Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Last Training Project

Exciting news! "Tiny" arrived today and settled in just wonderfully! He was a little hot when he first arrived and was pacing back and forth in his stall. But he eventually realized that this was a pretty cool place to live, relaxed a bit and munched on some hay.

He is easy to handle, but a little fidgety. I plan on bringing him into the arena tomorrow and working on some groundwork with him. We need to work on some "personal space" issues he has, as well as giving to pressure and not pulling on the lead. He's too big to be stepping on me and pushing me out of the way with his shoulder. Just because I walk on the bottoms of my feet, doesn't mean he is allowed to walk on the tops!

"Tiny" came with the barn name of "Gus", and we are debating whether we're going to keep it or not. His registered name is "Junaguska" and you can see his pedigree by clicking here: He made 66 starts, had 5 wins and earned $83,077 on the track.

I did get a chance to measure him, and the best I could see is that he is 17 hands and 1/2 inch. Still a big boy, nonetheless! I will keep everyone updated with his progress.

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The last big training project I had was with a Friesian/Morgan cross gelding named "Oliver". "Oliver" was a 16 hand, 4-year-old when he came to live with us. He was sweet and sensible, but had very little training. My goal was to turn him into a fancy hunter pleasure horse, and as you can see below, the plan was quite successful.

Here is Oliver just beginning his training under saddle:

And here he is just a few short months later!

We found Oliver an amazing home with a lady in Massachusetts. He is now a competitor in the dressage arena - a perfect job for this pretty boy!

A special thanks to my student Lianna for working with him and modeling for his photos! She will also be helping us with the new guy! Hopefully "Tiny" turns out just as nicely as Oliver did!


  1. Every time you post photos of another one of your horses, I have the same reaction... wow!!! You have quite the barn. These are very different animals from the kiddie camp horses I rode when I was little. This fellow in particular should be modeling for statues.

  2. I checked out his pedigree- he is 4th generation Seattle Slew. Those are some IMPRESSIVE blood lines. If you ever come up with some free time (I know, we can all laugh together) Yahoo has a retraining TB's group that is VERY helpful. Check it out:

  3. Oh, I had a grey named Oliver back in the day. Both are gorgeous!


  4. Oliver is STUNNING!!!! What a transformation in looks, movement and athleticism from the first pic to the last pics. Awesome job!

    Now I'm anxious to see what Tiny looks like when you're done. I like the name "Gus", it fits him.

  5. Oliver is beautiful! You certainly do a great job with your horses. Not sure if you remember, but you bought "Daenielle" from us. Her new owner has kept us up to date on her and she looks wonderful! Thank you for being so good to our girl.

  6. With the space thing, put a chain over his nose--most TBs on the track are led that way even if it's never used. You'll have it and a quick jerk on the lead will remind him that he IS NOT IN CHARGE. As you said, no one gave him permission to step on your feets. ;o) Once he figures out this is not just another track barn and he's eating lots of hay and losing the last of the "track food" (jet fuel), he'll fit right in. ;o)

  7. You should change it to Tiny, lol.

    Slightly off-topic- I looked up a mare's pedigree on the same page you have for Gus- Can you tell me what these number mean?

    SMART MAIL (USA) F, 1999 DP = 5-1-7-1-0 (14) DI = 2.11 CD = 0.71

    All I know is that she's female (obviously) and foaled 5 Feb 1999 (I got that from the JC pedigree search).

    And how can I find out other info about her? Like winnings?

    Sorry for hijacking, lol.

  8. Oh, a Slew baby! *swoon* They have the best personalities and are so smart - sometimes TOO smart! If he's anything like the other Slew babies I've worked with, you're in for a good time. Every one I've ever known has loved to play games, but they pick up on new concepts very quickly. I'm looking forward to following his progress!


    Oliver is a STUNNING boy!

  9. RandomBucknellian, try this website:


  10. I work with TBs (sales prep and such) so I know a lot about them by now, especially the off the track ones! Don't be surprised if it takes him some time to cool down, especially a successful runner like that too. It might take him a couple months jsut to chill. Also, sometimes they steriod them too (even though they say its not allowed, it goes on in training) so he could have some of that hanging around. If he gets real crazy (at any point) most to all track horses are shoulder rolled, or have been lip chained if they're bad ponies. Just some TB track insight for ya :p He sounds like a good guy, good luck!

  11. OH one more thing, I've never heard of his parents (even his sire lol) But, I do know the Dixieland line, they're normally really sensible and smart horses. They're also great runners. He's a very popular sire and a good one!

  12. Wow...good topside on Tiny. I have seen several in his family at the track. Once the track gets out of his system, he should be fine (and super fun) to work with.

    I love the pictures of Oliver...excellent job...

    When do we get pictures of Tiny

  13. Your new boy and my girl have similar bloodlines. Seattle Slew is Denali's (Storm City Slew) grandsire. She has a great mind and is a hard worker. I got Denali when she was off the track for a day. I gave her about 6 months off with limited work, just lots of ground work and despooking. She's an amazing horse and so loyal and loving. I'm sure Tiny will be the same. OTTB's are my fav!