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Updated pics of my project horse

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  • Updated pics of my project horse

    Earlier this month I posted pictures of my new project horse and asked for conformation opinions. Because she was very thin and in rough shape when I got her, I promised to keep you all updated. So here we are - pics from today, almost a month later:


    To refresh - she's a 5 (in July) yr old QH mare, that lived in a pasture with mininal handling her entire life. Not abused or anything, just not handled. She was sold when the family got out of horses, as an unbroke, unhandled, not even halter broke horse. I picked her up for a song, literally, as a project horse.

    In the past 4-5 weeks we have focused on getting weight on, lots of grooming to help her shed out her coat, and got her feet trimmed for the second time in her life. She picks up all four feet, is 98% halter broke (she still balks from time to time) and ties patiently and well for most of the time. She has pulled back and "panicked" twice, but both times were minimal and she stopped quickly. Usually she'll test the rope a bit, but give in to the pressure and stand quietly.

    She accepts a saddle and bridle nicely, and we've ridden her 6 times now, walk and a small bit of trot. She has hit a point where her weight is up enough that she's starting to become a handful, however, and she bucked the last time my sister rode her, and today my trainer and I just did lunging work with her. She currently takes two people to lunge, because she's so strong.

    She does, however, show even more beautiful movement than when I first thought. She seems to have a lot of potential ... and honestly ... even though my sister and I have started many horses, and problem horses ... I'm thinking of sending her to a local trainer who does a really great job starting horses. I see enough potential that I want to have it done right, and she's strong, and strong willed. Unless my sister talks me into giving her another few weeks with her, I thinks he's going to go visit another trainer. I've seen how he works and I like his methods and how his horses turn out.

    Here's a few videos of her:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/GentleSpiritHorses - the "Nya" playlist.

    So ... all in all ... I'm happy with her progress, and though my trainer and I are both confident I COULD work through the stage she is at, I really think it'll be faster and better for both of us if she's sent off for training. He's local and will continue to come put rides on her after the 30 days if needed ... so I think it's a good match.

    I'm still VERY excited about her! Plan is to send her off to a jump/eventing trainer probably next spring to have her taught how to jump and introduce her to cross country. I'm hoping to have her trained close to my dressage trainer so she can also put dressage rides on her. I don't see her as a solid dressage only horse ... very much see her as a potential eventer though.

    Anyway ... just thought I'd update ... thoughts are appreciated!
    Last edited by Tif_Ann; Apr. 24, 2010, 08:33 PM.
    If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
    ~ Maya Angelou

  • #2
    Oh my gosh, she looks like a horse that somebody cares about. Her coat shows grooming and her weight gain is great. Yeah, sometimes they start getting "spunky" with good food.

    I'm with you on the training program, I'd send her out to someone that starts horses. They know all the tricks of the trade and it's easier on horse and rider. Good luck!!!!


    • Original Poster

      Thanks Gestalt I know she's still a work in progress, but I'm pretty happy with the change in less than a month.

      I can't figure out why my instincts are telling me to send her to a trainer. My sister and I have started many horses, we ride green horses at our barn, we've worked with and rehabbed many problem horses. We've dealt with much worse bucking, rearing, balking ... it's all normal green stuff she's doing. I know we can handle it and get her started well ... but something just says send her to the trainer I like. It's abnormal for me to feel like this ... wish I knew why!
      If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
      ~ Maya Angelou


      • #4
        She looks like an ordinary horse and there is nothing wrong with having an ordinary horse. Much can be done with an ordinary horse but frankly you seem to be a little barn blind.

        Her neck is quite unusual when you look at it in reference to the rest of her conformation and since it's like that in every photo I don't think you can blame camera angle which is not to say she can't do well at the lower levels in spite of it. Any sound horse can do a honest job at the lower levels.

        Upper level prospect? probably not.


        • #5
          I think that her neck and head will change as she gets muscle and weight although you can't change anything about the way it is set on but I still see much room for improvement


          • #6
            Her neck will not ever get longer so that it is in proportion with the rest of her body.

            However, plenty of horses do well in spite of their conformation.

            I do think the OP is 'barn blind' in her assessment of this horse.


            • #7
              Of course her neck isn't going to get longer but the way her neck looks visually will change as she gets muscle and weight so it will look much better. You'd be amazed what good work and feed do to help a horse's appearance. I can't tell anything by her movement right now and that too will change as she muscles up.

              She'll make a cute all around horse.


              • #8
                I think she is very solidly built, nice squarish build and not butt high. I like her movement.
                I'm glad you appreciate her and I bet she returns the favor.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks everyone I never said I was looking for an upper level prospect in her. I absolutely know she isn't that. I'm not sure what you think my assessment is ... heck, I don't even see her as a "dressage" prospect, she's at most a First Level horse, I get that. Irregardless, my only reason for posting was because I do see some improvement in her condition in a month. I promised to update, so I did

                  I truly appreciate the opinions though - keeps me honest and gives me things to look at. Thanks!
                  If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                  ~ Maya Angelou


                  • #10
                    It's possible I misunderstood the Ops comments here and on the other thread descibing her as a solid dressage prospect (whatever that means) and a second level prospect (whatever that means).

                    I guess for me "solid dressage prospect" means upper levels.

                    Now she says first level and yes, no reason why any sound horse cannot do first level.

                    Have fun with your horse!


                    • Original Poster

                      Sorry, egontoast - don't mean to be confusing. I realized the first time around that I was confusing when I described my PERSONAL long term goals on the previous thread - they were projected onto the horse I was asking about.

                      Here's the thread for reference: http://chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=250943

                      Even there, the first time I mentioned what I thought about HER potential was "She actually has very nice movement at liberty and has nice reach laterally, so I'm hoping to do 2nd but my gut has been saying she'll probably top out at 1st."

                      I already got the memo the first time around that many people here don't see her as having much of anything going for her, and that's fine! I've adjusted my expectations accordingly. I have my beliefs about what "any sound horse" can and can't do - which is something that seems really confusing on this forum, I have to admit! I've seen people post "any sound horse can do Fourth, Third, Second ..." and I've seen people say "that horse will never get past training." So ... yeah, it's all confusing. Time and training will tell what this (and any) horse is capable of.

                      Since most people were very concerned about her weight (rightly so, she was thin) and her condition - I just thought those who were interested/concerned would like to see that there is some improvement.

                      Thanks though, like I said - I truly appreciate all the opinions!
                      If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                      ~ Maya Angelou


                      • #12
                        She's looking a LOT better - good job! Your elbow grease definitely shows.

                        I watched your videos and actually got the impression of a very willing horse her first times under saddle. I think she's getting a bit frustrated in the video where she bucked because she's being asked to understand what I don't get the sense she's been prepared to comprehend yet, i.e. the kicking on her sides and navigating a busy arena and so on. I think she needs more ground work that will translate under saddle. That said, from what I'm seeing, I do think having a professional help is a good thing. I just get leery of "sending them off" because there seem to be as many terrible people who make a mess of young horses as there are great people who start them off wonderfully, but I'm sure you've done your homework and know which one you're going to.

                        Good luck with her. I honestly think she looks very forgiving in those under saddle videos, so you look to have a sane, sweet horse on your hands. Good thing!