like a fun horse, huh?

But I’m not made of money and I have a pretty limited budget. It’s more than I had to spend on Dandy when I bought him, but less than what I sold him for. With our move and me being out of a job and still paying our syndication fees on Dandy, it’s just not smart to spend all of that on a new horse. Being an adult and making adult decisions really blows sometimes.

Still, I don’t really need a unicorn. I do need something sane who isn’t going to give me the trouble I had with Dandy. This is what is important to me, and what I’m willing to compromise on:

  1. Sound and sane is non-negotiable. I know you can’t always tell with a young horse and things can change but I do not want to get into trouble with another OTTB. Dandy was kind of a tricky case because you will not meet a sweeter horse on the ground. He is so friendly and so nice. It’s just when asked to really work that things get hard.
    I also know that soundness is relative. However, there are lots of OTTBs that come of the track completely sound and I want my next horse to be sound at least when I buy it. I lucked out that I never really had issues with Dandy’s soundness. He did have a few days here and there where he was off due to doing something silly in his pasture but it was never work related and never lasted long (or required expensive vet bills).
  2. The youngest prospect I want is 4 but I’m willing to look at older horses provided the maintenance isn’t too much (see the sound portion is above). I know I can handle a fresh restart (Dandy has not been the first horse I’ve started and backed) but I also wouldn’t mind not having to do that. Ideally, I’d love to find a lightly restarted horse who we already know the mind of and who is ready to go.
  3. I’m willing to compromise on color and sex. I’ve had mares and geldings and I’ve liked both. No preference there. As for color, of course I’d love something super flashy and fancy but really, I just want to enjoy looking at my horse. Eric linked me to a horse the other day and even though her confirmation was beautiful and she fit in my price range, I did not like her blaze at all. Something just really threw me off. Pass. But I did see a completely plain dark bay shortly after and fell in love with his face.
  4. And I’ll definitely compromise on the 10 jump. I just need a horse who is willing to work and is amateur friendly. I’d love low 20 (or under!) dressage scores but if it means I’m going to be working with a hot head, I don’t want it.

Now that I’m in GA and starting to get settled in, I’ve also started to look at horses and have sent my first two inquiries. I’m super excited and super nervous at the same time. Still have to find a barn and a trainer, but hopefully everything will come together as I need it to.

Inspiration pt 2

Apologies in advance for the rambling nature of this post!

I’m in a very thoughtful mood right now. Guinness and I have the house to ourselves tonight (and tomorrow night, and last night) so I’m taking the time to be completely selfish. i.e. eat lots of pizza rolls, drink some jungle juice, stay up late watching the Olympics, ect.

Guinness came to work with me for a few hours today and he did really good. Ever since he saw the trainer on Saturday there has been a 180 in how he acts on the leash. Of course, it helps to have someone to teach us how to use the pinch collar correctly. The trainer we’re going with is getting a dog in this week to work with but once that dog is gone, it’s Guinness’ turn. He’s going to turn into a model citizen around the horses. Or at least I hope so!

In preparation for this, we brought Guinness to a professional groomer. It was more to see how he’d act being away from us then to get him groomed. And he passed the test with flying colors. Even better, when we picked him up he looked GORGEOUS. For only $27 this might become an every other month visit.

In other news, I gave in and bought a new hunt coat.

It’s a soft shell which should be good for the heat around here. I ended up going with navy because I have decided that will be Dandy’s jumper and dressage color (mostly since I can’t find a good brown dressage coat). This will work just fine for the low levels of dressage as well. Sadly it won’t be here in time for the show on Saturday but I’ll have it for the fall shows. And for next year’s events. 🙂

And now for the inspiration of my post: