Admiration former Prospect Horse "Admire"
October 1, 2007
Just wanted to check in and update you on my boy since it’s
our 6 month anniversary. He is doing amazingly well. You’ll
remember I wrote you this summer with concerns about his weight,
but he has put on about 250 lbs in the past 6 to 8 weeks. As you’ll
see from the pictures, he’s really filled out in his shoulder,
barrel, flank, and neck. Really the last thing left is his ribcage.
When I brought him back to Columbia from camp, I found a place
to keep him on 24/7 turn out with really good pasture. He’s
on about 1/3 of the food he was getting before (just 1 scoop 2X
day of 12% sweet feed) and has put on all this weight just from
being on all that grass. I think it has also done wonders for his
attitude – I was comparing the pictures of his face to those
on his prospect page and he just seems so much more content. I
had all of his shoes pulled and have been keeping him on pasture
trim – his feet are finally looking decent. He’s even
started to muscle up along his topline. Probably the biggest thing
I have to report though is that this weekend I cleaned his sheath
and he actually let me do it without sedation. I had one of my
students hold him while he grazed and I did the cleaning… not
one protest from him. This from the horse that six months ago wouldn’t
let me near him with so much as a dandy brush without lifting his
rear leg in protest!
So, that’s the state of his body and mind. His training
is going incredibly as well. Every time I ride I am more impressed
with how athletic and game he is. He currently goes in a standing
martingale and a 3-ring elevator French link snaffle, but I think
we will be able to trade down in the near future as he becomes
more educated in his mouth.
He is becoming really supple at the
trot, and has great moments at the canter, although the transitions
are still rough. I think he just needs some more muscling and a
couple more chiropractic visits to make the upward transition work;
at least now he actually tries to do it correctly rather than just
jumping out from under me at a run, though.
We started jumping
about three weeks ago with just the logs and train ties on the
mini cross country course out here, and he’s picking it up
like gangbusters! After two rides we graduated to the next “level” on
the graduated x-country jumps, and after about 4 rides we were
jumping obstacles in the ring. Last weekend I put him over the
coop and the brush box for the first time. When I first got him
I worked him over small crossrails in the training field at my
old barn, and he was very unsure about what to do with his feet,
back and front. Since we took a break this summer and came back
to jumping, he has eaten it up. Never have I had one refusal, and
he genuinely seems to love when I allow him to open up and jump
out of a bigger stride on the cross country course. He still listens
so well though, and I have not had one bit of silliness from him
about any of it! He even jumps up banks now. He has begun finding
his distances as well – he almost always jumps out of stride.
Horses are pastured in the field with the cross country jumps and
yesterday was the first time the herd was hanging out up by where
we were working… he just jumped around and didn’t
even mind them. In fact, I think he was showing off a bit. It makes
me wonder why he was never made into a steeplechase horse! You’re
always saying that TB’s are the athletes of the equine world,
and I will fully agree… Huey is under-muscled and out of
shape right now, and he still just wants to run and (over)jump
all day long – check out the brushbox pic where he almost
left me behind!
I still check the site almost daily… I can’t believe
all the wonderful work you and Barry continue to do. Congrats on
finding a home for Heather!! That’s so exciting! My best
to you both!
June 29, 2007
Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for the advice about
Huey’s weight gain issues. He’s starting to put on
some more weight; he’s still a little ribby but he’s
looking thicker through the barrel. I added flax to his feed and
have just been making sure he always has good quality hay in front
of him in a net. He’s really a grazer and I think he was
wasting a lot of his hay by chopping it up into his bedding at
the place we were before. He’s starting to put on weight,
and he’s getting along really well with his pasturemates;
his socialization issues are almost non-existent now. He still
loves to play though and always has his nose in everything!
I’ve started riding him again now that he doesn’t
always have a new little injury from the field, and he’s
doing pretty well. His big problem is that he gets above the bit
and stiffens in the neck, so we’re doing a lot of circles
and turns, asking for relaxation in the neck while striding forward.
I upped his bit to a double jointed happy mouth elevator, and I
think he needed that. I hate to go beyond a regular snaffle, but
with six years of racing I think he just didn’t even really
know the double jointed loose-ring I had on him was even there.
I’ve also been riding him in a standing martingale, which
I think helps the evasion issue. We actually had some giving through
the back yesterday when I rode! It was our first time schooling
in the new ring, and our first time schooling ever with other horses,
so he handled it all like a pro.
His attitude is so trusting now that he is learning to live like
a sporthorse instead of a racehorse. The kids here just love him – we
give him baths as part of our barn lessons, and I tell them about
how he came off the racetrack. They are so excited to learn about
what his life there was like and see the tattoo in his lip. He
just lets them fawn over him like I would never have believed possible
just three months ago. That’s about all from here. I am trying
to get some pictures of him playing with the welsh pony who looks
like his twin – chestnut with four high socks and a blaze.
They both think they are stud muffins and it’s hilarious
to watch them together.
April 6, 2007
Admiration and Whitney Evans with their first trot. March 2007
I pulled Admiration’s race records and had a chuckle when
I saw Big Banker and Sportscaster’s names in the winning
lineups. It’s like a big family!
Huey is doing really well;
he’s starting to enjoy work and he’s balancing much
better now. We’ve worked out to 10m circles on the longe
and I am planning on trying side reins on him asap – I think
he’s ready now to let them help his balance rather than freaking
out about them.
I say asap because he’s got another paddock
got kicked in the hock yesterday and is swollen back there. He’s
not lame on it, just swollen with no heat. The swelling had already
started to move down his legs by the time he was pulled in from
the paddock for evening feed, and so I don’t think it’s
going to be a real problem. I just wish he would quit provoking
the other horses.It’s so funny to watch him – he
just jabs them with his nose until they react and then Huey squeals
and they chase each other around. The pecking order is clearly
established and nobody is really beating up on anyone. Huey just
likes to play and doesn’t seem to realize that he hurts
himself and sometimes others. I guess he’s just making
up for lost turnout playtime.
March 26, 2007
Since I have a 20 page paper due tomorrow, I thought now would
be a good
time to finally sit down and write you about how Admiration is
(nothing like a little healthy procrastination...).
First, he arrived
1AM in the morning after a long trailer ride from Pennsylvania.
was awesome. I used Kevin Kargus (www.kargushorsetransport.com)
brought my horse down in grand style - a HUGE box stall for my
Speaking of "Huge," that was his barn name at first.
It's now morphed into
"Huey" and it makes me laugh every time he answers to "Baby
has been so impressed with this horse. I had all of the relevant
to see him in the first week - farrier, dentist, chiropractor.
like a champ for all of them. No sedatives needed to have his teeth
When the chiropractor was adjusting him he even bit down on the
instead of biting out at her or my hand! He has one of the wisest
have ever seen on a horse, and his attitude is so tolerant.
tolerant of my handling at first, but I think he was used to
a bit of rough
treatment and was defensive. Every day he gets better and better
grooming - I think he actually enjoys it now. He's a trip to
watch out in
the pasture. He is turned out with three geldings. There's a
mare over the
fence though and all of us are wondering how old he was when
gelded... he gets very cresty out there! His favorite thing to
do is walk
around on his hind legs. Everytime I look out there he's stirring
We're having some problems with longeing, but I think those stem
uncertain balance more than anything else. He really doesn't like
so I longe him without one (he has no problem at all with my rubbing
over with it, just with my holding it while working with him).
He has a
tendency to cut in on one half of the circle. At first I thought
charging me, but watching his eye and his attitude, I really don't
it's malicious - just that he gets super nervous about his unsure
through the turns. The more I learn about his personality, the
more I think
that's the right analysis as well, because he is definitely a perfectionist.
He would rather not do something at all than do it incorrectly.
it back to very small circles (like so small that I'm standing
right next to
his flank and nudging him to ask for the walk) and just working
transitions and gradually making the circle a little larger. He
wound up almost immediately if I go to a big circle that I think
to the walk and getting those brakes is the first objective. Any
I've ridden him about five or six times now; I had a lesson on
him today with my
trainer. He's a little stiff in his hocks in the ring, but after
I had him up in the field and he loosened right up, so we're going
on that. Today we worked mostly on suppling and awareness of leg.
very bright about giving through his neck and his downward transitions
amazing - so sensitive to the seat! He's a little less quick with
sides, but I think that just comes down to confusion. My trainer
beside me and used the butt-end of a crop to poke him as I halted
to get his
back end to move over. By the end of the lesson we were using the
just a half halt and getting sideways movement, so I think he'll
up in time. He's just not really understanding the "why" right
now, but as
soon as he does I think he'll really take off.
I think so because of the jumping aspect of our training. The
second time I
rode him we started popping over crossrails. On our first ride
we worked on
poles, which he accepted like a champ. The second ride I started
longe/leadline session to work on manners (he tends to lean on
me and to try
to lead me instead of being led) and so I decided to see if he
me over a little X. Since he did that like a pro, I stopped and
got on. At
the end of our ride, I decided to try trotting over the X. He ate
On our next ride he started to get excited every time it looked
might be heading in the direction of the X. He's still trying
to figure out
what to do with his back feet, but his front is beautifully square.
doesn't make an eventor, he'll definitely be a field hunter with
rhythm and that great jump! We're just working on lines with
small X's and
placing poles right now, trotting the line and then stopping,
trotting it in the opposite direction. He's almost like clockwork
He comes up underneath and waits on my commands very well. He
especially shines when my trainer's mare is turned out in her pasture
that is right
next to the jumps. What a showoff! He certainly has presence.
This weekend one of the other girls at the barn and I are going
to try hacking
him out... I'll let you know how it goes :-)
These are some pictures from the night he arrived and from my
(I'll send you better ones when I get them). Thanks so much for
a beautiful horse!
I can't say enough how much of a wonderful thing that you do.
All of the
horses that have come through you have been real treasures and
made me more convinced that there is a Thoroughbred out there for
I can't wait to be a repeat customer :-)
My best to both you and
hope to head your way soon with one of my students.
Click here to see Admiration's Prospect Horse For Sale photos.
"Admire" was the name of Admiration
when he was listed as a Prospect Horse.