So Doug and I make the drive up near Indianapolis today to look at the Arabaloosa mare. When we pulled up the owner Teri was waiting for us in the driveway. (Garmin had led us a little astray) She walked me to the back of her property where the little mare lives in a lot with her GINORMOUS TW buddy. She looked very, very tiny because of that perspective. I took a long a page long typed out list of questions because I was afraid I'd forget to ask something important. I didn't expect to hear all answers I wanted to hear on the positive side, but in fact out of maybe 20 questions, 98% were the answers that I'd want to hear. Regular hoof care, Coggins up to date, put under saddle at age 5 to mature her legs, loads into the trailer (she backed this up by doing it), it went on and on like this. I also asked her to tell me the worst thing that the horse has ever done and she I believed told me the truth about being unloaded once when the mare was upset about taking a different trail than her buddy, and the horse bucking at a despooking clinic when she became intangled in a tarp. These are negatives but not deal breakers. I've had worse happen to me on my own mare. It does tell me where the horse has weaknesses, and where I'll have to work hard to correct things before I have any real saddle time. Other stuff about her, let's see...she is ever so slightly shorter than Phebes, but it made it easy to get on, and I did not feel so underhorsed like I did on the KMSH mare last week. The footing in the round pen where I rode her was so slick that her feet were slipping bad at the trot, so I focused on things like did she give to pressure, did she move off my leg (or try), did she have flexion (she'll need a lot of softening work), but the one thing she did do was turn things over in her head, and try to figure out what it was I wanted from her. So yes, she's green, but she is smart. She is not papered, the result of an accidental breeding at a boarding stable. The owner found out six weeks before the foal was born. It was a big shocker.
As to her look, her face, eyes, brain, and coat are all Appy. She is very fine-boned, and she moves like a floaty arab. Her trot was very soft and easy to ride, but I'll be able to tell more next weekend when I trail ride her. If I like her after that trail ride I'll load her up and bring her home. We won't likely compete any this year as she is going to be a bit of a project horse. But Phebes taught me a lot of stuff about how to start an endurance horse, or rather how not to start them.
So cross your fingers, and say a little prayer that by next Sunday, we'll be seeing spots!
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association