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.