Who’s Got Vision?

So as our facebook fans may know, it was a big weekend down in Southern Pines for some of our alums.  Fisher, Palmer, and Yellow Tavern were all out and about at SoPi I over the weekend, showing how amazing they are.  Since Allie got some good photos, I’m sticking one up of Palmer, now being ridden by the amazing Jan Bynny, because he looks fantastic!

But first, I’m going to repost a picture from shortly after he arrived.  Palmer was one of our skinner horses when he first came in, and he was also fairly suspicious.  I spent a good hour the first time I saw him before I could get my hands on him (I can’t help it, I like a challenge! And I also like to show them people don’t always want stuff).  I didn’t get any good pictures right away, but he looked tense, and underweight, and just sort of pathetic (hey, sometimes they look like sleek racing Gods, other times, not so much).  So this is about three weeks later:

3 Weeks After Coming "Home"

So let’s be honest.  How many people, looking solely at that picture (or any number of similar pictures from the track, where horses may or may not be even standing up straight or in non-contorted fashion) would have said, “OMG! YES! I’LL TAKE THAT ONE!!!!”?  And believe me, I think he looks much better in that pic than he did in person, too. 

Fortunately, as we’ve been around a while, there are some folks out there who have come to trust our director’s word when she says, “hey, we have a REALLY nice one here!”  And so Palmer found a new home, where he received some excellent basic training from trainer Jenn Simmons, and recently moved on to Jan Bynny, who he competed with over the weekend:

(photo by Allie Conrad)

Palmer (Palm Crescent) came in fourth in Open Novice, and looks like he’ll have no trouble moving up in the future 🙂 

Only really posting this because I love a success story, and also because for once I actually have the “before” picture.  And also as a gentle reminder… when looking at horses still at the track or who are looking a little rough shortly after, it pays to have some vision.  🙂

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3 responses to “Who’s Got Vision?

  1. So I wouldn’t see that picture and go “YES! I want him!” But that’s more my reaction to it than about 90% of the photos I tend to see. He fits every item on my mental checklist when I look at a photo.
    Some reasons why:
    I love his shoulder and humerus for an eventer. His humerus is vertical enough and long enough to indicate a long stride and some likely knee lift, without being as dressage-vertical as a horse with a lot of knee action, or as horizontal as a hunter with nice, flat knees who may not do as well over terrain. The shoulder is just nice in any discipline. A little tip I use to judge, since shoulder angles can change based on stance, is that you can tell it’s not just because of weight or photo angle from how far his elbows are ahead of his withers – generally due to shoulder length/angle.
    He appears to be somewhat uphill in build, which is always a plus in eventing. The neck topline isn’t a concern, because it doesn’t tie in low on the bottom, and topline/neck shape can be developed.
    His topline along his back is totally smooth looking, when most horses at this point in their post-track letdown tend to look awkward and bumpy along the top. A very good sign for future athleticism and soundness.
    His tail is tied in a little high to cause the illusion of a shorter hip than he really has. The angle of his hip, his nearly matching hip and femur lengths, and stifle placement are all big pluses.
    For me, personally, I tend to look for a slightly longer hip, but his is still not something which would rule a horse out to me, and his overall balance even in that awkward phase is a big plus!

    • Agreed on all points! But I’m consistently noticing that it can be difficult for people to see those types of details when the condition of the horse is a little rough, or the shoeing is odd, or various other little things that contribute to that “big picture” 🙂 It takes a good eye, or willingness to listen to people who have seen a lot of horses coming off the track, I think!

      I also think it’s interesting from going to the track, the horses that always ping my radar the most, and get me the most excited about quality, are not always the ones that “photograph” the best or look the most spectacular (shiny/sleek, etc). They’re not the ones that immediately draw all the attention (at least from following the online chatter) but to me have all the right “pieces” I look for 🙂

  2. I will just say that my new Canter horse came a week ago and I am so impressed with him. The Barn Manager actually confessed to me that she thought a TB horse from the track meant a three legged lame horse with no manners. He is far from that. He is the calmest most curious horse and we all love him-he has a fan club. Thank you Canter !

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