Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The cast of characters

It has been pointed out to me that this blog is getting confusing with all of the different horses, so I am going to provide a guide today to who's who. Bear in mind these are mostly crappy camera phone pictures, and are not intended to accurately represent how the horse looks!

First off, this is the Very Large Colt (VLC), so named because he had hit 16.2 in the hip by his 3rd birthday. He is still growing but I do think that 16.2 is where he's going to end at - I think the front end is just going to catch up now. He is a three year old AQHA colt. The eventual plan is for him to show as an AQHA working hunter, in two years. We will probably do some schooling shows and maybe he will even get out for some AQHA hunter under saddle in the meantime. I've also considered doing some Buckskin stuff because they do have shows not too far away. He is not currently breeding mares, but does have two foals on the ground this year, from prior to when I owned him. I am very fond of his colt Bullwinkle, who is out of a 16.3 mare, so if you are looking for something that is buckskin and will be huge, e-mail me.

This is the VLC:


And this is his VLC, Bullwinkle:



(So, for those of you who were concerned that I needed to do a "test breeding" with the VLC to see if he was worth keeping a stallion, it's already been done and in my never-humble-opinion, the outcome was good!)


Then there is training project #2, the Small Spotted Gelding (SSG), barn name Ditto. Ditto came into being three years ago when the neighbor's mustang stallion ran through his crappy fence and bred my roommate Josie's yearling filly. You would not think a yearling filly could get pregnant, but some months later it was discovered that was indeed what had happened and Ditto is the result - half mustang, half some kind of PMU draft cross. Ditto has had seven rides so far and is proving to be a naturally quiet personality who should be a great show pony for someone. He is just 13.3 hands.



Also by the VLC's sire, we have the Big Gold Yearling. He was orphaned at 4 days but made up for it quickly. I need to stick him again but I believe he's 15.2 in the hip right now. Josie is doing ground work with him in exchange for training on Ditto, and he is doing very well. I would kind of like to sell him, but am afraid to. He is kind of "for sale to someone I know, and am absolutely sure is not an asshat, with first right of refusal." I have a friend with a tall, leggy 14 year old daughter who really needs to buy him for her future show horse... ;-)
(Yes, it's a baby picture but he was just so freakin' cute...)


Karen V. from the blog brought me training project #3, the Beautiful Thoroughbred Mare (BTM), real name "Honey in the Money." Honey has 10x the energy of either of the boys, but she's already been raced so I don't have to break her from scratch and that's a little easier. Honey is a sweetheart and a pleasure to have around.




My other roommate, Stephanie, owns the Cute Spotted Stallion (CSS), registered name Sonny's Grand Scribble. She is breaking him out. He is also three, and if he were human, would be the guy whose wife has to nag him daily to get off the couch and do something. Western pleasure is going to come very easily to him!



I haven't talked about them prior to this on this blog, but I also have a collection of Useless Old Mares. They are retired broodmares or performance horses. They do not do anything except eat horse cookies, carrots and get lots of neck and wither scritches. The senior member of the collection is Clover, who is approximately 35, eats mush, and bosses everybody else around.



Then we have my 23 year old, Kit. Kit is the poster child for why you shouldn't overfeed your baby halter horses so much. Also for the fact that the entire Obvious Conclusion line, successful through they are, resemble dachshunds in length.




I have two twenty-two year olds. One is a to-die-for cute AQHYA Champion producer named Belle. It is a shame Belle never had a show career herself, as she's adorably cute, but smart enough to have conned several previous owners into believing she was not broke. (Comment from one: "Belle lets you ride her?") Belle is indeed broke (we even won the Trotting Barrels once, ha ha!) but at her age, she is also fairly broke-down so right now I am not making her do anything but eat. She is really good at that.



The other is the recently acquired Crabby Old Bat (COB) which I am sure I will have many stories about. The COB, despite her impressive performance career (points in 9 events) is actually best known for her infamous baby-stealing incident two years ago, detailed on various message boards. She has not adjusted to the fact that her producing years have passed her by, so she decided to steal a newborn from another mare. She literally bullied the other mare away from her foal and took it for herself. As soon as this was discovered, she was taken out of the mare pasture and the baby was returned to its rightful parent. The COB had major hysterics.
She was happy last year as we stuck the BGY with her after his mother died. If anybody in the PNW ever has an orphan, bring it to me. She'll be deliriously happy and she does a damn good job of teaching them manners.



Next, we have the Blind as a Bat mare, aka Sunline, acquired from CBER in a moment of complete idiocy at 3 AM when I still lived in Los Angeles. Sunline is on her last summer, as she is losing the remainder of her sight and is not dealing well with that, but she is turned out with her BFF Kit and doing fine for now. There is a special place in hell for whoever dumped this barely-sighted mare at a dealer's in Yakima. I would loooove to know who that is.


Finally, this is Lucy, the most recent auction rescue. Lucy is here for two more weeks and then is going out to be fostered by Stephanie - thank you, Stephanie! She is sweet and just needs more handling - she's obviously broke but a bit headshy and scared. We have so far accomplished teaching her to eat treats. :-) Lucy will be available for adoption when we have a little better idea of her training level.

So that is the herd. And I wonder why I am so tired all the time...ha ha. Actually, I cannot complain. Both the VLC and the SSG were positively angelic last night, good thing since I was moving horses from pasture to pasture and filling water tubs and somehow did not manage to start riding until 9:15 ...

31 comments:

LolaJ said...

that's quite a herd :)

My herd consists of two and that's more than enough work for me.I don't know how you do it.

Laura Crum said...

Thank you for describing your herd. I had to laugh. Reminds me very much of my herd of eleven, including promising colt, good riding horses, retired favorites and horses I've rescued--all currently doing fine and eating me out of house and home, not to mention taking all my time. By the way, today on http://equestrianink.blogspot.com/ I've put up a post referencing the fugly blog and asking what has been for me the central question when it comes to responsible horse ownership. I'd appreciate all insights.

Huntseatrider said...

What a lovely herd! Cuties.


I had no idea that the VLC would be showing AQHA working hunter and possibly hunter under saddle... maybe I will run into yall at some shows. =]

Huntseatrider said...

VLC:

I was wondering if you could give me your expert on breaking babies advice. I am currently riding a 3 yo appendix (very much like your VLC's personality and trainability, only he is a HBG... huge bay gelding). He walk/trots/canters, turns, but when I go to bring him from a trot to a walk, he automatically stops. I have gotten him to the point where he will walk, but he MUST stop for a split second or he will DIE. I have been saying "whoa", lifting my hands, and adding my leg... he still stops.

And he HATES face pressure of any kind. His headset is naturally straight out in front of him, but he has no give in his face or flexibility in his neck. Help?

MsFoxy said...

Huntseatrider:

In my completely uneducated struggling to train my own girl opinion....I had to teach my horse a verbal walk command to make it easier. I taught her to transition up or down to a walk by saying "walk" while lunging. Because she is SO SENSITIVE to leg pressure or pulling on her face, I have been trying to work her off her old standby verbal commands while we add in the others.

When we are trotting undersaddle, I can tell her to walk and she will drop down to a walk. Once she does that nicely, we start adding in the rein/set/leg cues along with the verbals. If I say Ho, she better stop...not walk. I think your guy is just confused that you are telling him to woah but actually don't want him to. If you are going to use a verbal command, I would create one that means walk and not stop, unless you really want him to stop.

MsFoxy said...

Also, Ms VLC....Glad to see Ms Sunline is still looking good even if she is having problems. And I didn't know you ended up with the old Bat either. I remember her foal stealing story.

Karen V said...

huntseatrider: RE - your boy and his "has to stop or he'll die"

I had the opportunity to sit for a few hours and watch a reining trainer work/train on the difference between "whoa" and "slow".

He taught that "whoa" means throw out the anchor and plant your butt. STOP. When he said "whoa", it was pronounced "Woe?" very low and quiet.

But his lesson for the day was "rate your gait", which means "slow down but keep moving forward.

What he did was a verbalized "hmmm", and slowed his body movement. If the horse slowed too much, he would immediately urge the colt forward with body and calves as necessary. To teach the colt to the point of "getting it", he started at a walk, moved up to a free walk, then "hmmm'ed" to a walk. The colt caught on pretty quickly and he moved on to a jog/trot. It was MUCH more effective at that gait and you could actually SEE the transition from jog to trot to jog.

Too many people pronounce "whoa" as "ho". By making sure your pronunciation is "Whoa?" and "Hmm", the horse learns that those are two different requests and require two different reactions.

Jessica said...

OMG VLC how do you do it, 9 horses by yourself? I hardly have time for my three!

Jessica said...

Oh and I love Buckskins, I have two! Mother and son. Don't tempt me with a third... :o)

qhs said...

I love your horses :) Especially the foal stealing mare. Cracks me up. Question, on the CSS. My mare's registered name is Sonny's Hot and Sassie. Is there Sunny Dee Bar on that side? I don't know a ton about the breeding and genetic's and all the popular fancy stuff. I do have my mare's breeding from allbreedpedigree, but I don't know what 1/2 of it means. We got her for free.

equestrian054 said...

VLC:

Your horses are lovely!

Also, I am moving to Seattle next month and need a hand breaking into the horse world up there. I will be unemployed for a little while (til I find a job at least) and would love to lend you a helping hand, if you need it.

I'd be happy to submit to a background check! LOL!

Josie said...

At some point I will have to blog the remainder of MY herd. I hit double-digits (10) with the arrival of my colt Nigel. They are listed, but not with pictures, on my blog. It's a full house here at the Funny Farm!

Most are PMU "rescues". I use the quotes because the foals were just unhandled -- not manhandled or mishandled -- and I bet lots of people deal with unhandled weanlings. I was lucky enough to have very few health or behavior issues with the foals. The mares were skittish and untrusting but again, not abused or neglected in the classic sense.

I have another local rescue mare (dragged by the neck with a rope until she was unconscious then bucked out when she came to). And one happy appy gelding and some babies!

amarygma said...

I only have one atm, but I help out at the barn mine came from, and if the asshat owner of a mare I leased ever called and tried to dump on me.... well I'm a sucker!

www.horsenoob.blogger.com

ezra_pandora said...

that qhs was me btw. I accidentally logged into my fake troll account. lol

Laura Crum said...

Also, I wanted to say that the most moving post I've read on Fugly was the one about Sunline. I wondered what you'd decided and now I see. Just what I would have done...no matter how much logic dictated the immediate euthanasia. It really sounded like a tough call. One of my horses, a rescue, has some pretty big challenges, and I have had to wonder what I should do from time to time, but so far his quality of life seems good enough to me. And it is hard to put one down that's bright-eyed, not obviously suffering, and a sweetheart (in my own case) to boot.

paintedpony said...
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paintedpony said...
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verylargecolt said...

Yeah, I ended up deciding that Sunline can sit in a nice square pasture with safe fence and no obstacles for the summer...I will put her to sleep in the fall, before she has to deal with gates, stalls, etc. ever again.

ellen said...

Nice bunch -- I have a mob scene myself (22), and I know how much work it is.

I have a would-be foal thief as well -- she gets absolutely fixated on babies (she's had I think 10 of her own) and is very unhappy when she doesn't have one.

The COB may come in very handy for mannering new weanlings -- I've been blessed with two wonderful old retired broodies who did that job for me, both since crossed the Bridge, and they are sorely missed. Somebody needs to teach the little ones some herd manners, and the "professional mamas" are just the ones to do it. They went out with the mares and foals, and stayed with the foals after weaning -- a familiar face, security, and some adult guidance. Priceless.

I am particularly impressed with the VLC's VLC -- yup, I'd say quality of get is covered. That's a dandy baby.

Josie said...

Oh and just to clear things up, unless Stephanie of the Cute Spotted Stallion has forgotten to mention something, she is NOT the Stephanie who will be fostering Lucy!

Darkhorse said...

Hey VLC,
also a fan of you FHOTD blog. Never actually posted a comment, but...yeah. Love your herd. A real bunch of cuties! Sounds like you could use some help though. I could probably get out to your place some this summer if you want. Volunteer stuff, picking stalls, feeding, just helping out in general. Email might not work so well, considering how far you are backed up, but if you want to email me (hightreason@hotmail.com) or call me(425-891-8292)...Yeah. Just let me know. I'm working for Parkside Stables part time right now, I'm 15 and I've ridden for 7 years. Hope to hear from you.

BuckdOff said...

O.M.G. I laughed hysterically at your description of the COB and her baby stealing incident, who knew a mare would ever do that? Not me...Anyway, thanks for describing the cast of characters, it's obvious why you are tired, Yikes...

Redsmom said...

I loved seeing all of your brood. I love the youngsters, but I especially love the oldsters, especially Clover -- she seems like quite a character. Thanks for all you do for them!!

Redsmom said...

Hey QHS, here's my boy's pedigree - maybe our horses are cousins:

http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/breakers+bar+dude

Bluestocking said...

Is the COB's name Buffy?

I loved the baby stealing story.

verylargecolt said...

Yup that is Bad Buffy. :-)

smottical said...

They're all cute as can be. I love reading about the VLC's antics (and lack thereof). I wish I could have a herd of upgrades and rescues, but two liberal arts degrees just aren't going to get me a job that pays that kind of money...so I've got just one. :)

mulelisa said...

Thanks for the update on your UOMs. I 'stumbled' on your old blog and read about them. I knew you'd lost the mare that you'd retired to TN but had wondered about the rest.

Alexis said...

If you don't mind me asking-- what is the VLC's name? You mentioned everyone else's name, but not his. I mean, if you want to maintain anonymity, then that's okay.

Also, the VLC is only three and he's a daddeh? He is such a baby himself!

Dontyouridenofuglyhorse said...

In case anyone wants to know, Cathy has only recently acquired COB from me. COB has some pretty acute arthritis, and I was going to let her have a grass and sun filled summer and then lay her to rest as her pain level is pretty severe in the cold damp winter. She has been semi-retired for 11 years and fully retired for the last 7 years. She has had all the usual treatment for arthritis and it just keeps progressing to the point where nearly every joint in her body is affected.
She is a most difficult personality to even just live with, and medicating her is a real battle, as she truly is a Crabby Old Bat. I fully believe there has never been a more ornery and opinionated horse born. She is tough on other horses, can be a huge drama queen and uncooperative is her middle name. For example, she strikes or kicks and simultaneously bites while being vaccinated or de-wormed, daily oral medication? Forget about it, you may not live through it if you are not too smart, IF you can catch her. Twitch her? HA HA HA! You will never achieve that goal.
Cathy wants to try some magic arthritis potions and well, while COB is a challenge she is highly entertaining in many ways.
So in lieu of me having her PTS this fall, Cathy wants to keep her around to entertain her with her episodic narcolepcy antics and wacky faces she makes when you scratch her belly which is one of the few approved human activities in her mind, the short list also includes: providing snacks in the form of sour patch kids, already chewed gum, potato chips and any other assorted junk food that comes in crinkly sounding paper, and of course providing copious quantites of alfalfa and grain.

Dontyouridenofuglyhorse said...
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