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View Full Version : Thoughts on this prelim prospect?



AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:15 AM
I'm horse shopping and went out to see this little 14.2 Morgan (I'm about 5'3"). He's 12 with tons of try. He formerly competed at 3-foot jumpers.

I think I'm set on him, if everything goes to plan (and we all know how that goes!). I like him lots — he's got THE gelding personality that is hard not to fall in the love with. But wanted to see what others had to say about him

He's been sitting in a pasture for five years so he's extremely out of condition. But despite that, his gaits were lovely and, while his back was pretty tight, his jump was clean. Very sweet and keen. He made me feel super safe with his jumping style. I think in the right condition with good flatwork, he'll definitely wow!

Standing:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TXy3eoNvzuI/AAAAAAAAE6g/DmWBAH29cbY/IMG_6350.JPG

Trot:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TXy2CSNK_pI/AAAAAAAAE6g/SJsyeUDyTKk/IMG_6267.JPG

Canter:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TXy2f6npYpI/AAAAAAAAE6g/PGYhhM1LdU4/IMG_6304.JPG

Jump:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TXy2_EODTXI/AAAAAAAAE6g/hnfBgPzTU8o/IMG_6323.JPG
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TXy2vMV2y0I/AAAAAAAAE6g/oIEO1M5Xllk/IMG_6315.JPG (no release *smacks self*)

And his adorable face:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TXy3inqD3EI/AAAAAAAAE6g/4i65xWzt9FQ/IMG_6353.JPG

And here he is "back in the day," jumping a 4-foot oxer:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TZCMzd78PJI/AAAAAAAAFK4/xq1CrnTBiZg/major.jpg

I have a full time job and obligations, so I'm looking at never getting past prelim :lol: . Right now, I'm schooling training level dressage with the greenie I'm working with. I'm a former jumper (up to 3'9" at A show level) and have really been getting into dressage the last two years. Me on another horse riding dressage recently: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TYUyAgadn1I/AAAAAAAAFAQ/IQ_-kiQKECA/IMG_6946.JPG

asterix
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:27 AM
has he ever done anything outside the ring?

You never know how they'll be out in the open until you try them...

He's very cute, though!

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:36 AM
Asterix, you bring up a valid point! I don't want an arena weenie on my hands.

According to former owner, he has "he's trail ridden, done ditches and chased cows. Although he wasn't thrilled about ditches at first, he got to the point that he would canter up and jump it without hesitation."

Jumper_girl221
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:38 AM
I'll answer for Azu since I used to own him.

He's done trail riding, galloped ditches, and chased cows when they got out :p I've never seen him stop at home, or away (his first show was 2'6" with no faults), although his first few times he would stop and sniff the ditch before hopping it.

ThirdCharm
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:42 AM
I currently have a 13.1h Haffie/Morgan in training, who has a ton of jump. I'm running Prelim on a 15.2h TB. Teddy was 14.2h.

So there are plenty of little Prelim horses, but 14.2 _is_ considered small for a prospect, though you will likely get 'cute points' in dressage. 12 is a bit aged for a prospect. I'm not sure if it's good or bad that he's done nothing for 5 years?? Less wear and tear, I guess, but.... 5 years?

The photos don't scream Prelim prospect to me, but some horses have an indifferent jumping style over tiny fences. My TB still looks pretty casual at Prelim.... He's never been xc, and assume since you don't mention it you haven't either? Any chance of putting him through a jumping chute to see how he looks over bigger jumps, or taking him out and seeing how he reacts to ditches/water/banks? (edit to ad: saw subsequent posts, so, how he reacts to water and banks, and ditches after five years off!)

Getting him to Prelim will be a STEEP learning curve, with both of you learning EVERYTHING (and unlearning some things) and the time limitations possibly imposed by his age. Just suggesting you be realistic. Are you working with a trainer? What do they think?

That said, if I had a petite student who was looking for an UL prospect and they were absolutely broke, a dirt cheap horse with "try" is a good place to start. Assuming he's DIRT cheap. With the economy these days, an older, out of condition, basically green (yeah, he's jumped 3', but he's tense, inverted, and is going to have to learn flatwork), non-hunter-type pony is just not a big seller. I'd definitely check the giveaway forum before I'd shell out $$ for one.


Jennifer

baxtersmom
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:46 AM
SM, my friend LUFFS her Morgan! I don't know if he'll even make Training (jump maybe, speed unlikely) but he's cute as a button and like you said, all full of try. DO EEET!

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:52 AM
Bax! *hugs*

TC, did you see the updated OP with him over a 4-foot oxer?

All great points and appreciated.

I've been working with a cross-training type instructor the last year (mostly focused on dressage) and clinicing dressage. I think I've only had three jump lessons in the last year and two of those were on uber green ponies so they don't count towards my position!

I'm moving (which is how I can now afford two horse; my other horse is likely retired before she got started) but I will probably continue to take dressage lessons and clinics when I get to my new location. We'll see who I can find in the area for jumping/cross country.

It's Charleston SC if anyone wants to chime in. I "know" Michele Folden and another dressage instructor there and would probably be working with them.

I don't expect to get to prelim in a year. I'd be happy to get this guy going beginner novice in a year! lol

sarah88
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:07 AM
I think there is a big difference between jumping a single 4 ft oxer and having the speed + scope + endurance + bravery to make it around prelim XC... I look at prelim for ponies as Advanced for TB's... many can do novice some training and very few prelim+... I have to be honest..I dont see prelim in him...but he is out of work... He is cute, but he looks kindof breedy and from his few pics looks like he has alot of work to do before he would even be competitive at novice...he also seems on the older end for a prospect..maybe if you wanted something to do lower levels, but by the time you get him to the level you want he will be getting up there in years... (sorry to be harsh, I have had too many horses not suitable for the job I want them to do and it is just stress and a heartache when it doesn't work out)

asterix
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:08 AM
I do like the big oxer pic!!

I think if you love him and he's sound, he could be a fun horse for you. I wouldn't think of him as a "prelim prospect" -- the two of you could go prelim, if he's still got that jump in him, takes to dressage, and can learn to be a proper xc horse.

But that's a lot of "if" -- so I would think more about just having him as a horse partner to learn eventing (am I right that you would both be learning together?) with.

You could have lots of fun getting comfortable and confident at BN and N. By then you'll know whether Training is something both of you could tackle...by the time you are confirmed at Training, you can take a look at that Prelim goal.

I'm not trying to throw cold water on this project -- it's just a long way from "jumped a few ditches" and "rider learning dressage" to Prelim for any pair.

Just buy him and have fun, and see how it goes!

Backstage
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:13 AM
He looks cute and is probably a lot of fun...but he doesn't scream prelim prospect to me based on the photos.

I think you need to be honest about what you want and what is attracting you to this horse. Ask yourself and this horse's connections LOTS of questions.

Do you actually want to go prelim, or is that just a would-be-really-neat ambition? What kind of budget do you have? Is his age going to be an issue for your goals? Why has he been sitting in a field for 5 years?

There is nothing wrong with wanting a particular horse and being willing to work with him/her regardless of his or her limitations. But if your heart is set on making it to prelim, you may want to keep looking. To me, this is a very cute pony but you are going to be running against the clock given his age and you have no idea whether he will even want to be an event horse.

fooler
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:14 AM
I do like the big oxer pic!!

I think if you love him and he's sound, he could be a fun horse for you. I wouldn't think of him as a "prelim prospect" -- the two of you could go prelim, if he's still got that jump in him, takes to dressage, and can learn to be a proper xc horse.

But that's a lot of "if" -- so I would think more about just having him as a horse partner to learn eventing (am I right that you would both be learning together?) with.

You could have lots of fun getting comfortable and confident at BN and N. By then you'll know whether Training is something both of you could tackle...by the time you are confirmed at Training, you can take a look at that Prelim goal.

I'm not trying to throw cold water on this project -- it's just a long way from "jumped a few ditches" and "rider learning dressage" to Prelim for any pair.

Just buy him and have fun, and see how it goes!

Good Advice - Who knows what you and the horse will want to do in 2-3 years? If you really have a connection with him - buy him. Morgans are such great horses and he just may end up being a great horse for your kids and/or husband.:D

purplnurpl
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:18 AM
well, it's hard to comment on an "off" type of prospect unless we are there and able to feel him go.

I would say no.
***
But Mark Todd said no when he first saw Charisma. He had traveled pretty far to see the horse so he had a feel in the saddle anyway and liked his rolling motion so much that he gave the little guy a chance.

But Charisma had much better jumping technique and was already proven at Prelim or Intermediate I believe.
***
That pic of him jumping 4' made me say, "ewww". No use of neck or back. No height over the fence. And landing too quickly. Which makes me think (from just that one pic if that is how he jumps) that after a few times at that height he would decide that his back was cramped and stop.
Especially being a little guy, he needs to put his nose below his knees to keep his body sound when jumping 3' and up.

The little guy has been out to pasture though and is not fit so it's hard to get a true tell of how he might look when slick and musceled.

I think he might also be a bit hard for dressage too. His neck is not put on great and he will be hard. You might want a horse that is naturally a bit more relaxed (he shows the poor way of using his neck and shoulder in the jumping and the flat pics), willing to flex and help you out a bit.

He's a major project for sure and his age doesn't give you a ton of time.

But if he's safe and fun (though you said he's hard to get a long with) and you love him then good!

But his hard personality won't do you any favors when it comes to making him all around a soft horse.

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:21 AM
Do you actually want to go prelim, or is that just a would-be-really-neat ambition? What kind of budget do you have? Is his age going to be an issue for your goals? Why has he been sitting in a field for 5 years?


Yes, prelim as a "omg that would be super cool if some day like five years from now we could get as high as possible and I'm thinking that as 'high as possible' as prelim because I don't have time/funds for much more" :lol: :D

My budget is in the ottb range ;)

Age is not an issue. I competed my 25 year old jumper and as long as they are sound and happy, I don't care about age.

He's been sitting in a field, as I understand it, because he was the family horse and the kids who are younger and still at home don't have any interest in riding anymore.

fooler/astrix, I like the way y'all think! lol

And yes, lots of what-ifs, and we'd be learning together. But I feel like I couldn't luck out any better with my price range (free to $500) with a safe and willing pony!

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:26 AM
But if he's safe and fun (though you said he's hard to get a long with) and you love him then good!


Whew I'm having a tough time keeping up! lol

What I meant in the OP was that he has that gelding personality that is hard not to fall in love with ... as in he's very charming and workmanlike!

To be honest, I didn't like what I saw when I drove up. I was really put back.

But when I saw him move and then rode him myself, I really fell in love with his movement. I keep riding these naturally unbalanced greenies who take so much work to get suspension out of ... it was nice to have a horse already balanced with suspension that isn't even fit.

And riding him, I really felt that "click," you know?

Thanks for the input everyone! These are all good tough questions to ask myself. Much appreciated :)

A moment where I got him to stretch a lil and relax over his back:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TXy22lLbXmI/AAAAAAAAE6g/Ff52MApl0iI/IMG_6319.JPG

Jumper_girl221
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:31 AM
I also wanted to add some additional info as to why he's sat. My sister who rode him and showed him (pictured in the 4' shot) moved away to college, and there really wasn't anyone else to ride him. I'm 5'10" and look ridiculous. My mother has had him, and she hasn't wanted to sell him, so he's sat since she has this "dream" that one of the other kids will want to ride him.

I've finally talked her into finding him a new home, so he's VERY reasonably priced (aka dirt cheap). He's been sound his entire life and his legs/conformation overall is very functional. He wasn't started until he was almost 5 and prior to that had only done halter (breed show), so he was started slow there which should help give him a few more good years.

He does have a more upright neck, and its been one of his main issues. IIRC the 4' shot was his 15-20th time through (couldn't get the camera timing right), and it was a 2'6" vertical to the oxer. At that point I was trying to work with my sister on actually giving him a crest release and seeing if he would start stretching and using his neck more.

I'm not going to say he'll be able to go out there and jump around a 4' course competitively, but he's definitely got the heart (at least back in the day) to compensate for his physical limitations. He's also very forgiving, poor guy will take anything from any angle and tries his best even when his ride would bury him, or take such a sharp turn that he didn't even have half a stride to judge the fence....typical speedster LL jumper.

Also, even when speeding around, he's always stayed quiet and doesn't pull or rush, he goes in a rubber mullen happy mouth.

Bogie
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:36 AM
I think he's very cute and if you have the "click" with him and enjoy him, why not?

The biggest risk I see in taking on a horse that has done nothing for 5 years is that you have no idea of how he will stand up to regular work.

I've known a few people who've bought horses in this situation and some of them were fine while others just couldn't stand up to it.

I'm not crazy about his jumping style, especially over the oxer, but it's hard to tell much from just one photo and the desire to try means a lot. I, personally, wouldn't want to face a prelim fence on a horse this small if he always jumps like that but you'd have to wait and see. Sometimes a solid fence brings out a better jump. My Trakehner was sloppy over stadium fences but very safe and careful XC.

If you would enjoy the journey and like the horse and he's the right price? Not a bad choice.

mg
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:40 AM
I'm going to agree with the folks in the "he looks super cute and fun, but I wouldn't bank on Prelim" crowd. I say if you enjoy him a lot, think he would be a fun partner to have and learn with, and he's in your price range, you can't go wrong. But you need to prioritize if your goals lie more in progressing up the levels or in learning and having fun at the levels your horse can handle.

I will say it gets slightly bothersome when people see a small horse/pony and say, "Well, Teddy did it!" (not saying anyone in this thread is going there, but it definitely happens). Teddy was the product of years of hard work and specialized breeding. He was also a bit of a freak of nature (P. Wynn has said so herself!). Your average 14.2 pony isn't going to have the conformation or athletic ability to handle Prelim+, and heart only gets you so far.

That being said, as the fitness increases, he may pleasantly surprise you. I'd set your sights low for now (one step at a time!) and see what happens when you get there. My current mount is just under 14.2 and I took him out of a field at 11 years old (same story: owner lost interest). He was a driving horse, so I broke him to ride and we've been learning eventing together. I never thought he might be capable of Prelim, but the further along we get, the more I think it's within his abilities! However, even if we don't make it there, he's so enjoyable it overrules any competition goals :)

Hilary
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:50 AM
He's really cute and I like Morgans a lot. But I think asking if he'll go prelim is a little pre-mature for both of you. Maybe he will and maybe he won't. Will you enjoy riding him right now? And be willing to see how far he'll go? If so, go for it.

The photo of the oxer makes it look like it might be the top end of his capacity, but it's hard to tell.

He's on the small side, so he'll have to work harder as the jumps get bigger- what is his stride like? If he's got a little stride that will make the jumping more technically difficult than if he can reach out and do a larger horse's stride length.

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 10:59 AM
Hilary, it's hard to judge his stride now because he's so out of shape and tight through his back. I'm really hoping that I can access his back with proper flatwork and give him a slightly bigger canter and better bascule. Plus, I hope that I can give him a better release (I wasn't quite trusting my foundation in the pics and planted my hands, yuck).

mg, you're right on premature. Like I said, that's like what-if-a-bunch-of-coolness-keeps-happening scenario and we really do well with our flatwork. If I get him, I plan to invest a full year of dressage with him before going into any kind of jumping program. I know he can jump, now I just want to improve him as much as possible, you know?

So maybe posting prelim prospect was silly since that's like five years out and lots can go wrong. But I wanted honest opinions and I sure got them :) Great food for thought, y'all.

shawneeAcres
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:05 AM
My gut reaction is that he may be a novice level prospect at best. The reason I say this is 1) his jumping style is not very impressive. Yes he did (at one time) jump a four foot oxer, but I would be quite surprised if he could put together a course of 3' fences giving his style (and what little we are seeing here). 2) his size, yes SOME very small horses excell at the upper levels of eventing, but they tend to be more TB in blood/type, and at this size, stride and speed will play a big factor as wel as scope over fences. 3) age, if he is 12 and "out of work for five years" that is an issue. a 12 yr old that has been in work, ready to go out and start eventing this year, might be able to get up the levels fast enough to make it worth while. But if you feel you need a year of dressage work and that prelim is "five years out" you have a 17 - 18 yr old horse and frankly that is not an age I would be wanting to start prelim with. If it wer me, I'd look for a horse that is at least in the 15.2 hand hand range, with a naturally longer, looser stride and either younger, or that is doing "something" as a 12 yr old. Just my honest opinion!

VicariousRider
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:10 AM
I think you should get him and have fun learning. If he only gets to novice but cruises around comfortably you can sell him then to a kid and get a more athletic prospect (like and OTTB). What you learn with this little guy will not be a waste and if you like him then that is huge. I have found that getting along is a big part of the equation.

baxtersmom
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:14 AM
Something else to consider, SM, just knowing your personal situation.

There is a Morgan around here who competes at Training at 25+ years old, with his 70+ year old owner. My friend's Morgan - who took two years to go from WT kid's pony who had never even walked through a puddle (no lie) to winning on dressage scores of 30 in his first season at BN - has never taken a lame step in his life. My BO's 22 y/o Morgan looks like a horse half his age.

My impression of the breed is that, with luck and good care, they are incredibly sturdy little critters and tend to work above their size.

/enabling ;)

seeuatx
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:16 AM
My 2cents is that he is certainly cute, but I wouldn't really say he screams prelim to me. I think he looks pretty maxed out in that oxer picture. I could certainly be wrong though, pictures really show very little about those types of things. That said, he certainly looks like a fun little guy.

If this were a case of you are riding novice/training currently and need a move-up horse (even a green move-up horse) I would say pass. However, you say it's been a while (I know the feeling well) since you've been in the jumper ring... in this case I might be inclined to say "go for it" and take him as my "now" horse with a chance to move up. I really see him as being a very fun Novice maybe Training level type if he is honest and good-brained. Worst case scenario, he maxes out before prelim and he moves on to teach another person that needs a solid lower level horse, and you move on to the next "move up" horse.

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:18 AM
Great points, Shawnee and See. Thanks :)

Ack more posts to keep up with! lol

Bax, one of the reasons I'm so interested in him! Longevity! lol Bud's breaking my heart and I don't want any more heart ache! *noms enabling cookies*

See, yes, I'll admit that my former jumper self is naturally gravitating to another former jumper (we tend to roll in packs lol)

Chaila
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:20 AM
He looks like he has a fabulous attitude. For a working adult that may leave him sitting for a week while you go on a business trip and deal with life, it is SO nice to come home to a horse that you can just pull out of the field and ride.

He seems like a perfect little guy to have fun with while you're getting your career going.

I don't know much about what goes into a prelim event horse, but I really know the type of horse that works great for an adult rider with a full time job and other commitments and this little guy seems to fit the bill perfectly. If he's fun and balanced after coming out a field, then that's probably what you get.

I spent my 20's trying to deal with horses that needed to be ridden every day or they went nuts-oh and it sucked. I so wish I'd had the sense to get a little morgan I could have fun with!

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:27 AM
Chaila, that's exactly my thinking! I might not get to prelim, but we can be the best we can be :)

Plus, if I want an unbalanced horse, I got one that would be sitting in the pasture next to him:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TY3q3rJ3ItI/AAAAAAAAFF4/XcwCuObxjHM/IMG_7169.JPG (hey Bax, looky Bud! Also, check out my blog for latest on the little girl: http://chronicleofthehoof.blogspot.com/)

mg
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:46 AM
3) age, if he is 12 and "out of work for five years" that is an issue. a 12 yr old that has been in work, ready to go out and start eventing this year, might be able to get up the levels fast enough to make it worth while. But if you feel you need a year of dressage work and that prelim is "five years out" you have a 17 - 18 yr old horse and frankly that is not an age I would be wanting to start prelim with.

Not trying to hijack (though I think this is still relevant to the OP), but why is that too old to start Prelim with? I am moving up to Training level with my 15 year old this year and would love to eventually do at least one Prelim trip with him. In all honesty, he could have started at Training level last year, but I wanted to gain more experience at events. Or are you just saying you think it's too old to *start* Prelim with because you probably wouldn't get much time to enjoy many trips at Prelim before having to start over with a younger horse? Not trying to start a tiff--I'm legitimately curious! :)

shawneeAcres
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:51 AM
Not trying to hijack (though I think this is still relevant to the OP), but why is that too old to start Prelim with? I am moving up to Training level with my 15 year old this year and would love to eventually do at least one Prelim trip with him. In all honesty, he could have started at Training level last year, but I wanted to gain more experience at events. Or are you just saying you think it's too old to *start* Prelim with because you probably wouldn't get much time to enjoy many trips at Prelim before having to start over with a younger horse? Not trying to start a tiff--I'm legitimately curious! :)

What I am saying is that a hrose that is out of work (yours is already going Training) at the age of 12 that needs a year of dressage work, then starts at BN (which the OP was stating) may or may not be able to move up the levels fast enough to have some "time" at age 17 -18 (OP stated 5 yrs before going prelim) to go that level. Face it, at the age of 17 - 18 horses begin to slow down, they tend to begin to have more issues with joints etc that limit scope/speed and ability. On a horse that has been in work and remained fit over the years, this is sometimes less of a problem, than a horse that has been "sitting" for several years. On that horse, there are some "unknowns" about how well the horse may be able to come back to fitness and hold up to the work. Not a gamble I personally would want to take if the goal was prelim. However, if the OP is realistic enough to realize that this pony is possibly not going to get there, and will be a fun project for her to get going with and maybe sell to a pony clubber down the road, then go for it!.

3dazey
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:57 AM
If you love him, buy him and then see what happens. I believe in magic!

ThirdCharm
Mar. 28, 2011, 12:24 PM
The 4' oxer pic just reinforces my prior opinion. But he looks like he'd be a cute little Novice horse, maybe Training?

Jennifer

scubed
Mar. 28, 2011, 12:32 PM
My former trainer's daughter had a Morgan that went training easily and could have probably jumped around prelim (no real rider at the time for her to do that), but probably not make the speed. Same size, similar build. Also has packed around a slew of kids at bn and novice. I'd say go for it. Personally, I want this one :D: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4Z9-i3TpyI

quietann
Mar. 28, 2011, 01:14 PM
Well, I am a Morgan enthusiast of course, and *had* my little mare had a great rider (not me) and better leg conformation, she could have easily made Training, and possibly Prelim. (Funny story: the fearless teen I loaned her to for eventing camp got yelled at after their trip around Novice X/C, because they'd come in at under Training speed. Yes, it was a camp course, but it was long and hilly and about half the fences were max height for Novice. And maresy came off that course ready to go out and do it again. They also once were learning to "sense" galloping speeds, and had a gallop line marked out and were supposed to do it in 16 seconds. The others girls in their group came in at 18-19 seconds the first time through; FT and my mare came in at 14 seconds... oops!)

Morgans in general are overachievers and most do stay sound and healthy for a long time. There's one named Mythic Isara you can look up on YouTube to see X/C and dressage. She went Novice last year and placed very well in tough Area 2 competitions, and may move up to Training this year. She has the same sire as my mare, and much better legs. (Also see Misty Vale Bacardi doing Intermediate X/C at Groton House (http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rdFWmDjL9c) for a Morgan who clearly loves his job.

The guy you're considering looks adorable and really nice for a "learn to event" type horse, especially if he can deal with time off (which it seems he can.) Maybe put aside the Prelim goals for now and just have fun?

(ETA: I don't usually think of "learn to event" horses and Prelim horses as having much overlap at all. There's a market for both types, especially if they are steady packers, though.)

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 01:29 PM
Thanks all! Loving the input from the Morgan Lovers! Personally, I've been obsessed with the breed since I was 8 years old after reading Justin Morgan. Never had the opportunity to have one or even ride one! (I did ride a gaited one once and was woefully disappointed, but I don't like gaited horses)

Here's the first time I jumped him ... he's using his back and neck better, but I'm hiding the pic because I didn't react well when he sat back on his haunches and just planted and pushed forward!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/TXy2qSAK5jI/AAAAAAAAE6g/SHW-RelMg44/IMG_6313.JPG

While that's probably the best shot out of the jumping shots I have of him as far as back use, I'm mortified at my reaction! lol

deltawave
Mar. 28, 2011, 01:37 PM
That's a pretty small horse. If Prelim is the ultimate goal, I'd probably be looking for one with solid XC mileage and experience, AND the ability to really gallop AND a ton of scope. Jumping flat and fast across a big oxer is great, but there's a lot more to Prelim than wide fly fences taken at top speed. :)

Of course there are MANY exceptions to the rule, but if one has a specific goal, one should (IMO) seek out a horse that has a really good set of chops to get me to that goal.

However, if one just loves a horse and wants to see how far one can go with it, then off you go! :)

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 01:45 PM
I'd love one of those! But sadly, not in my budget lol

It'll be fun to see how far we can go over the years (if I bring him home). It's not about the destination, but the journey :) Prelim may be unrealistic, but at least I'm not saying Int or Advanced! lol

Likely, prelim is unrealistic for me anyway with my budget and hours. But a gal can dream, right?

LisaB
Mar. 28, 2011, 02:03 PM
Remember for us AA, it's what's between the ears that counts the most. After all you've been through, you need a fun sturdy horse. While I seriously doubt this guy can go prelim, he is probably a safe bet to learn on.
Before you make an offer, get him out of the arena and go through some 'stuff'. Especially water and ditches and banks. Maybe not perfect x-c place but see how his brain handles it. And most importantly, how you handle him in the unknown.
And get a PPE :D

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 02:17 PM
Thanks, Lisa. I appreciate that :)

I was planning to make a repeat visit to throw my dr saddle on and see how he'd react to me asking him to work, instead of just getting up in a half seat and saying "Go!" lol

So I'll put trail ride down on my lists of things to do with him. Luckily, he's only about 3 hours away, and down the road from another FiSHy (jumpergirl/nicolemorgans), who I want to visit in a few weeks anyway after she gets her Banderas baby!

PPE will def be in order! (with my luck, he'll come up lame for the first time in his life! lol)

ThirdCharm
Mar. 28, 2011, 04:11 PM
DW makes an excellent point, there are some riders who say "My goal is X and so I need a horse that will enable me to make that goal" and there are some who say "This is the horse I like to ride and so I will achieve whatever goals are reasonable with him". As long as safety is not compromised, that is cool!

Jennifer

sarah88
Mar. 28, 2011, 04:41 PM
Yes, prelim as a "omg that would be super cool if some day like five years from now we could get as high as possible and I'm thinking that as 'high as possible' as prelim because I don't have time/funds for much more" :lol: :D

My budget is in the ottb range ;)

Age is not an issue. I competed my 25 year old jumper and as long as they are sound and happy, I don't care about age.

He's been sitting in a field, as I understand it, because he was the family horse and the kids who are younger and still at home don't have any interest in riding anymore.

fooler/astrix, I like the way y'all think! lol

And yes, lots of what-ifs, and we'd be learning together. But I feel like I couldn't luck out any better with my price range (free to $500) with a safe and willing pony!

In that case- I would say go for it...my original post was under the assumption that you really wanted a horse that could definitely do prelim...if you want to have fun and just go as far as he can why not. if he is sound and the price is right go for it..my coach rides a morgan and he really is a cool horse :)

AzuWish
Mar. 28, 2011, 04:45 PM
I was misleading, Sarah and Third, but no on purpose!

If I wanted a horse that could definitely take me to prelim, I'd have to find myself a sugar daddy! It might be long shot, but I'm willing to have fun being the best we can be.

sarah88
Mar. 28, 2011, 04:55 PM
I was misleading, Sarah and Third, but no on purpose!

If I wanted a horse that could definitely take me to prelim, I'd have to find myself a sugar daddy! It might be long shot, but I'm willing to have fun being the best we can be.

Well, best of luck with him..he is really cute! If he works out you will have to keep us updated...I love hearing people's success stories :)

Fancy That
Mar. 28, 2011, 05:23 PM
DITTO exactly what QuietAnn said. I'm a Morgan Peep, too, and I dabble in Eventing, Foxhunting, H/Js and lots of trail riding & horsecamping with my girl.

Morgans aren't "purpose-bred" for upper-level eventing, but they certainly are GREAT PARTNERS for having fun and generally being easy-to-own-ride-manage at the lower-levels.

A few exceptions can go Upper Level (like Bacardi - in QA's link running Intermediate)

You know yourself best. If you want a great little horse with a great heart and "easy", I bet he'll suit you. If you are dead-set on "Prelim or bust", then maybe an OTTB or something with more gallop and more scope?

Here are a few pics of my Morgan, eventing:
Jumping (Derby)
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/F_sj_HD07.jpg

Schooling XC:
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Windance_26_crop.jpg

Hunter Pace? (I think)
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/F_xclog_HD07.jpg

Another jumping (same Derby)
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/HunterDerbyjump.jpg

Looking cute in the Hunters, too (cantering)
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/F_canter_huntseat.jpg

Dressage salute (doesn't it look like she's saluting too?)
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/PICT0234.jpg

At her favorite "cruising XC trot mode"
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/Windance_195-1.jpg

Another cruising-trot (they LOVE to trot! :)
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/IMG_5813.jpg

And 12 is YOUNG for a Morgan. Mine is able to sit around in pasture without any regular work, and I can dust her off and take her to a Hunter Pace or Trail Ride or little dressage schoolign show, no prob. She does not need much maintainance, unlike the OTTBS I used to have when I was a more serious H/J peep.

Well, I am a Morgan enthusiast of course, and *had* my little mare had a great rider (not me) and better leg conformation, she could have easily made Training, and possibly Prelim. (Funny story: the fearless teen I loaned her to for eventing camp got yelled at after their trip around Novice X/C, because they'd come in at under Training speed. Yes, it was a camp course, but it was long and hilly and about half the fences were max height for Novice. And maresy came off that course ready to go out and do it again. They also once were learning to "sense" galloping speeds, and had a gallop line marked out and were supposed to do it in 16 seconds. The others girls in their group came in at 18-19 seconds the first time through; FT and my mare came in at 14 seconds... oops!)

Morgans in general are overachievers and most do stay sound and healthy for a long time. There's one named Mythic Isara you can look up on YouTube to see X/C and dressage. She went Novice last year and placed very well in tough Area 2 competitions, and may move up to Training this year. She has the same sire as my mare, and much better legs. (Also see Misty Vale Bacardi doing Intermediate X/C at Groton House (http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rdFWmDjL9c) for a Morgan who clearly loves his job.

The guy you're considering looks adorable and really nice for a "learn to event" type horse, especially if he can deal with time off (which it seems he can.) Maybe put aside the Prelim goals for now and just have fun?

(ETA: I don't usually think of "learn to event" horses and Prelim horses as having much overlap at all. There's a market for both types, especially if they are steady packers, though.)

Jumper_girl221
Mar. 28, 2011, 07:09 PM
Not saying anything one way or another about his potential, I highly doubt you rode him.. I bought him as a 4 year old unbroke. Broke him myself (actually the first horse I trained) and other then the trainer that showed him, he has only been ridden by myself and my sisters, a few of my sisters beginner friends on trail rides, an now azu.

Bobthehorse
Mar. 28, 2011, 08:27 PM
Not trying to hijack (though I think this is still relevant to the OP), but why is that too old to start Prelim with? I am moving up to Training level with my 15 year old this year and would love to eventually do at least one Prelim trip with him. In all honesty, he could have started at Training level last year, but I wanted to gain more experience at events. Or are you just saying you think it's too old to *start* Prelim with because you probably wouldn't get much time to enjoy many trips at Prelim before having to start over with a younger horse? Not trying to start a tiff--I'm legitimately curious! :)

Having done my first Prelim on my 19 year old (also his first), I can say its not ideal. It went well for us, I had been riding him for nearly 10 years and had 3 years of Training behind us, so I had a pretty good idea of his abilities and how they were holding up with time. However, at our 3rd and last, I was noticing he was finding things harder (which is relative, as he was a very talented jumper and in his youth had plenty of scope topping out quite a ways past Prelim). He was a very sound horse with no previous joint issues, but I certainly think that asking older horses to upgrade is harder on them than doing so in their prime. Especially if you are upgrading to a level that is at the top end of their abilities even as a younger horse.

So for a horse that tops out at Prelim on their best day, asking them to upgrade to that level in their late teens is going to be very hard on them. If they showed potential for much bigger and better things in their younger days, less of a big deal.

GreyStreet
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:31 PM
He is super cute, and it sounds like you're falling for him already. I'm more of a dressage person than an eventer, but I did want to chime in.

I am a huge goal setter, and so I think that setting goals and dreaming big is just a part of being human. However, I also think maintaining the horse's best interest and being flexible - and willing to adjust those goals when necessary - is a sign of a great horsewoman.

If you want to go Prelim - set your sights there. But don't get so stuck on the end-goal that you miss out on the journey. In my field (counseling/psychology) one of the things we talk about sometimes is "acting as if." If you purchase this guy, why not "act as if" your goal is Prelim? Condition him slowly - build up his fitness, monitor his soundness, see where he wants to take you. ENJOY him - I agree with the poster that advocated a horse with this type of personality for an adult ammy. I can't tell you how nice it is to know that my mare is going to be more or less the same whether I ride five days in a row or once a week.

Regarding the age thing - I bought my mare last year at 19. I believe she was competing at training up until 17. We do dressage together and some baby jumps (I have apparently lost all ability to jump, but I try to work in some variety for her!) - we are working on second level dressage and schooling some third level movements. She is sound and sturdy and fit - you would never guess she is turning 21 this June. Now - granted she already knew her stuff and is more teaching me - but, I listen to her and we're going to go as far as we can before she tells me that she needs to slow down.
When I watch other people at shows holding back on their canter lengthenings because they don't trust their horse to come back, I just smile and go for broke because I know my girl has the brain to do it.

Moral of the story is listen to yourself and your horse - focus on the partnership and break your big goal down into smaller, more manageable goals. You'll be surprised at the progress you make together - and if he doesn't end up being the horse you make it to Prelim with, he'll certainly help lay the foundation!

Stoney447
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:01 AM
I'm not crazy about his jumping style, especially over the oxer, but it's hard to tell much from just one photo and the desire to try means a lot. .

I agree with most of what Bogie and others have said about this cute little guy. Being mainly from hunter/jumper land (but horses reside at an eventing barn....and I dabble XD) I had a slightly different opinion about his style.

Yes, he is incredibly stiff through his back. Yes, a four foot course would probably be too much to ask if he always goes like this (combinations and step would be a big question). A conservative 3'6" course could be within his grasp though, imo. If he is honest, that is a major help! There is nothing wrong with being choosy with which courses you tackle at the higher level (I was once able to ride my 15.2 hand appy back in the day at level 5 at an RMI A show because the first day the course designer opted to leave out a triple....then it was back to level 3/4-land with triples and lots of encouragement to make it out of them because he didn't have the step to make it easy).

As far as his style, with the exception of his stiff back, I quite like him in fact. His front end isn't bad for not using his neck or back, and his hind end is pretty nice. It seems to me that he is extremely aware of where his legs are over that oxer. To me, that awareness is worth more than a horse with better form through the back who could care less where its legs are. As far as seeking the ground, its not so much of a problem if the horse is careful (plus it helps with timed courses).

I currently have a horse for sale that is an impeccable stylist over jumps as far as back and front end are concerned who consistantly forgets to bother with his back end. The result....I would never ever ride that horse on the X-country.

OP this horse looks to me like he is both smart and gutsy. Good luck with him, and remember that non-traditional jumpers can be sucessful too as long as you dont try to fit them into a preconcieved notion of what they SHOULD be able to accomplish, and rather let them tell you what they are comfortable with.

LisaB
Mar. 29, 2011, 08:09 AM
And please please please don't forgo the going out of the ring and trying different things! Yes, I'm one to get my heart set on a horse. Guilty as charged. But all you need is a chicken or a horse that scares you.

AzuWish
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:43 PM
Absolutely, Lisa. I plan on testing him in my dressage saddle, on trail and doing to PPE.

Stoney, that's exactly what I see when I see and felt him jump. I like careful horses. I can access that back and hopefully improve his jump later, or if we can't, I still have a careful horse for something like a 2'6" course.

Grey, great input on the goals. I'm a goal setter too, or else I'd just laze about. Even if the goals are slightly unrealistic, I'll set myself on a path. For example, I really wanted to take my green lease horse to a BN this March. We worked 6 months towards that goal. But this past Jan., I started jumping him and realized that he would need a ton more work with canter and with jumping before I take him anywhere and jump in a competitive situation. And while I think if we pushed harder, maybe we could have done it, I listened to the horse and stepped back. He's a young guy, and there's no point in things not being fun for him (or me, I like having fun too!).

My first goal with this guy would be to do a lot of dressage! Get that back and ribcage nice and loose and supple. I want to get him up to training level and in the 60s there before we start jumping and getting back into a more cross-training routine (this would be for any horse I brought home!).

Fancy, I loved the inspiring pics! I knew there'd be some morgan lovers on here to pull me into the even darker side of eventing! (I credit Lisa as one of the people who has finally convinced me over the years as to why I need to come to this side lol)

I hope everything works out! It would be exciting to have another "project" on my hands ... and a project that isn't laminitic lol

OTTB FTW
Mar. 30, 2011, 10:40 AM
He's been sound his entire life and his legs/conformation overall is very functional. He wasn't started until he was almost 5 and prior to that had only done halter (breed show), so he was started slow there which should help give him a few more good years.

He is 12 now, sat for 5 years, and wasn't started until 5 means he is a 12 yo with just 2 years under saddle. Not a criticism, just worth noting when it comes to soundness, mileage, prospect etc. Assuming he can do the job someday, that would be a lot of work, and a bunch of "hope so's".
Depending on your riding skill, training skills, help of a knowlegeable trainer etc, he may be appropriate for you, or not. Hard to say. If you are gambling for a prospect with short money, you might have better chances with an OTTB or a breed more commonly able to do prelim. That said, he is a cutie, and if he is tons of fun for you to ride, that weighs heavily into the decision for sure!

Larbear
Mar. 30, 2011, 01:09 PM
I'd love one of those! But sadly, not in my budget lol

It'll be fun to see how far we can go over the years (if I bring him home). It's not about the destination, but the journey :) Prelim may be unrealistic, but at least I'm not saying Int or Advanced! lol

Likely, prelim is unrealistic for me anyway with my budget and hours. But a gal can dream, right?

Well, you never know ;p How is his striding? Can he open up his stride to make the combinations, that is the question I would be looking at.