Friday, October 3, 2014

Another 4 Year Old - Cruiser

Current Training Projects - Finally - One for Terrence! Introducing Cruiser 

Our sixteen year old son Terrence is a hard working member of the horse team around here. Of late, he is a horseless hard working member of the horse team.  Terrence has been using hours and hours of his time helping train and care for the horses here owned by the rest of us! Like all members of the family; he is expected to buck hay, fix fences, clean pens, and in general pitch in with all duties. He even trims most of the hooves here, (which is suddenly getting to be quite a few hooves!). If any kid has ever done enough to earn the privilege of owning some "maintenance on four legs" of their own here's one (of course all of our kids work hard but Terrence undoubtedly puts in more hours on other peoples horses than anyone else!). Terrence has had the opportunity to work with a bunch of horses over the last two years in particular. As he has had exposure to all of these horses and gained experience he also developed a pretty good idea of just what kind of horse he was looking for. So how blessed is our family that exactly the perfect horse for Terrence just happens to become available this summer?

Terrence showing Cruiser's vertical flexion off!

This horse came from the same ranch as Hugo and is also registered half Arabian, although unlike Hugo (who is half POA) Cruiser's non Arab half is AQHA.  The previous owners had run an endurance horse breeding ranch for many years but this summer were getting out of the horse business and putting their range to other use. Therefor they had quite a few horses to re-home in a short time period. This horse was a bit of an awkward case to place as he had not been gelded when he was younger so now he was a virtually untrained four year old half Arabian stallion. (So not an ideal prospect for many people!) Since this horse still needed to be gelded he was living with their other ranch stallions which means he was familiar with being picketed on a long line as their stallions spend a lot of time out on stakes. That was however, the only thing he was really familiar with! Upon arrival here Terrence scheduled to have him gelded, began training immediately and struggled to find a good name as he was NOT going to call him the name that he was going by when we picked him up (Hottie). Imagine that! What guy wouldn't want to introduce his horse as Hottie? (Presumably the nickname was derived from his registered name Hot Buttered Rum.) Terrence settled on the name Cruiser and had the horse gelded July 3. He was barely phased by the operation and Terrence was able to continue his training uninterrupted, putting his first ride on him on July 4th. Cruiser has finally started to realize he is not a stud horse anymore so we will be able to integrate him into the mixed pasture herd now. So far he has been in a gelding only group but we hope to be able to put most of the herd together on the bigger pasture for winter. Terrence has been working consistently with him and has done all of his training (with coaching and advice from Dad always available!).  As a half Arabian Cruiser has some physical traits (that extended trot!) of Arabs but he definitely didn't get the reactive streak that Hugo has. He is actually one of those 'in the middle' horses that everyone would love; calm and not over reactive but very willing to go.  He is also rather nicely put together and quite athletic, and according to Terrence, easy to teach.  Currently Terrence has Cruiser through the fundamental and intermediate levels and is now refining intermediate exercises in preparation for moving on to advanced. He is also devoting some of Cruiser's training sessions to preparing him for trick riding. Because who doesn't want to do headstands on top of a loping horse?

I finally got my camera back from the shop so I should be getting some more current photos up on here soon!
Next post on our current training projects will be Ted's new horse, a beautiful foundation bred AQHA bay stallion, Cowboy. Next post after that - my ride for this winter! I am so excited to have M.J. here!!!

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