Getting Ready to Pull That Mane

I’ve put it off.  I kept justifying Mikey’s long mane – it fiiits him!!! He looks so cuuuuute with it under western tack!!!

I think I’ve run out of excuses.  While originally not the plan, Mikey will be going to Maryland Million this weekend along with some other horses representing how awesome ex-racehorses can be.  And I’m thinking English tack is the way to go, since I at least have nice english tack that matches (or at least, the bridle and saddle are similar colors, haha). 

After all, Mike’s main purpose is to become our spokeshorse, so may as well get him started!  I have no idea how this will go, seeing as Mikey has not been out in public or gone anywhere like this in, um, six years.  I’m operating under the assumption that it will be really, really fun.  Worst case scenario is he gets nervous but I will put money on it that the way out of that will be to go forward.  So we might have a little fun running down the track 🙂 

I spied him on Saturday trotting around in turnout looking lovely – he’s had his second Legend shot and it seems to be agreeing with him 🙂

In other news I met a new volunteer on Saturday and we went out to Green Grass Hill to get new pics and video of the horse out there who should be ready to start training soon. 

I cobbled together a video of this experience – and let me say that for anybody who thinks Thoroughbreds are crazy or full of fire – just try lunging some without a whip.  I was TIRED after all this!

(Direct Link for those who need it)

The horses in this video are not available officially yet.  We were there to evaluate who is ready to start training and who isn’t.  Several of these guys are on our Available Soon page – please note that while you are welcome to send inquiries that we really mean it when we say they are not available now.  We really strive to make every horse a known quantity by getting it some basic retraining and exposure before making them fully available.  That way we can best ensure a good match and long term home 🙂

So, horse by horse, the video features the following:

Rainbow is a 5 year old mare recovering from a knee chip.  She is a grand-daughter of Kris S, and a really lovely big bodied mare who is pretty easy to handle and work with.  She is off on the right front right now, so we only had her walk a little bit.  She had no clue about the lunging thing, so we kind of meandered a bit in the attempt.  Oops.

Ocean is a lovely, lovely 6 year old mare who came to us with a very enlarged left front ankle.  She was bred by an FFA club, and was a pretty successful racehorse, earning almost $150,000 in her lifetime.  When she first came to us there was some heat in her ankle and she wasn’t walking entirely comfortably, but she seems to have recovered very nicely just with time off, and is pretty happy and willing to go forward.  She pulled some shenanigans on the lungeline but honestly was a pleasure to deal with and seems to want to please.  I’m just happy she is feeling so good!  She was a hoot, and lovely to handle (really!) .  I couldn’t stop giggling when her response to “whoa” was to leap into the air and buck, and THEN stop.  I think this mare is just feeling really good now!

Clayton is a 4 year old gelding, who frankly surprised me on Saturday by looking so awesome.  He came in with several other horses on the same day, and to be honest appeared to me to be the “worst” of the bunch – he was thinner than the others, more body sore, and sort of standoffish (he was, though, the best about taking fly spray, which I always appreciate!).  When I brought him in on Saturday, he was clearly looking MUCH better – his weight has picked up and he has filled out beautifully.  His feet are looking quite rough though, and I expected him to be quite footsore on the hard/uneven ground in the ring.  Instead, I got a horse who was happy to go forward, looked remarkably sound, and threw in a few flying lead changes after picking up the wrong lead.  He learned quickly what I wanted and was the easiest of the bunch to lunge, and seemed very proud of himself for learning a new skill. 

Bruce, on the other hand, took a loooot of work to get going.  This is just one really laid back horse.  He is a 4 year old gelding by Forest Wildcat – the last Forest Wildcat we had was the little chestnut fellow who went to Jess, and turned out to be a wonderfully laid back quiet guy as well.  I was also happy to see that Bruce looks quite sound, so he will be ready to start training soon as well.  He’s gotten quite sunbleached and looks a bit ratty at the moment, but I can see this guy being a kids’ show horse once he’s gotten some education and his shiny dark bay coat back.

Oakley is a very attractive 3 year old gelding, who only raced three times.  He came to us shortly after being gelded, and has just been a total love bug ever since.  This is a sweet, sweet horse who also appears to be very athletic and I think he will make a great eventer.  At times he appeared to be a little stiff behind but that’s not so unusual that it would be worrisome.  He was pretty easy to deal with too, only having an issue with lunging when I first tried to get him to go the other day.  He did pull on my quite a bit (prompting the “boyfriend’s dog” comment, heh), but overall was pretty easy.  He’s going to be really cute.

I like when visits go like this!  A lot of times I get out there and there’s footsoreness, or an abscess, or whatever else you can imagine.  It’s nice to go and find everybody is doing very well, gaining weight, and ready to be transferred on for training/work.

And speaking of that, we are starting up a program for young and emerging trainers, where we provide some educational resources, and they provide their time, to help get our horses trained (and also provide young trainers with some valuable experience with green TBs to increase their skill set).   Our executive director is working on the details, and more information will be coming soon.  🙂

Also coming soon, some nice photos of the horses in the video, and also photos of two new arrivals that came this past weekend: an adorable mare nicknamed “Ears” (for good reason), and an equally adorable little gelding I have to figure out a nickname for.  🙂  He’s a very cute dark bay with a star, if anyone has ideas.

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