Lets see your horses!!

Kootenay

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#1
As a spinoff of my new baby horse thread, I realized there are quite a few horsey people on here.

I'd love to see pics and hear about them!
 

Dekka

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#2
This thread makes me sad :(

I have no horses these days. I sold my baby horse in the fall. Sigh.

(Working at Greenhawk - big tack chain for non Canadians - with no horse sucks the big one)

I have to live vicariously these days.

Kootenay> What is your plan for the little one? That is such a unique cross. I can see the appeal in an iberian but what does one get when one crosses with a gaited horse?
 

BostonBanker

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#3
I'll play even though I'm not a horse owner anymore. It was such a huge part of my identity for so long, it still feels odd.

Although I never owned him, passing mention is always owed to the real Boston Banker. He was the love of my high school years, and still a bit the horse who I love the most. He'd been a race horse, an A-circuit hunter, and then transitioned to be a big eq horse, which is where he really shone. His former riders include no less than Meredith Michaels Beerbaum. I have a copy of her book about the horses in her past and present, and Boston has his own chapter (in German, sadly). Although he didn't come into my life until he was about 20, it was always fun to take him to some of the bigger shows, because inevitably someone would wander up and ask if that was Boston Banker, because they knew him way back when. Plans to let him come live out his life with me fell apart, but when my trainer got rid of him, he wound up at one of the best barns in the northeast, where he was treated like royalty, and I visited him a few times. This photo was the last time I visited, when he was 30. Not too shabby for a TB who had lived a long life and been used hard.


Tristan is the only horse I've ever owned. I was working for my trainer during college, and heartbroken yet again when the horse I'd been riding for a while was taken back by his owner. It was finally enough to convince my father that if he invested in a horse for me, I could essentially board and train it for free due to my working, and we could sell it when I graduated for a nice little profit. About six years later, sitting around the dinner table, my father out of nowhere said, "I just realized, you're never selling that horse, are you?". I still can't believe he ever fell for that.

Tristan was 3 years old, had about a month of under saddle work, and I thought might turn into a nice A/A hunter that I could have fun with. Turns out he jumped like an anvil (as a young horse - he actually matured into a wonderful jumper) and was not a nice young horse to ride. He had some serious behavioral issues under saddle, and we'll never know how much that was physical and how much was training or mental. But from about five to eight, he was a jerk to ride and sent me home in tears more than any horse should. I never did show him in the hunters, but showed dressage a bit through first level. He jumped a lot with the collegiate team at our barn and was a favorite of theirs. When he finally started to mature, he turned into a very pleasant horse for me to hack around on.

He was plagued by constant health issues and injuries. I (sometimes fondly) referred to him as my lemon. Four or five separate soft tissue injuries, two bouts of Lyme, sarcomas that require surgery, a parasite that killed off a bit of muscle in his neck, and about nine years of battling issues with anorexia that finally turned out to be the lymphoma that took his life about a year and a half ago.

My favorite photo of us, when he was probably five?


Moments of great glory - posing on the Saratoga Race Track, and showing off his winnings from the show there.




Because he was laid up so much (and because I was obsessed with dog training and dogless), he was my first clicker training project, and learned a ton of silly tricks. During one long period involving lots of handwalking (and trying not to die walking a stall-bound 17hh horse), I trained him to follow and pick up a frisbee, because it gave him something to focus on other than leaping about. Once he was allowed to do more, I even got him pretty reliable about bringing it back, and tried to train him to "throw" it back. That never really happened, although judging by this picture, it may have been lack of skill on his part, or the fact that I flinch whenever anything is thrown at me!


Healthy and schooling:


But perhaps his most endearing trait was his relationship with Gusto. The two of them absolutely adored each other (okay, maybe Gusto adore Tristan, and Tristan was a really good, tolerant big brother). Gusto would race to Tristan's stall and run in as soon as we got to the barn, followed us along on trail rides, walking in Tristan's footsteps with Trissy's tail hanging on his head, and lay in the shade under Tristan while I was handgrazing him. More than once, I thought "this is going to end badly", but both were very careful of each other. I was so sad for myself when Tristan died, but just as sad for Gusto.









I go visit the barn once in a while. The owner is a good friend, and let's me take a horse out hacking if I want to. And it is a breeding farm, so it is fun to go visit the foals and see them grow up. I sometimes get stuck on wanting another horse, and I know she would help me find one, but Tristan really wore me out, both emotionally and financially. His vet bills were just astronomical during the last 9 years or so of his life. I don't ever want to put myself in a situation where I am that financially unstable again...but I also don't want to own a horse knowing I couldn't and wouldn't do anything I could for him. So for now, I go pet the ponies and feed them treats when I feel the urge, and saddle up a loaner when it hits particularly hard.
 

Liminal

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#4
Kind of a redux of what I said in the other thread, but I grew up with horses and in a horse-loving family (one of my grandpas was a Tennessee Walker breeder) but we sold all we owned when I was around 16-17 due to medical expenses. I wish I could show photos of my favorite childhood horses but my family wasn't much for taking pictures. I will say that my two favorites were a 17hh OTTB mare named Laney and a 13-14hh grade gaited pony (probably part Saddlebred) that I named Black Pony only because I couldn't find a real name good enough to capture my high regard for him.

I only just got back into horse ownership... I bought my first horse in a decade a couple of weeks ago. She's an 8 year old Arabian / QH cross that most people mistake for an Arab because her temperament and looks run in that direction. In the vicinity of 15hh. Her last owners called her "Sunny" so I'm following suit, though I'm thinking "Sundog" for something more formal should I ever want it. I might compete in fun shows and maybe do some LD rides with her eventually.

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of good photos of her yet: I'm between actual cameras plus I only got her two weeks ago, it's been chilly, and she'd been pastured for a year before I took her so her condition is therefore not such that I'm dying to capture it on film. She's still fuzzy, dirty, and undermuscled. (And she's a flea-bitten gray so ye gods does the dirt show.)

I did grab a few cellphone photos of her today while we were waiting for the farrier to show up (so yes those hooves are now trimmed :p ):






Once I get a new DSLR and she's looking less raggedy I'll take better photos and post again.

When I was younger my parents actually tended to buy very green QH and turn us loose on them, then resell them later for more than they paid, so I'm the kind of farm kid that is probably better at staying on a bucking horse than riding a well-trained one. So it'll be a pleasure having a horse that's already been ridden as much as she has even if we're both a bit rusty. I actually plan on taking some lessons this summer, probably irregularly because the closest lesson barn I know of is a few hours from me. Having a professional point out all of the bad habits I learned running around on badly trained animals should be fun. :lol-sign:

But perhaps his most endearing trait was his relationship with Gusto.
That is a sweet photo series.
 
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Cali Mae

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#5
My horse, Indie, passed away a few years ago but I don't get to talk about her a lot so I hope nobody minds me still sharing. I still miss her dearly so I love getting the chance to talk about her because the people I know in person don't really understand so I don't bring it up very often, just on the anniversary.

She was an off-the-track Thoroughbred and she actually raced for five years before being purchased by the lady I bought her from. She had one foal while owned by her and was started as a riding horse. She was still quite green when I bought her but she caught on fast and my instructor was always surprised by it.


(I had found clips of her races and took this screenshot of her)

My position is atrocious in this picture, but I wasn't focusing a whole lot on my position since she was still learning so I was always focusing more on her than on myself. She had a habit of flapping her lips together and the froth would fly everywhere. My instructor said it was probably due to stress and eventually she didn't do it quite as often.



She was full of personality too. I had leased horses for about five years before my parents bought me my own horse, and I had never experienced such a quick forming, strong bond before getting Indie. She was super sweet and my farrier always commented on how he had never seen such a calm OTTB before. She was lower in the herd hierarchy but she never got into any scuffles with the other mares and was easy to handle... although she was very pushy when I first got her, she eventually became easy to lead and she would stand still when I bathed her or hosed her down.



I had actually really wanted a bay mare, preferably with a lot of chrome. But there wasn't much selection in my province for horses and Indie's ad pictures caught my eyes every time I skimmed by it. She was a chestnut with a stripe down her face, but she had the kindest eyes and I still think she was the most beautiful horse.



She passed away unexpectedly after only three and a half months because she had a guttural pouch infection, which wasn't caught in the pre-purchase vet exam. One of my instructor's students had noticed her laying in the pasture with red around her so my instructor rushed out, called the vet, and the vet hooked her up to fluids. I stayed there with her until around 9:30pm that night, syringe feeding her water, and we planned on trailering her to the provincial vet for surgery if she made it until the morning. But while my instructor was in her house grabbing food, she reared up and fell over. It scared me so badly that I screamed and my instructor heard it on her walk back so she came running. The next half hour is blurry as in retrospect, I think I was in shock, but the vet was called and I just rubbed her shoulder until he got there. When he checked her out and looked up, he just shook his head and that moment was in slow motion for me. I don't think I will ever recover from that, but I try to take solace in the fact that I loved her and treated her like every horse deserves to be treated.

Thank you for giving me a chance to share... I have a journal on a horse forum that I had kept since getting her, so sometimes I make posts there, but it always helps to share more. And I enjoyed reading your post, BostonBanker, and seeing the pictures. I'm very sorry that Tristan is no longer with you.

ETA: Your post as well, Liminal... it posted as I was typing!
 

BostonBanker

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#6
Oh, Indie was absolutely gorgeous. I wanted pretty much anything BUT a chestnut when I was horse shopping, and of course along came Tristan. Now the redheads are my favorite, especially the darker ones like Indie was. I'm so sorry you didn't get more time with her.

I'll look forward to more pictures of Sunny! Congratulations on the new addition.
 

Kootenay

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#7
Awesome to read all these replies/stories and see the photos! I didn't know that some of you had (or used to have) horses. A bunch of very pretty ponies!

Liminal, she really does look VERY Arab-like! She's a pretty girl :)


Kootenay> What is your plan for the little one? That is such a unique cross. I can see the appeal in an iberian but what does one get when one crosses with a gaited horse?
Well, at this point I pretty much exclusively trail ride, so that is my plan for her :) Paso Finos are also Baroque horses, in fact they descended from Andalusians (among other breeds), so the cross makes sense in that way. Being 3/4 Paso she will likely be gaited, although I'm certainly not attached, having never had a gaited horse before. Her breeder (who's a friend of mine), had Pasos and he lived just down the road from a lady who breeds pretty high caliber Andalusians. He did the cross a few times and had some really lovely foals. His hope was to keep the gait and add a little flair from the Andalusian ;)
 

Kootenay

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#8
I guess I'll add my horse story!

I got "my" first pony when I was 5, I think mostly because my mom had always wanted a horse ;) That's not entirely true, I was an animal crazy kid and I'm sure I really wanted a horse, but we definitely shared him. His name was Sundance and he was a Fjord/Welsh pony (??) cross and a really wonderful horse. We lost him to colic tragically (he was getting up there in years by then).

My next pony was Duke, a Shetland. He was a classic terrible, rude, bad little pony. I ripped around on him for years though and he taught me a lot. I delivered our goats milk around the community on him, he tossed me a million times, we went on tons of adventures, and horrifically I ALSO lost him to colic :( :( (again he was at least late twenties by this point). He actually had a tumor in his intestine, we discovered in an autopsy, so it was inevitable I guess.

There are photos of them somewhere but I don't have them, I'd love to dig them up.

I bought Albert when I was 11, from the neighbor down the road, after riding him for a few years prior. He was a Quarterhorse x Thoroughbred (supposedly) and he was 21 when I bought him. He was a good old man and he basically taught both my younger sisters how to ride. He died at I think 35? after a good long life.

This is him with my little sister


Then Dancer came along when I was 12, he's a QH x Appy. I got him when he was 5, he'd been a stud out in a feral herd for a few years. We did a lot of learning together! He ended up becoming my (ex) boyfriend's horse, and my step mom also started riding him a lot, so they share him now. He lives at my dad/stepmom's place and I see him plenty. I can't believe he's 19 now!

Here are some photos of him, with my ex riding him.





Then when I was 15 I bought Emir, my Straight Egyptian Arab. I got him at 11 months, little baby. I adore this horse <3 of course he's not perfect but we've had a wonderful time together. He's 11 now, and what a great ride it has been!

Here's an oldie - Albert, Dancer, and very young Emir all together!



Emir last summer




And THEN I just got my new baby, who you've probably all read about, but she's a 7 month old 3/4 Paso Fino 1/4 Andalusian filly <3 <3 She's totally amazing and perfect so far, I'm super excited about her!

 

Liminal

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#9
Kootenay, since you seem to spend a lot of time riding bitless do you have any tips for choosing or fitting bitless bridles? My mare hasn't been ridden a lot with a bit so I'm currently riding her in a sidepull halter with a braided nosepiece (and she does well in it considering) but will eventually switch to something a little more intensive, possibly like the Dr. Cook's bridle, for training if not casual riding purposes.

I will bit her eventually, too, but I'm going to go with something high-quality and really soft (a Nathe probably) and need to make my tack purchases incrementally, so it has to wait.
 

Snark

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#10
Rusty was our first horse. Sis and I shared him for about a year before Sis bought a Morgan/Tennessee Walker mare who was sold cheap because the mare was smarter than the people who owned her and enjoyed terrorizing them. Rusty was an 11 yr. old QH bought at a farm auction for a whopping $105 (with papers). Two years earlier, my dad finally gave in to my perpetual horse craziness and said I could have a horse if I had the money to buy one. He didn't think I would save the money, but I did. Sis and I cleaned stalls to pay for his board and even made enough to buy and board Ginger when she came up for sale.
Rusty was an adventure - 1300 lbs of power, no brakes, and for the first six months, a hair trigger. He actually got better after I switched to hunt seat and a snaffle bit, but mostly we rode the trails.

Rusty


I lost Rusty to navicular disease at 20, back then there wasn't a lot they could do except cut the nerves and I didn't want to do that to him.

Ginger Fidgets (she refused to pull the cart with blinders, so Sis used a regular riding bridle - this was taken at a Combined Driving event, and was a miserable, wet weekend).


Rocket was my next horse, although he wasn't my first choice. I'd bought a bay Morgan mare from a breeder but she didn't pass the vet check, so they traded Rocket for her. He was gaited Morgan (although he had a spanking big trot), sensitive (hated being brushed until I bought a set of brushes geared for thin-skinned horses) and hyper alert to the slightest change in his environment. He would have made a great watchdog, he noticed EVERYTHING. We evented (lower levels), did hunter paces and had a lot of fun. In later years, I usually rode him bareback with a bitless bridle.

One of our first cross country schooling sessions - Rocket liked to over-react and he hated hitting the jump.


At a Combined Test (dressage/stadium jumping).


Eventing


Lost Rocket after 23 years to a bad heart. He went down on April 22, 2003 and couldn't get up again; the vet put him down at 9:20 pm.

Bought Chance a couple of years after Rocket, he was a rescue Morgan gelding and thought to be in his late teens. Super skinny, so it took a few months to put weight back on him. We didn't more than trail ride occasionally and I lost him to cancer seven years later.

Chance



Buddy was a freebie. His previous owner was getting divorced, splitting up their horses and looking to rehome him. He's a QH in his mid-twenties and had been a trail horse at Boys Town. Basically a pasture potato now, he keeps my sister's horse, Ethan, company.

Buddy


Ethan & Buddy
 

meepitsmeagan

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#11
What a good thread!

Horses have been in my life for a long time. My best friend and I started lessons when we were in third grade at a local ranch and that's when the bug really hit. I went through several horses over the years, but two really made a big impact on me.

Tex was a 29 year old red line dun QH who was a retired Posse guy. Sweetest old man on the planet- first horse that I learned to canter independently on and he carried me on my first solo trail rides. Unfortunately he coliced after only three months on our farm and we lost him to impaction.

A few horses later, I was nearing the summer before my freshman year of high school and my current horse had just been diagnosed with navicular. My dad found a few ads for horses in our surrounding states- but one ad really stuck with me. A coming 3 year old blue roan breeding stock Paint gelding. He was leggy and awkward and had 90 days on him. The day we went to look at him, it was storming and he was all sorts of worked up and acting crazy. My parents both hated him, but I was still not shaken. The next day we went to ride him and he was a dream. There was no turning back for me. He came home to Michigan a week later. I owned him for just shy of 6 years and he was my heart and soul. We did 4H together, 4 years of high school equestrian team together, trail rode all over. I learned so much with our time about how to handle a hot, green horse. Romeo was the horse that made me want to become a horse trainer as a profession, as well as sparked my love for dressage and ranch horse work. I miss him all the time, though he lives with a wonderful family now who loves to take him camping in the summers.



I do not have a horse of my own right now, even though I've been offered several tempting opportunities. We just got our farm and it will be about two years I think before I bring a horse of my own or any training horses home. I've been having a lot of fun riding a wide variety of horses at the barn I'm working at- so I'm ok with putting off a personal horse for the time being. I'll be showing an older Arab in Training Level this summer and I just got my first independent training gig that I'll start in May so for now that is keeping me busy.
 

Kootenay

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#12
Kootenay, since you seem to spend a lot of time riding bitless do you have any tips for choosing or fitting bitless bridles? My mare hasn't been ridden a lot with a bit so I'm currently riding her in a sidepull halter with a braided nosepiece (and she does well in it considering) but will eventually switch to something a little more intensive, possibly like the Dr. Cook's bridle, for training if not casual riding purposes.

I will bit her eventually, too, but I'm going to go with something high-quality and really soft (a Nathe probably) and need to make my tack purchases incrementally, so it has to wait.
I do ride bitless exclusively, I have just found that it works WAY better for my horses and me.

I have a Dr. Cook (or, did I guess...it stayed with Dancer) and a Lightrider that I use with Emir. I like both of them, I kind of think the Dr. Cook set up makes more sense actually, but Emir is super easy to ride in ANYTHING so the Lightrider works just fine for him.

I have found my horses to be way more relaxed and responsive bitless, but of course every horse is different. Dancer is a very hard headed, unresponsive horse and even with him the Dr. Cook was WAY better than using a bit, and I tried various different ones before coming to that conclusion.

So basically if bitless works for you and your horse, I don't particularly see a reason to force the bit! But if they respond well with a bit and you like it better, of course go ahead and use one :)
 

Liminal

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#13
I do ride bitless exclusively, I have just found that it works WAY better for my horses and me.

I have a Dr. Cook (or, did I guess...it stayed with Dancer) and a Lightrider that I use with Emir. I like both of them, I kind of think the Dr. Cook set up makes more sense actually, but Emir is super easy to ride in ANYTHING so the Lightrider works just fine for him.

I have found my horses to be way more relaxed and responsive bitless, but of course every horse is different. Dancer is a very hard headed, unresponsive horse and even with him the Dr. Cook was WAY better than using a bit, and I tried various different ones before coming to that conclusion.

So basically if bitless works for you and your horse, I don't particularly see a reason to force the bit! But if they respond well with a bit and you like it better, of course go ahead and use one :)
I mainly want to try one with her for training because she really needs to have her topline developed - aside from her having been out of work I think the people who had her before me let her hollow her back a lot so she's really got next to nothing there - and asking for collection isn't something I'm sure how to do well initially without one. I might be able to figure it out though, so we'll see - part of my curiosity about the Dr. Cook's is because I've heard it's better for getting collection than a sidepull is.

Regardless, I'll be surprised if I don't end up riding her primarily bitless in the end... she's pretty pressure responsive, borderline oversensitive sometimes, and anyway I'm lazy so the less time I have to take strapping things onto her the better. For now we're doing on-ground belly lifting / back flexing stretches to help with getting her musculature where it ought to be to be able to support me on longer rides in a more orthopedically healthy way. :)

Thanks for answering!
 

Kootenay

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#14
I mainly want to try one with her for training because she really needs to have her topline developed - aside from her having been out of work I think the people who had her before me let her hollow her back a lot so she's really got next to nothing there - and asking for collection isn't something I'm sure how to do well initially without one. I might be able to figure it out though, so we'll see - part of my curiosity about the Dr. Cook's is because I've heard it's better for getting collection than a sidepull is.

Regardless, I'll be surprised if I don't end up riding her primarily bitless in the end... she's pretty pressure responsive, borderline oversensitive sometimes, and anyway I'm lazy so the less time I have to take strapping things onto her the better. For now we're doing on-ground belly lifting / back flexing stretches to help with getting her musculature where it ought to be to be able to support me on longer rides in a more orthopedically healthy way. :)

Thanks for answering!
I guess it would depend on what the horse was used to, but I have found collection with a bitless bridle to be just the same as with a bit - except with way less resistance in the case of my guys :) Emir is super soft and supple and has beautiful collection, he's only been ridden bitless.

Anyway I'm sure you will figure out something that works for the both of you!
 

xpaeanx

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#15
I grew up with horses. My mom works with racehorses and would often take in the "crazier ones" and work with them and then find them homes. I have a love/hate relationship with horses because my mom is one of those crazy horse people you hear about and I guess the crazies tend to cluster or something because it seemed like there were always SO MANY around.

Growing up I tried not to get to attached to any of the horses my mom had, partly because so many came through and partly because of that love/hate relationship I had previously mentioned. I've dabbled in shows here and there, but I never really wanted to be in the horse scene so when I rode it was mostly trails.

A few years ago I bought my own horse, a 3 year old paint gelding. I was in school at the time as well and after a year decided I was spending too much time with the horse and not enough time on school so I sent him to pasture. It was probably a disservice to that to such a young horse, but I did really like him and he was a great trail horse. He's been lightly ridden (mostly trails) at the farm he's at, and from what gets relayed to me most of the people really enjoy him. I'm hoping to bring him home this summer, and he'll continue to just be a trail horse until he dies of old age with me.

I had hoped that when I bought my house there would be room for him to stay on our property, but when looking for houses we realized we were going to stretch ourselves for something that wasn't quite what we wanted.... If we went smaller and waited a few years we'd be able to buy a house that was what we wanted and we wouldn't be stressed out in the meantime. So that's what we did. So when I bring him up he'll be boarded somewhere until we're able to sell this house and buy one with land. Once I have the space to keep him at home, I'm hoping to get another trail horse so my husband or whoever can go on trails with me.

That's pretty much going to be the end of my horse hobby at this point in my life. My horse is still young and since I'm mostly a trail rider, after him I doubt I'd get another horse.

And sorry, no pictures. Most of the ones I had were on my old cell phone.
 
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