Finally Toasty isn't sweating DMSO anymore....he wasn't ever literally sweating DMSO but it sure smelled like it!! Being a FL bred through and through, I was a little concerned about Toasty and the winter, but he survived easy as ever. He's got a great thick winter coat and giant hay belly that makes a broodmare look petite....It's a major change from when he first stepped off of the trailer, though - the solid horse that felt like a rock to pat because he was all muscle now has next to none - His topline has dropped and his crest is gone, all of the track muscle has literally melted away.
I have had a lot of people ask me WHY he is just sitting in a field not doing much of anything and here is my theory and feel free to add your thoughts in the comments - I think there is a big difference between track muscle and what we look for in a sport horse, and I think that some track horses when they have raced as extensively as Toasty has obviously, have more of that muscle built up. I think they also have "junk" built up in their systems from whatever they do at the track (the sweat of a sport horse is a much cleaner smell than that of a fresh OTTB!) I think in the long run to have no previous muscle getting in the way makes the transition into the second career a little easier. I am also pretty small, especially in comparison to Toast - should track Toasty wanted to run off with me, I wouldn't have stood a chance, but a fat pasture pet Toasty is comparable to a 30 year old QH in stamina, I have a bit more of a shot at controlling that big rig!
Anyway, we are starting back super slow, doing about 5-10 minutes of walk and trot on a lunge line daily to build up some more muscle, slowly increasing the time and then adding tack, then adding side reins until he gets a litte fitter - he's a HUGE horse on pretty used legs, so we will be doing our best to keep everything nice, fit and strong!
I will be posting photos eventually, but have not had the time to snag a good one yet, stay tuned!
Toasty is having the time of his life getting ponied on hacks all around the farm with uncle Oz....Last Sunday we walk trot and cantered around the polo field, easy as pie. I think it will be a good tool to keep him relaxed and refreshed yet not bored.
I was impressed that he could go out with a group of horses and be ponied along and never get hot or quick, he constantly remained quiet and relaxed never hitting the end of the lead forward or back. He popped into the canter on his own (it was easier to do that than keep up with Oz's power extendo trot) but it was relaxed and easy.
Obviously he's boring, well behaved and not doing to much on top of that so this is pretty short, but I promise I will fill you in further the more we get to!
Toasty might just have one of the easiest, most boring lives that a Thoroughbred has ever lived. He is still quite fit from the track and packing on the pounds like an elephant. I cannot believe how well he carries his weight and am almost dreading the spring for this one. He is only on about a quart of food twice per day (1/2 hay extender and 1/2 a 12:12 pellet) and seems to still be gaining.
We have lunged once (not sure if I have blogged about that) and he proved to be very bold and totally unphased by anything. I was impressed by his balance and aptitude in picking up both leads and lunging basically voice command. Despite his size he is quite athletic, not that he did anything exciting - he did not - but the way he picked up and carried himself showed a different side to him. I had originally had plans for him to be a hunter (he is so slow and easy going!) but after watching him lunge, eventing might just be in his future.
Even though he is boring I have lots of photos of him just chilling to share
Who swapped a WB for my TB?
Toasty is a big oaf and he really surprises me every day. He dealt with his first turnout surprisingly well, he has a video on my own facebook page (feel free to go check it out) - that was the extent of his running though, he's awfully boring. He remains the steady eddy that I can turn out by himself and leave him to go get Bam with no screaming or running and also take Bam away in the same manner. We pulled his shoes, while he was standing in the field getting chewed on by Bam with three dogs running around and playing and one even darting underneath him a time or two. Not sure why or how he got so quiet but I am not complaining!!!!
He clips and I'm sure would tie although I have only used one cross tie in the aisle. I can groom him in his stall loose, basically do whatever I want to him and he never has anything to complain about.
He got to experience snow for what I think is the first time in his life, he really almost went into a panic and wound up taking a little spill in the aisle from slippage....he is fine and all will be OK, however I am not sure he will make that mistake of being not so careful in the snow again!
The biggest "problem" I have with Toasty is feeding - I was not really told what he was eating at the track, but I knew it was probably more than he needed going into let down. Feeding is always a top priority for me so I was curious where to start, he was massive, he's tall, he was muscled and already fat......He came with a bag of denghi which he gets some of in each feeding but apart from that he is on daily pasture, nightly hay and a half quart of hay stretcher and a half quart of my 12/12 pellet....I figure I would see where we would go from there, give him more hay if he wanted, and add grain if he started losing weight. The more I look at photos from CANTER and look at him daily, it is almost as if he is gaining....who would have thought?! An easy keeping Thoroughbred? Who would have thought?
Anyway, if anyone has thoughts on feeding please feel free to voice them. I sort of played it by ear. I know I would rather have a more fibrous diet anyway, less concentrates but enough that they get sustenance. Anyway, I am open to thoughts on that, so let me know!
Well, it all started the other day, I was talking to my friend who is a trainer up at Suffolk. She invited me to come down and take a look and see if I could find any new sale horses as my last private sale horse had been sold. I absolutely agreed and went on the long trek down. I had done some perusing of the canter listings, not overly impressed with anything as my next sale horse.
I always have my criteria as I am just starting out in the sale business and there are just some things that make life easier. For starters, unless the plain colors are close to jet black or a really rich bay, you are going to have a hard time selling. If there are socks, and the big giant ones, you're going to have it easy. If the face is cute, or somewhat blinged out, also an easy sell. There are other factors too, height, kind eye, and general overall build that go into it too, and obvious considerations on my end, I don't need a lame horse stepping out of my barn into someone else's....but we need to be real and admit we have all been blinded by chrome, size and overall personality and carriage.
Initially I had gone to just look at Bam (the other horse on here) and was set and ready to go. I had gone to sign the bill of sale so it would be easy moving the next day when I came with my trailer. As we were walking into the office, a woman was walking out, she had realized the paper in my hand (a bill of sale) and started right in. She was like a car salesman about him, but to humor her, I had the other trainer drop me at her place and have a look. She pulled him out and I was amazed, sound, fluid, and totally level headed both jogging inside and out. She stopped him in front of my and I remembered back to the ad on CANTER - 16h? there is no way, he is pushing 17h...massive, gorgeous, he looked like he stepped right off the trailer at Devon for the big hunters. I was sold, but could not afford to purchase him, originally priced at $3999.
I made some phone calls to others that I knew were up there looking to buy a hunter. Money didn't seem to phase them, so I frantically tried to get them. This was their horse! Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for them, they didn't show and I found out later, they left. The more time I spent with this guy the more I liked him...but I could not spend that kind of money on a horse!! She took my number in case she decided to come down on the price and we left it at that.
On my way down with the trailer to get Bam, however, I got a phone call from his trainer. She made an offer...my grandmother who owned my last sale horse was in the car with me and offered to purchase him for the same deal we had done before....I quickly agreed and upon arriving at the track called Cindy to get a bill of sale on TOASTY :)
There are many little details that led me to meeting this woman, had I decided to wait on the bill of sale, or look at just one more horse before Bam, I would have missed this opportunity. He was a lovely horse as described, but I was not in the market for a $4000 horse, I would not have even given it a second thought....
Anyway, we will see where he takes me and what kind of adventures we have. Today we are headed for our first turnout.......yay!