So we now have three prospects for the program, it’s so exciting! On Tuesday, we picked up a horse that my sister purchased. Spanish Affair (Briggs) is a possible prospect: my sister left him with me to assess this month. He’s a 9yo grey gelding by Black Tie Affair who raced at the end of 2014. He’s sweet and well-mannered. If he’s quiet enough for an amateur with limited time, then my sister will take him to a boarding barn closer to her house. She drives nearly an hour to have her daughter ride with me, but her life with three busy kids is too hectic to be able to drive out several times a week. So she decided she needs a horse closer to home. If Briggs isn’t quiet enough for her to work with, or if there’s an incredible “wow factor” once we have him bathed and trimmed up and have a chance to fully assess him, then she’ll leave him with us until the summer to see if he’ll work in the RRP.
On Wednesday, Joanna and I drove to Elkton, Maryland to pick up a horse at a truck stop on the side of I-95. This is the first horse I’ve purchased off the internet without trying it first. Estaticator (Arnie) is a 4yo red bay gelding by Intimidator who raced in Oklahoma in April last year. I loved his photos. Expressive face with the right kind of angles for jumping.
I believe that most horses can learn to jump, but some conformational flaws can make that job harder. I’m a big believer in making sure a round peg fits into a round hole, so I’d rather start with something that has the right build to jump. Hunter or jumper, it’s not important. After temperament, a suitable build for the job at hand is a great way to make sure a horse likes his or her job.
We rode Arnie and G (Gig Em, see previous post) for the first time yesterday, and they were superstars. G is very laid back and an “old soul.” He figured out longeing in an instant and he quietly walked and trotted under saddle. Arnie is (understandably) less mature. He’s had less handling, in general and acts like a youngster who’s new to everything. He did figure out longeing and he’s got an amazingly balanced canter on the longe circle. Joanna walked him around under saddle, and he was nervous and chomp-y for a bit until he realized he didn’t have to do more than that. Super athlete, though – I’m excited to see how he settles into his new life.
Both horses show lots of promise. Briggs might too – we’ve had him trotting on the longe and he’s getting his feet done by the farrier today, so he’ll be ready to start under saddle this weekend. Seems super quiet, so I’m not sure we’ll have him for long if my sister gets her way… 😉