We have been so lucky to have some great weather, it has allowed me to get on every horse that is in the barn and actually get somewhere with them. Ark got back to jumping and is slowly starting to figure it out again. He's got the foot falls and patterns and can usually see the distance well on his own, but really lacks the muscling to really put in any kind of brilliant efforts.
We have been cantering jumps, cantering lines and also working on flying changes (we've got them, they're pretty close to perfect). He's generally clean over fences but not too much of a cat, but definitely seems to want to be a kids or amateurs horse.
Well in the month since my last post, we have had probably a grand total of 6 people come out and try Arkie. He always puts his best foot forward and tries his hardest to do just exactly what the people want, and generally they are happy but no one has bitten the bullet and taken that next step of deposit/trial/vetting/purchase or whatever they want for the next step to be!
We have been taking it pretty easy with him as we had pushed him pretty far and hard in such a short time and the different riders almost daily I think is a lot mentally for any horse to handle. We have been doing loads of trails and then some w/t/c pole work in the arena, trying to get his rear end stronger and more built up.
The days are shorter so he is not in a very strict program, maybe out no more than twice per week, but he is always game ready and never ever changes from the good old Arkie that he is. As I tell everyone, if only I had unlimited funds I would buy him for myself, he's a total hunk, super sweet and just a blast to ride!!
Well, there has been tons of interest in Arkie, but no sale set into play, yet.
The first person that came out to try him was actually a friend of mine that had been riding Oz and Jolie for me a little bit over the summer. She is looking for a project, preferably a hunter type. I was not sure how they would like him, he is for sure a good enough mover and quiet enough, but I wouldn't call him a hunter. Sure any horse can try and play the part, especially if the pieces are there, which they are, but I just didn't see that fitting into the puzzle. The ride went well and everything was good but it was a no sale, which was not a surprise.
The next day, we had trial rider #2
The second woman came out from Vermont looking for a lower level event horse, which I was thinking was more up his alley. He was a little distracted and stiff in his back with the cold weather but he performed well and I finally got to jump him. Poor thing, if there was ever a trial by fire, this was it. I had no question that he would just go right over which he did, but to be his second day jumping and have now all of three riders having tried to jump him, I was curious as to how it would go. This rider was not as familiar with riding greenies, but Arkie handled it well and listened as best as he knew how and put out a great try for both me and this second rider. Although there is no plan for any follow up here, I was told he is not entirely ruled out, we will see where it goes!
I took the next day of no one coming to try Arkie to really focus on getting better instead of displaying what he just "knows" - We set placement rails in front of cross rails and finally got jumping nice, solid and straight. Our transitions were cleaned up and the suppleness I had before Fair Hill was re established. It was a very good and productive ride. Of course then we got snowed on, which was too bad but now as I write and look out my window, it's mostly melted away so it will be back to work for the rest of the week.
There is a third person in the Carolina's also looking into purchasing Arc, we are talking about a vetting just as soon as she gets some additional conformation shots. It sounds like the perfect home and perfect match. I might just even be holding my breath on this one.
I will keep everyone posted and am planning a video of "a day in the life of Arkie" for this woman so I will keep you posted on
I can only be beyond thankful that Sandy didn't hit us harder. We did not even experience a power loss at the barn, so that was just amazing. Due to the storm we had sent Arkie and Mona to their owners field with a giant run-in so they could remain comfortably outside and with familiar friends, on high ground with shelter.
The weather has not been too great, either windy or spitting rain...far from what I would like to ride in! So it wasn't until Friday night that Arkie and Mona came back to the farm. Arkie started right off with clients coming in to look at him yesterday, the wind was WHIPPING and he had not been ridden in exactly a week, but things went calmly and smoothly. There has not been any sort of final decision, yet but I will keep you posted there.
If anything falls through with THIS deal, Monday we have a client coming out to look at both him and Leo, followed by a woman nearby that wants to come see Ark, a woman in MD that is interested, and I have been getting vague emails from someone else that wants to come next weekend (although with all of the interest being put into this week, I am not sure he will make it to next weekend). Anyway, he's a hot commodity in my barn for the time being and I can so totally understand why!
I am not sure I will actually be able to work with him as I ride him around, it seems like I will only be showing him to clients for the next week
Well it's been a whirlwind of a weekend/week and I am just getting around to updating this blog for Arkie now. I feel like it's probably only Monday as this week is flying by with the minor exception I have a ton more things to get done today....
First off, Fair Hill was awesome awesome awesome. It was a long, windy trip down but our trailer with Arkie and Leo traveled well and everyone made a safe trip. I was almost half surprised to see Arkie was totally sane off the trailer, realizing it was his first trip off the farm since being on the track. As a duh moment for both me and Tesla, we unloaded without bridles or tack on him, and he was an absolute ANGEL while paranoid me was like "crap crap crap this was dumb" putting it on him....I had a bad experience once time with a baby off the track. He appearantly had been trailered to every race and lost his bananas at this small schooling show. Obviously did not do enough mental damage for me to be quick to put he bridle on in the trailer, however I am always very paranoid after the fact, haha.
Anyway, it was Tesla's first ride on him ever and he was super, not to mention an absolute favorite. There is some super video if I remember, I will post it below.....Anyway, all and all he posed himself as the big brave boy that has been doing this show his whole life, loaded and unloaded off the trailer in the dark, super easy and super calm. Tesla even said she was going to cry if we came home without him (that is simply how lovable and cool this boy is, it takes all of 10 minutes to fall in love!!!)
Then came Sandy......Arkie's owner is away so she had them on rough board with me. She decided to bring them home to her field on the hill with a shed for the week so he can be in familliar and high up surroundings with all of the rain coming our way. He is fine, alive and well depsite the weather and will be coming back to my farm within the next couple of days. ......not this afternoon however, because: Leo our other sale horse in the barn has clients coming so that will take up a majority of my daylight....not tomorrow because I will be making a trip to Boston to go check out the track rejects and a friends horse, another OTTB that has had some training....and then Saturday hopefully he will be in my backyard again, but we will hopefully soon have brand new additions to both Thunder Crest and The Thorughbred Chronicles. I am looking to get one fresh off the track so that one will be a bit boring for awhile, but guaranteed he or she will be a lovely animal...
Oh and by the way....here is Arkie's ad on SPORT HORSE NATION
and here is the vi
Today Arkie was my last mount of the day....I got on out side the barn and walked to the arena, and he was perfectly content and quiet. He was much more confident in the arena, even without the lunging and gave me some really fantastic trot work. I am tempted to put a small spur on as his barrel is SO big that I can't do much to help him out due to my size, but we still can work it out and put in a good ride.
We (together) got to experience riding in an arena with another horse and he was awesome. We also did some trot poles, which he could not really figure out at first (he kept stepping on them....) until he kept eyeing them and I almost did not let him go back to it, but finally I let him drift that way and he did it perfectly every time. He then was eyeing every jump as we went by, he seemed very eager to take those poles more seriously!!! I also had a jump school on two of my other horses so I think he was taking notes on that part.
All in all he was consistently soft and willing and much better than the day before. I am wondering why his owner did not bring him to me sooner, as he would be greatly benefited by some extra muscling behind and less of a giant hay belly. However, if I had this horse in my barn for longer than he is intended to right now, he would never ever leave. I am all smiles from start to finish he is so much fun (even though he's out of shape!) and he is safe enough that after he got some muscling and could carry and balance himself better, I would not hesitate to teach on him (he respects the word "whoa" so well and is SO balanced through his downwards transitions!) Anyway, I really can't afford to keep adding to my collection of horses and it's the owners wishes to send him to Fair Hill so he's going!
The person that snatches this horse will be one lucky person!
And actually! Tomorrow I may have another rider coming so I can sneak some videos of him actually going with a rider, so anyone that finds this page via RRTP can have a sneak peek at our boy!
Well, true to fashion I'm a sucker....well for most horses but especially good soul, kind hearted guys that just want to do good. That is exactly what I am finding with mr. Arc.
Arkie was literally pulled out of the pasture last night, trail ridden to my farm, ponying ms. Mona and chucked into his field, where this afternoon I took him away from his new pal and proceeded right into the barn for some ground work and confidence building. He is 8, came off the track in 2010 and really I do not know how much has been done with him. His owner is away (which is why he came to me) so I just decided to wing it and start him like the rest....at the beginning.
It took a little bit of whoa and go exercises on the ground to get him to lick and chew and start listening to me, but this paid off because although his friend was screaming for attention, he did not seem to care and remained focused on me at all times....
Now to the fun part....I had no idea what to expect as far as lunging or riding. He seemed to know what he was doing but see how far I was going to push him if he pretended he did not know (case and point, lunging to the right) after some "I am serious, I know you know this" work (just some smaller circles and "whoa" then "walk" etc.) he realized it was a worthless argument and he went along fine. He would not canter on the lunge so I hopped on, just like that actually...
The best feeling in the world for me is a horse that you get on and immediately wants to be long and relaxed in their frame, not so much long and low (which I do not prefer for babies and greenies, initially....I feel like thats asking for a trip or fall or a buck even) and Arc did just that, had a nice long frame and a relaxed way of going...so after walking the arena some, we moved up to trot and in a matter of minutes he softened his top line and was willing to come round. Around the corners he was moving his ribcage over and allowing himself to be properly balanced. The canter transition was sticky, but the cadence and rhythm was absolutely wonderful in the gait itself. Both leads were solidly in place....all in all, the most boring "I don't even know this horse to guess what he will do" ride....but I am not complaining.
He rides LIKE A COUCH with the smoothest gaits I've ever felt. I do think he will make someone a great, great little horse.....which brings me to say he will be at the TB for All event at Fair Hill this weekend, so come and visit and check us out. I am going to try and do a daily blog for anyone that may be interested so they can kindof get a feel for him as I start to figure him out....
And as most are wondering, here are a couple of photos of the sweet, sweet boy....