Friday, December 5, 2014

Sue Bruns - Baton Rouge (LOUISIANA) Area Dressage Trainer

Another quick testimonial (hopefully someone will be googling "Baton Rouge dressage trainers" or "Louisiana dressage trainers" or something along those lines) for my trainer, Sue Bruns.

SUE BRUNS: 603.969.9912

* Certified instructor of English riding lessons
* Dressage concentration, having trained and worked with top international U.S. team riders for 30 years (including Carol Lavell, Michael Poulin, Pamela Goodrich, Verne Batchelder)
* Has trained multiple horses to Third/Fourth level and loves teaching all levels of riders
* Dressage training is valuable to any method or level of riding.  It is about developing balance and relaxation in both horse and rider than translates to better performances in any discipline.
* Dressage training can be performed in Western tack
* I will travel to your farm to teach on your horse, OR I can teach you on my trained dressage horse in Port Allen

Group or Child: $25
Individual Adult: $30
Lesson on my trained horse: $40

SUE BRUNS (603)-969-9912


Now my testimonial!

Sue has been working with Scottie and I since I bought Scottie in January 2014.   She is extremely knowledgeable, and has great ways of explaining concepts in lessons.  Scottie and I progress much, much faster when we have weekly lessons with Sue.

Sue is an excellent horsewoman and believes less is more.  I am just riding Scottie in a simple French link, no gadgets or other training gimmicks.  She understands and easily explains TRUE dressage foundation work.  She is patient, and kind, and enjoys working with all levels of horses.  I like her because she likes OTTBs and understands some of the complexities that come along with working with these off-track greenies.  She has helped me work through some the behavioral issues with Scottie, as well as some more advanced work (lateral, bending, suppleness, transitions, canter cues, etc).

I only have the experience of working with her on my green OTTB, but I have seen her ride her gorgeous warmblood (pictured above), and can tell you that Sue absolutely knows high level/Grand Prix dressage moves as well :) (Can you tell I am actually not a dressage rider due to my lingo?? haha).

I enjoy riding with her because I want Scottie to be really solid on the flat before we start jumping.  I am a firm believer that a solid foundation increases the horses value, as well as their longevity as a competition horse.  I am not a dressage rider, nor do I particularly "like" dressage, but I do understand its importance in training, especially OTTBs.

You do not have to be a dressage rider to benefit from Sue's lessons.  She is an all-around horsewoman and can help with general riding, communicating with your horse (english or western), and any flatwork training, ENGLISH or WESTERN.

Things that have improved with Sue's help:

- consistent use of correct aids
- confidence
- general riding technique

- focus
- attention span
- bending/suppleness/softness (although we still have a long way to go)
- transitions

She is taking students, so give her a call!!!

Southeastern Louisiana Farrier Shout-out!

After reading about the horrors of the Monica Thors scandal, it made me realize how lucky I am to have found a farrier that knows what he is doing in the area.  I know he covers large areas between Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Hammond-ish, and probably more, if you ask him!


My testimonial:

After several bad farrier jobs on my older TB gelding by several different farriers, the final straw came when the last farrier literally crippled my TB to the point that he couldn't walk.  It was so bad, I thought FM had foundered.  He was VERY VERY VERY sore and had to be on stall rest for almost two weeks with wraps on >:(

JW was recommended to me by my old vet, Dr. Lindsey Schuell (now in Houston).  I have been using him for approximately a year now and FM has NEVER been sore after a trim (even on gravel). He has literally changed the way my gelding moves (much freer and with less stiffness).   I refuse to let another farrier touch FM now because he is so much better after JW.  He is a completely different horse.

Scottie actually has decent feet, but for the months that I was constantly battling abscesses, JW came out more than one time on a text message asking for help.  He comes out "just to make sure" there is no problem.  She is now totally sound and barefoot (even on rock)

After I moved barns, I was terrified that JW would not come to my new barn but he does :)  He goes above and beyond for his clients, and will come out for an emergency ASAP!

If you would like his contact information, please email me at and I will provide it to you!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Seattle Slew grand-daughter broodmare FREE TO GOOD HOME - Midway, Kentucky

"Any Old Port" by Seattle Sleet by Quimperle by Hold Your Peace, she's a 2001 model, chestnut with white - flashy. 16.2 hands, selling as BROODMARE sound only.

REFERENCES REQUIRED!  If interested email me at with 2 references, one being a vet.  Buyer 100% responsible for shipping!

Previous client has to say:
"She has had 7 foals 4 to race 4 winners, she has a 2y/o that has not started, think it's turned out, they normally break her babies, train for 60-90 days and then turn them out till the fall. That baby might go to Oaklawn for the winter or they might wait till next spring to start it back. Then there's a yearling that is being broke now and a weanling. 

She would be great for a state bred program or show horse broodmare - she's got big grass feet. The  man who owns her is one of my old clients, the mare use to board with me when I had my farm in KY - he is getting out of the breeding business.  She is free to good home.

Here's some old pictures of her - the filly by her side is Hard headed she fractured her skull and me and Jennifer saved her - against the advise of one of the big surgeons around here, lol - girl power. She broke her maiden earlier this year, so proud of her.

I can't guarantee that she's sound enough to ride, never have been unsound for any reason I know of while living with me and she lived with me for 5 years, the occasional hoof abscess. Keep in mind she has probably not had a person on her back since 2004/05 when she was bred for the first time. She was strictly a broodmare for the past 10 years. With her flashy markings she will throw color, people like the chestnut mares to breed for color, use to know the reasons but haven't done it since late 90's, a bit foggy but do remember they always would take a flashy chestnut TB mare."

Friday, August 29, 2014

Yearling Thoroughbred for Sale ("Tee Mike") in Louisiana - SOLD


"Tee Mike"  Louisiana Jockey Club COLT (still intact).  Born April 2013.  UNBRIDLED lines.

FLASHY, and LARGE. ROSE GREY/ GREY ROAN.  Parents are 16.3 and 16.2, so he should mature to be at least 16 hands. 


We have been trying to find him a home for MONTHS.

Mikey has been handled EXTENSIVELY since birth.  He is sound, chill, and awesome.  He is extremely friendly.

He has no inbreeding in 5 generations.

He has a conformational flaw with an offset front knee.  This DOES NOT AFFECT HIS SOUNDNESS.  He will have have no problem being pleasure/low-level mount.  More pics available upon request.

Owner is asking MINOR fee, which covers his registration.  Gelding, vet checks, and transportation are 100% cost of buyers, but we can help arrange transport and vets.

Here are several videos that you can see on You Tube.  Additional pictures of knee are available upon request.

REFERENCES WILL BE CHECKED.  REQUIRED TWO REFERENCES (ONE BEING EQUINE VET).  References are non-negotiable.  If you can't provide reference, you can't buy the colt.  GOOD HOME A MUST.

Owner realizes there may be challenges (farrier work, etc) with knee.  Preference given to show/pet home.  Back-up plan is necessary.

*Range of pics in this post is probably 4 - 5 months (i.e., they span that long  Yearling in some of the smaller pics).  Obviously, larger pics = more recent colt.

Please email me at if interested!  Thanks!!

What I Learned About Moving Horses Less than 30 miles

Small summary: Scottie blew an abscess and was off work for almost two months.  Then we moved to a new barn 30 miles.  Now we are back in work.

SO  Scottie blew the abscess.  And it was summer.  And HOT.  AND at the same time, I decided to move myself and the dog (apartment) AND the horses essentially "across the river" to my side of town.  Good idea in August in Louisiana, right?

Well, I found an AWESOME place.  GRASS paddocks.  Turnout 24/7.  All feed/hay included.  Indoor arena.  Gorgeous barns.  Trails.

Well, instead of giving 5 days notice, I wanted to give my old barn owner 30 days,  because I thought it was the best business practice since honestly, I was probably one of the highest paying customers and I didn't want to leave him in a lurch.  BAD IDEA.  Barn had a strangles outbreak.

LONG STORY SHORT... Not bad, no one in my barn had it, I tested with multiple tests on both horses previous to moving, all is fine (POST LATER).  However, ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY = STRESSFEST waiting for strangles.  Both horses tested negative and never got sick (THANK GOD).

Both of my OTTBs loaded with no problems (granted we had practice weekend).  Traveled fine.  Got to the barn. Settled fine.  Threw them out in grass paddock... no running, no jumping paddocks, great, right??  I gave them about a week before riding to settle.  I groomed them and bathed them and grazed them, but did not separate.

Well, FM and Scottie decided they were BFFs in that week.  When I would separate one from the other they SCREAMED back and forth.  Whoever was left in the paddock would run around and be an idiot.  Luckily, at the time, Scottie wasn't sound enough, and FM wasn't young enough to jump the fence (Scottie has a history of clearing paddock gates, BTW).

So, if I rode one, I brought the other and tied them in the arena while I rode.  I am sure no trainer recommends this, but actually worked out well.  Both were quiet and got good rides in.

The owner discovered my trick and decided this was ridiculous (which it was, but I couldn't risk injury).  LUCKILY, she moved them to the paddock where the horses can see each other both from the tack area AND the arena.    The hollering has now been reduced to about 1 per ride (leaving one in paddock) and they are back to not giving a sh*t about each other (they did NOT care) at old barn.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Give the horses time to chill, realize that horse relationships are super complex (afterall they are herd animals).. therefore, even though mine weren't really friends in a mixed herd, when they move to a new place and only know EACH OTHER, they are BFFS.  Once they are comfortable, they are back to their old selves.

This is Scottie after 1 month.  She is borderline obsese.  TIME TO GET BACK TO WORK!!

Strangles drama
Scottie's new personality after moving
Greatness of older horses 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


These are courtesy postings only.  I am not affiliated with any organization and I cannot guarantee any of the horses.  I am simply networking these horses for their owners.   I only know what I am given.  Please contact me at for more information.  These horses were listed as of July 2, 2014

2001 Thoroughbred Stallion "Bob's Proud Moment." 17 hands.

SUNSET, LOUISIANA. $5500 (neg).
Lovely, balanced individual. GREAT MOVEMENTS. The owners feel like he would make a fabulous addition to a sporthorse breeding program. He has been worked with since the track, and is a pleasure to ride, although he is not finished. He LOVES attention and to be fooled with, but the owners haven't had the time and want him to go to a great home.

Please see the website for more information:

This is not my horse. I am listing for someone who needs to find Bob a new home. If interested, please email me and I can put you in contact with owner.

" Mikey", yearling UNBRIDLED COLT, $500


Large, flashy, grey roan, UNBRIDLED colt yearling "T Mikey".

Foaled April 2013, Louisiana registered colt. Mom and Dad were 16.3 hands, so this will be a BIG horse. Grandpa is Unbridled Song and great-grandpa is Unbridled.

He has been handled extensively, so he is well-mannered and quite the ham.

He has no inbreeding for 5 generations. Here is his pedigree:

Priced to sell. Know he is a youngster, but will grow into a nice, big horse. Left front knee is a bit crooked, but should pose no problems with good farrier corrective farrier work as he grows. If you have time to wait for this horse to mature and grow, he will be worth the wait. WHAT A LOOKER!
This horse is not mine. I am courtesy posting and helping screen homes. Owners have too many horses and need to downsize NOW! Please PM me. More pics in comments section. Asking $500 (HALF ORIGINAL PRICE), price negotiable to good home.

"Miss K Lee" 2009 mare, $300  - MARE IS SAFE AND REHOMED!  THANK YOU!


Tons of speed, would make a nice broodmare for Appendix-breds or polo ponies. Lovely short cannon bone, great body, love her big butt! And big ears HONEST PERSONALITY. She is in LOVELY condition.

Chips in front knees. Horses with chips in knees can go onto become nice pleasure and lower-level mounts, but she is not recommended for upper level or high impact sports.
Short story: My friend is FORMER owner who sold her to a man to race. She did quite well for him, but he does not breed and when they are done racing, they go to Dominick's Livestock Sales (aka kill auction). My friend was asked if she wanted the mare, otherwise to kill. She cannot take in any more horses, but she convinced the guy to give us ONE WEEK to find a home (Wednesdays are slaughter days).

He wants $300 because that is what he can get for her at slaughter.
If you want the LONG story and more information, either EMAIL me at OR leave your email here. I can't access facebook at work, so need emails!

If you can purchase her in next week, my friend will board her until you can arrange transport to come get her.

PLEASE serious inquiries ONLY. This mare WILL go to auction if not rehomed by next Wednesday. Thanks!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Not that I think anyone is reading... BUT

Sooooo..there hasn't been any recent updates is that Scottie was off for about a week, blew an abscess last Sunday and we are still dealing with that THIS Sunday.  I assume she was off due to the abscess, but obviously have to get this healed up before can do additional investigations.

I'm also happy it is ONLY an abscess (as I am sure we have all experienced) because she had not blown out last Sunday, and I was starting to think soft tissue injury, which makes me panic.  I LOVE my horses. LOFF THEM!  But, I can really (barely) afford two.  And one of them is 23 year old FM, who I have promised his retirement.  So, if someone has to go, it is Scottie :(  So an abscess is good news because it will likely heal well.  Soft tissue is so up in the air.

My next post is planning to be "my abscess treatment" which was very much influenced by Dr. Lindsey Schuell who is now in HOUSTON!!!  So if you need a good equine vet, look her up!!

Before that, we were working with Sue Bruns on dressage lessons, which were going.... well?

Scottie has the BEST personality, so she is so willing and TRIES to do everything you ask.  Between me "not being  dressage rider" and her being basically "track broke", I am very impressed with what Sue has been able to accomplish with us.  Sue hasn't given me a webpage yet, but will post when I can.

Scottie is literally the "most chill" horse I have ever dealt with. She takes everything in stride, behaves for almost everyone (unlike FM, where the smallest deviation from normal can cause internal chaos haha), and seems to get along with other horses really well. 

I have to admit that I am a little nervous as her owner because I got her from such good people for so cheap and she is SO GOOD.  I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I'm probably over babying her for the abscess, but I have such hope for her and she is such a good girl that I want to make sure she's comfortable.  She is obviously so easy going that she will work with pain and not do anything (behavior wise) to let you know.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In which I remember how hard circles are OR in which I remember why I prefer hunters over dressage

So, I started dressage lessons two weekends with Scottie.  As I mentioned before, I really want to start Scottie right, and dressage is the discipline that handles the correct bending, contact, and all that jazz.  I was fortunate growing up that both of my trainers emphasized a solid dressage foundation for jumping.  Both of them made me learn basic leg yielding/pressure, how to collect, correct circling, aids/cues, etc.  However, the fun part was obviously JUMPING, so as time went on, I tended to remember a lot about the jumping, and not so much about my flat work.  Fortunately, since I started with a good foundation from a young age, some of these skills stuck with me from muscle memory even when my brain wanted to forget :)

For my first lesson, I wanted to work on correct amount of contact, and correct bending both ways around the circle.  As with most OTTBs, Scottie can ride a straight line really well, but struggles on the turns. 

To the left (counterclockwise, opposite trackways), Scottie likes to lock her neck/jaw slightly to the inside and DIVE to the inside on her shoulder.  To the right (clockwise, trackways), she is a little better, but had a massive bulging problem in the last 1/4 of a circle.  ENTER DRESSAGE.

The first thing my new dressage trainer had me do was work on some turning on the forehand exercises so that the hind end and front end start working independently of each other.  The main purpose of this exercise to get the horse moving off your leg reliably.  It is also a good exercise for the rider to start paying attention using CLEAR cues for independent actions. At this point, we are working on just one step, not a complete 180 or 360.  At first, Scottie did not understand what I wanted, but she is getting better.  The reason I like this exercise is because its very easy to include while warming up, in between trotting or cantering work as a break, or even out on a hack/trail. 


It is amazing how difficult making a circle while on horseback can be.  It seems simple.  Turn the horse in the direction you want to go.  I had forgotten how difficult riding a correct circle can be. 

Going to the left is much harder for me than going to the right.  Going to the right was improved pretty quickly by simply solidifying my outside cues (outside rein/leg).  Going to the left is getting better now that I have worked on it a few days, but is MUCH harder.  Scottie really likes to lock that jaw and dive to the inside shoulder, so we can make it about 1/2 way around and then I really have to work on pushing her over with my inside leg, and making sure that I use my inside rein to "bend" her to the inside instead of having her locked to the inside (without dropping my outside rein....and blah blah blah... I could make this the world's longest runon sentance!!)

There is a reason that I am not a dressage trainer/rider.  As you can probably tell from my post, I have a hard time articulating the discipline.  However, the lesson was helpful because when I am on the horse, I can tell when I am doing it correctly, because Scottie really does soften and bend much better.

It will take a while to get her totally supple/bending, mostly due to my bad work schedule and really only consistently being able to ride her 3 days a week.  However, as it is staying lighter later, I am being able to fit in a few workouts during the week. 

Until next time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014



Posting as a courtesy for elderly couple who need help placing.  PM me for contact information.  While her owners want her to find a loving home, they did state that they can no longer care for her, and she will go to auction if a home cannot be found.

Mare is "Missionofthenight" due to foal soon.  Her bloodlines include Danzig!  She broke her maiden in a MSW in an impressive 1:11 for 6 furlongs.  She raced at Evangeline and New Orleans Fairgrounds.  The foal would be eligible to be a registered La bred.

In foal to Smart Sherif (AP Indy horse).  His foals are known locally to be very correct and athletic.


My local contact is getting pictures ASAP.

I posting this on this blog because you just never know who is out there googling thoroughbreds :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Update: April 15, 2014

Scottie and FM got the week off. 

I did this for a week:

And this is what they did for a week:

 FM on the left, Scottie on the right

(YES, it is extremely muddy and gross in their turnout.  It's spring in Louisiana... I don't know what to say!  Can't wait for it to dry out!)

Prior to spring break, I had started cantering Scottie.  I had waited for a long time before cantering her under saddle because 1) she really wasn't fit and I wanted to build some stamina, 2) I wanted her knee to heal a little more, and 3) honestly, I can be a little bit of a chickensh*t. 

The first time I cantered her, I really just kind of cowboy kicked her into it.  She is pretty mellow and just kind of trotted faster and faster until I kicked her.  Once she realized what I wanted, she was totally fine.  She didn't offer to buck or anything goofy.   She couldn't carry herself (and me) around the corners (i.e., short ends of the arena) counterclockwise, but she could balance fine going the way of the track.  She blew her leads a few times, but I wasn't worried too much about leads... Just wanted her going FORWARD.

Over that week, I cantered her just a little bit every time I rode her, and she got to the point that she can carry herself both directions on the correct lead, even if she is a little spastic.  Although she has gotten straighter at a walk and trot, her canter is still a little wonky on the long sides of the arena (i.e., crooked, weird bending outside or inside).  Counterclockwise, she really locks her jaw to the inside at the canter.

The day I left for spring break, I wasn't being clear enough with my cues, and she got crooked on on the corner before the long end and actually swapped her lead.  She then proceeded to crowhop down the entire long side of the arena.  However, after I growled at her and picked her up, she had a LOVELY forward, organized canter in both directions?!?!   Go figure.

I haven't had too much time to work with her this week, but I am starting dressage lessons with her this weekend.  Now that I am comfortable at the green broke walk, trot, canter, circle, pole level, I really want to work on softening her.  She is pretty stiff through the neck and jaw, and doesn't give to the bit at all.  I also want some refreshers on how to utilize my aids to achieve the correct bending and suppleness.

 Here is a picture of Scottie eating grass to insert because I don't have any new pictures to share for this blog and reading a lot of text sucks without pictures.

In general, I do NOT like dressage (prefer jumping!!!!), but I think that a solid foundation in dressage work is essential for any working horse, and since she is right off the track, I will have to be the one to work with her.  Previous horses that I have owned already came with some of the tools in their toolkit.  I am not planning on winning any dressage competitions, but having a soft, long/low, supple, and adjustable horse will make her more functional at any sport, and make her more marketable.  Plus its been a while since I've had a lesson, and my riding will benefit by working through these issues with her.  I really need to try and get some video this weekend.

In other news, mom got me 101 Jumping Exercises (lots of pole work/arena ideas), which I am excited to start incorporating into my rides.

Book available here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Arena Exercises

Every once in a while, it pays off to ride with someone who rides a different discipline.  The majority of the people at my barn ride Western (90%), but there are about 4 of us who ride English.  My friend has a young dun quarter horse that she is running barrels on.  We happened to be riding at the same time last weekend, and she had been researching simple exercises for her barrel horse.  She does a really good idea of researching for ideas online.

Since I am working on similar objectives with Scottie (bending, suppleness, driving from behind), I asked her if I could work through her exercises with her.  It was actually a fun, simple, yet challenging ride.  I will definately use this exercise again.

The concept is simple: 4 ground poles in the arena.  While some of these exercises are meant to be done at a canter/lope, I did them all at a trot (obviously no flying lead changes).  My friend and I also made our circle bigger to make them a little easier.  For being basically a track-broke TB, Scottie did surprisingly well.   My friend did all exercises at a lope.

Although these exercises seem very rudimentary/simple (which they area...), they really did make both the horses and riders think about execution and correctness.  It was an easy way to pass a 35-45 minute ride.  I run out of ideas quickly with a green horse (you can only do so many trot poles and walk-trot transitions), so I am always looking for patterns to work on.   Plus this is an exercise that can be modified/expanded upon as Scottie and I progress.

Follow the link below for 7 exercises to do with only 4 ground poles in the arena.

Seven Exercises with 4 Ground Poles

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Scottie Update: March 2013

I've had Scottie about a month and a half.  She has gained weight, personality, and can now walk (and mostly trot!) a straight line :)  She still needs some weight, but she is getting there.

First some comparison pictures: 
Scottie second weekend: Feb 1st (ish), 2013
March 7, 2013
(white on backlegs is fungus ointment :( )

Scottie continues to be one of the most mellow horses I've encountered.  She has yet to be majorly fazed by anything.  She comes when called, and has excellent ground manners. 

Work over the past 1.5 months have included riding 3-4 times a week, with occasional lunging.  She is in much better shape and continues to be sound and barefoot.  I am hoping to work her more now that the time has changed.  Accomplishments include:

- sensitive and responds well to leg pressure (both directions, turning)
- good walk-trot and trot-walk transitions
- can walk and trot circles, including relatively small circles, without major bulging, as long as I remember to hold my outside leg
- easily and willingly trotting poles and itty bitty crossrails (really cavaletti- sized)
- backs easily
- stands well when tied, learning to stand quietly when mounted
- remains bombproof around normal barnyard choas
- I have ridden her solo down the neighborhood roads (still very close to barn).  She is not afraid of mailboxes, kids with basketballs, or big blue trash cans, and isn't overly herd bound

- willingly rides through ditches, water, different terrains (rock to asphalt to grass, etc)

I have ordered a surcingle and side reins, and will fit them this weekend.  I am not a HUGE fan of over lunging, but she doesn't yield to the bit at all, and I think side reins will get her started on getting used to contact.  I will try those this weekend for a short workout.

In other news her knee is healing well.  The first couple of weeks it looked like this:

and now it looks like this:

So it is getting there!  Taking its time, but no heat, and no soundness issues, but I am also not working her very hard.

The latest battle is the MUD.  Both Scottie and FM have scratches and the general south Louisiana spring leg funk that I am treating with a combination of salves that may or may not be working.  They have been getting turned out in the dirt sacrifice paddock/play pen because the back pasture is just too muddy.  Here are some pics of the TBs playing in the play pen

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Scottie is Bomb-proof.... so far....

So, I am sure there will be the day that will remind me that Scottie is a horse.  She will be afraid of airplanes or parachutes or children or SOMETHING... but so far, this mare has remained unflappable. 

This weekend, someone had a "trail bridge" out in the arena practicing.  I thought I should probably get off the horse and lead her over the first time, but then decided that I'm lazy and just wanted to see what she would do.  First time, put two feet on and stepped off.  Second time, she walked over with all four feet.  Third time, she put all four feet on, and stopped on top as per my directions.  Good girl!

It took me 10 minutes to get my older TB on the last time the bridge was out.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Louisiana Downs Win Photo and Video

Scottie's win photo came in the mail this week!

Scottie only won one race at Louisiana Downs on 9/9/2011.  Louisiana Downs is located in Bossier City, Louisiana.  Luckily, I've been able to find both a win photo and the video.

 Win Photo courtesy of Lou Hodges Photography (contact email:

Louisiana Downs 9/9/2011 Race 6

I found the race on youtube of all places.  Secret: It's a good race, she goes from behind :)

Update: first couple of weeks

The weather this week has sucked big time, so I didn't get to work Scottie has much as I wanted.  Last weekend was nice, however, and we got three days of three rides in.  I've been researching programs to bring a horse back into work, mostly eventing schedules, and they recommend lots and lots of walking and some trotting in the beginning to really build the topline.  So that's what we've been doing.

I want to start taking a conformation shot once a month to view her changes in muscling.  Hopefully will get to that this weekend.  I also need to take some video.

We did two days in the arena and worked on turning, marching with purpose, and some poles to get her lifting her feet.  No problems.  On Sunday, I took her around the property- there are LOTS of things to look at: piles of dirt, ducks, baby goats, dogs running, tractors, 4-wheelers, kids, baby horses, cows, fencing material,,, you get the idea.  Scottie looked at a couple of things, but didn't flinch.

One of my friend's horses spooked so badly under saddle that "separation of horse and rider" occurred and I thought "oh man, here we go..." But Scottie just stood and looked at the spooked horse and was fine.  Good girl.

Yesterday, I ran out of time, so I worked her on the lunge line in big circles over the whole arena.  She wanted to tear around, so we worked on "easy": walking and trotting in a relaxed manner on the lunge, so she knows its not only to roar around on.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Grand Assembly and Stewie Little

As previously mentioned, Scottie was bred after she was abandoned in an effort by the barn's owners to "recoup" some of the cost of "maintaining" Scottie (owners previous to the people I bought her from).  She was not yet 4 when she gave birth to her colt "Grand Assembly."  I am personally not a fan of breeding a horse so young, but I know it is common practice among all breeds/disciplines, not just racing.  But, horse breeding is not my forte, nor do I want it to be, and regardless, Scottie had a baby at 3 years old (almost 4).

Grand Assembly (known as Junior) had to be bottle fed because Scottie didn't have any milk.
Scottie's last owner sent me the photos, and I believe they still own the colt.  He looks just like his momma and has some LONG legs.  I will have to keep my eye out to see when he starts racing.

In other news, Scottie has a half brother (out of the same dam) that is still racing named "Stewie Little".  Apparently he is pretty accomplished and shows a lot of potential.

 Stewie Little:

Scottie's pedigree includes some big names including:
Native Dancer
Mr. Prospector
Bold Ruler

Both Danzig and Alydar are known to produce good sporthorses.  I'm still trying to research her sire's offspring potential.

Scottie's First Week...

Included at least 3 days of ice/snow/sleet. :(  But she survived.

Scottie settled in really well.  I was worried about introducing her to the big "full board" herd in the big pasture, but FM (my senior TB) took care of her and they have become very good friends.  There doesn't seem to be any major issues, since neither FM or Scottie have new cuts (kick/bite marks).

Her knee continues to heal (another blog post on this later).  She has as much hay as she can eat (Bermuda and some alfalfa), and is being fed the barn's grain (Nutrena).  I am giving her a month on free choice hay to see how that diet improves her weight before I start her on supplements and start getting complicated.  I was able to give her a bath today with some excellent fungus shampoo that my vet gave me, and the rainrot is looking better.

Today was the first day that I was really able to work her because of all the snow/sleet in the past week.  I've been handling her every day, grooming, and walking her around the property, even though I haven't been able to ride.

- picks up all four feet to pick hooves
- stands tied
- enjoys being groomed (unlike some OTTBs)
- is not girthy
- takes bit easily
- stands quietly for mounting/dismounting
- bathes/goes on scary washrack with no problem
- so far NOT spooky; fairly unflappable; seems brave/bold
- yields to leg pressure at walk for turn
- lunges in both directions
- large, daisy-clipper trot
- sound (even with knee wound)
- apparently gets leads (lunging)
- trot is very comfortable (we haven't cantered in saddle yet)
- easy to catch

- very unfit/unmuscled; will be slow conditioning process
- unbalanced
- still getting used to the idea of "one" human; she is slowly becoming more personable, but still lacks major bonding ability
- can be BUSY if bored... pawing, fussing, knocking buckets (so far not mouthy)

First Day Work-out:
- lunged at trot both directions for approximately 5-10 minutes (each way)
- tacked up and mounted in arena, walked for 20-30 minutes doing circles, serpentines, figure 8's
- worked on turning with leg pressure, instead of reins

I have asked for some advice on the facebook group "OTTB Connect" as well as the Chronicle of the Horse forums.  I've been guided to some event conditioning schedules (start with lots of walking, slowly add trot, etc), which I am going to take a second look at.  I don't want to start her too fast because she is so unfit.  She isn't really SKINNY (although she could use a few pounds), but she is totally unmuscled.  Also, she is still a baby (only 4), and is apparently sound, I don't want to put too much pressure on her until she is in better shape.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Look at this trot!

While she certainly isn't collected, look at this trot.  This is the trot I am hoping to accomplish while on her back, once she muscles up!  Potential, potential!
She also gets both leads.  I think she will be a great, fairly blank canvas to start with.  She is supposed to arrive tomorrow!

The Backstory

I found "Scottie" from a craigslist post in Lafayette, Louisiana, and is a Louisiana-bred thoroughbred mare.  She is coming 5 years old in May.  She was lightly raced in 2011 (7 starts, 1 win) and supposedly retired sound with no injuries.  Her owners at the time put her on a farm in Tickfaw, Louisiana for some TLC in the winter of 2011, and then abandoned her.  The farm's owner then bred Scottie in an effort to recoup some costs, and was then bought by a Louisiana racehorse breeder near Lafayette, Louisiana.  She was very thin, and had no milk, so the new owners bottle-raised the baby.

Scottie was fooled with by the owner's friend's kids (lunging, some hacking), but mostly has not been messed with.  The current owner realized that this was a very quiet mare, and wanted to find her a home that was going to use her, instead of just breed her.  She is a fancy mover and the owner saw her jump a 5 ft paddock fence (with tucked knees!). 

Enter me, who decided I need another horse (like a hole in the head, but that's another story haha!)  I went to Lafayette, and tried her.  I found her very quiet, comfortable, and brimming with potential.  She is very tall, approximately 16.2 hands.

She definitely needs some TLC, but she isn't in bad shape. She has a large open wound on her knee (which she is sound on) that seems to be healing well, and some rainrot. Luckily the owners have been taking great care of the wound, so it has no proud flesh or infection.  She is not underweight, but is under-muscled and out of shape.  She has good feet and is currently barefoot.  She has excellent manners (stands quietly, no fussing, stands when mounted).

I have owned OTTBs since I was a kid, and have ridden, showed, trained, taught lessons, and worked with horses since I was in 4th grade.  I currently own a FANTASTIC senior OTTB (23 years old, 70 starts, black beauty story).  However, I have never restarted an OTTB from basically scratch.  I am starting this blog to document my journey (mostly for my own benefit), but you never know who will stop by and offer advice.  Along with her training, I will also document wound care, health issues, and other information that comes up in this journey.   Scottie won me over with her demeanor, so it should be interesting to see how this goes.

The pictures attached are the photos that I got from craigslist.  I will update tomorrow when she comes to my boarding barn!  My biggest concern right now is the condition of her knee wound and introducing her to the big full-board herd.