Weatherford aka "Roo" aka "Sully"
July 23, 2008 - Weatherford has a new name and a new mom!
Sorry it has taken so long for me to get back with you. I have
been spending night and day at the farm with Sullivan, Sully for
short, aka. Weatherford. Yeah, I changed his name. Weatherford
was a mouthful! All I can say is, he is great and doing great!
He is all and more than what you and Julie said. Sully is a perfect
match and everything that I have wanted.
The first day he arrived at the farm, he had myself
and others worried when he came off the trailer. Sully introduced
himself with snorting, kicking, and very pushy. I guess if I had
traveled five hours in a metal box, I would come out a little excited
as well. One particular owner was very concerned about her Hanoverian
that Sully was going to be sharing a pasture with. My little
guy could literally fit inside of Proffitt! Once I introduced
him to his new pasture, he quietly settled down to eating grass.
A couple days later, Sully was introduced to one of his pasture
mates, Cody, a draft horse and Proffitt. All three sniffed
each other, were unimpressed, then started grazing.
is amazed at how quiet he is and only being five years old.
I have been hacking mostly in the riding ring, but did venture
out and let him explore part of the woods. If he does startle
at something, Sully just stops, looks at it, then continues
on. Right now, I think Sully is having an identity crisis,
he can't decide whether or not he wants to be a gray or a
roan. Hopefully, now that he is on night turn-out, he will become
a gray again. No matter what, he is beautiful and everyone
loves him! Please let me know if you have problems with any
of the pictures.
Thank you again for all your assistance. I tell everyone
about you and 'Bits & Bytes Farm'.
By the way, I chose 'Trailhead Trucking' from the bids that came
in on the transport and this couple, Donna and Bob Barrett,
was awesome! Very patient (not that they needed to be) and very
professional. I would highly recommend them. They are from Wyoming.
Faughn Crockett Sharp
has a second mom after leaving racing to become a sport horse. July
July 7, 2008 - Weatherford has a New Mom!
Congratulations to Faughn Crockett Sharp of Virginia Beach, VA
on the purchase of Weatherford! Julie Buddemeyer sold Weatherford when she purchased Irish Morning Mist.
Just a quick note to let you know that Weatherford arrived at his
new home and is doing GREAT! He is awesome! My son is coming
down to the stables this afternoon and will take some pictures.
I will write the whole story on him for your "update" web
page. He is awesome! Thanks for all you have done! It is a perfect
Faughn Crockett Sharp
June 12, 2008 - Weatherford is sadly offered For Sale
Sadly, I have to offer Roo for sale. My board keeps going up
and while I can afford the board on 2 horses, if ever I need to
employ the services of a vet, I could be in trouble and with 2
horses that is just an impending reality. My trainer has been working
quite a bit with Roo and adores him. He is very quiet, responsive
and willing. She has been doing grid work with him and lots of
cantering. His backend is still weak compared to the rest of him,
so cantering is still his weakest gate. He is such a good boy,
I have really been dragging my feet on selling him, but since this
last board increase, I know I have to let him go. He is suitable
for all disciplines, and would be fine for an advanced beginner
working with a trainer. The only reason I don’t say beginner
is because he does have a soft mouth and I would hate for that
to be ruined by someone yanking on him, etc…He is definitely
not a “run off with you” horse and is great on trails
too. I have attached some recent pics of him and you can see is
making progress coming on to the bit and getting round. The pictures
don’t do him justice, he is drop dead gorgeous right now,
all shiny and dappled out. He is also very reasonably priced, but
I am going to picky about who gets him, I want someone who will
keep him in regular work and love him as much as I do. Let me know
if you know of someone and you can definitely list him on the site
Thanks for everything Elizabeth! I will send pictures of Irish
Elizabeth's Note: We will always help find a new home for any
horse that we have placed. Julie bought Irish
Morning Mist when
Megan could not keep him and keep up with her school work. Faughn
bought Weatherford from Julie when the horse she was hoping to
purchase (Barbo) was sold before she could arrange to meet him.
Faughn wanted a grey horse and Julie needed to find a good home
for her grey horse - Voila! a perfect match and we ended up with
three buyers getting what they wanted and two horses finding wonderful
October 30, 2007
I just wanted to send you an update on Roo’s progress. He
is doing great, we do a lot of work on the lunge line with side
reins to help build that top line and encourage him to give to
the bit. We also do sloping hill trots to strengthen that back
He has proven himself very sensible on trail rides and even
walked right through a large puddle after I walked through it first
to show him it wouldn’t swallow him. Now, after it rains,
I always walk or trot him through any puddles in the arena (which
he does easily!) to make stream crossings or water jumps manageable
when we start tackling them.
He is giving more to the bit and starting
to flex at the pole and his trot is coming along nicely. The left
lead canter has also improved, although we haven’t started
any collected cantering yet. The right lead has also improved…some.
He is still very unbalanced and extremely strong going right. We
have gotten to the point where I can get him to canter past the
gate (huge struggle on the right lead). Luckily, our arena has
two gates on either side, so I take him in one gate and out the
other, just to confuse him, so he really doesn’t know which
gate to associate with coming or going. That has been working,
but my back up plan is to put two jump standards that he always
spooks at (they are very reflective) in front of the gate. I figure
he will either stop running to the gate or stop being afraid of
the standards, so either way is a win for me. Once he is more balanced
on the right lead, he will be more controlled like he is on the
left. We do quite a bit of lunging on the right lead so he can
work on finding that balance without me on him.
The most exciting thing we’ve done, however, is free jumping!
He was such a sport. We’ve been over cross rails and some
small verticals together, but nothing substantial, just enough
to make him pick his feet up. I have been pleased thus far because
he has not been “over-jumping” the jumps. If he can
trot over it he will and he doesn’t jump 2’ like its
4’. So I like that he isn’t nervous, just unsure. So
we decided to put up a chute and see what he has.
do anything crazy, probably 3’6” was the highest we
went. We didn’t want to frighten him with it, just wanted
to let him find his balance over fences on his own. He did fabulous,
didn’t refuse a single fence no matter the height, didn’t
even think about running out, we didn’t even have to crack
the whip! I got him trotting in the general direction, released
him and off he went! After going through the chute, he would just
run to the gate (admittedly that was nice in this instance) and
wait for me to give him his treat and catch him again. The first
fence he was almost always off center and side ways going over
it, but the second fence he always corrected himself, found his
distance and went over it dead center. I couldn’t really
see him from the side (only behind) but my trainer said he gets
his knees up nicely. I think he only knocked over two rails the
entire time and one he just dropped a back toe.
I can tell he is
still a bit unsure about jumping, but he is completely willing
and I think once we build his confidence and its not so new, he
will excel at it. My trainer was very pleased and impressed, especially
with his attitude. Sorry, I didn’t mean for this to be a
book, but its been a while since I’ve written! Hope all is
well with you, I’ve attached some pictures, we finally bought
August 17, 2007
Just wanted to update you on Roo, no pictures yet,
I need to steal the camera from work for a weekend! Roo did his
first real jump last week, I was so proud of him.
My trainer set
up a small cross rail at the end of some trot poles, and he just
quietly trotted over the cross rails. Then we set up a little vertical,
which he completely ran through the first time. He knocked all
the poles over, but he went THROUGH. He didn’t stop, he didn’t
duck to either side, just went straight on through. I was very
pleased. The second time around he soared over the jump! He wasn’t
going to let his little tootsies touch a second time.
I have another
lesson tonight, so I’m anxious to see how it goes, everything
he does is great, he tries so hard. My trainer thinks we have made
great progress. He is picking up correct leads at the canter, is
getting a tad smoother to the right, is keeping his neck straight
now, and accepting the bit better. And yes, to contradict those
who believe all ex-racers are hot, I need to wear spurs with my
To my disappointment however, he is not picking up much weight.
I have him getting a scoop of Buckeye Trifecta grain 2x a day,
plus ¼ scoop of Gro’N Win and shredded beet pulp 2x
a day. Any ideas, suggestions? Thanks for your help! I hope to
have pics soon!
Elizabeth's Note: When we get a new horse into
the farm the first thing we do is worm him and get his teeth looked
at by the dentist. We always assume the horse has worms. Work with
your vet to determine the best way to clean the worms out of your
July 16, 2007
I wanted to update you on my first ride with Roo! It went great!
He stood stock still at the mounting block (my work had paid off!)
and didn’t even budge once I was mounted. Even my trainer
was impressed. He was great in the lesson too. Not bothered by
any of the jump standards, very amicable through the whole lesson,
I don’t think he pinned his ears once.
We just walked and
trotted and even got him to step over a ground pole (after some
convincing). He definitely needs work to the right (to be expected!)
and will need a drop nose band to start as he is playing with the
bit and getting his tongue over it sometimes. There is nothing
about him that is “hot”, he is simply a green, but
very willing horse. I will try and get some pictures of our next
ride together. He actually comes to me in the pasture and loves
attention. He truly is an oversized puppy dog.
Elizabeth's Training Note:
I am happy and not surprised at Julie's first ride. The best jumpers I have
ever had have refused to walk over a rail on the ground! That means they
care where their feet are and they are careful. Try a drop nose band or a
figure eight which holds the jaw closed. I had to use a hackamore on one
horse until he got over the fear of the bit. The most important thing to
remember is never to scare the horse. If he is not doing what you want, you
may not be communicating clearly what you want.
Julie's answer to Elizabeth's
I hope that proves to be true with Roo! He wants to please so
much, I think he will be great. That’s not the whole story
of the ground poles….
I didn’t write to you about it
before, because I didn’t think much of it. But, it might
help someone else with a similar problem, so I will fill you in.
Before I started him under saddle I was hand grazing him in the
area around the arena just to spend some time with him. There is
a jump with some poles on the ground out in the grass, so I thought
I would take him over there and walk over the ground poles, just
with a lead rope and halter. I didn’t think this was going
to be a fiasco. He would not budge once we got to the poles, even
after sniffing and investigating.
I thought “shoot, this
is our first real ‘test of wills’ and I certainly don’t
want to lose the first time.” So, I went and got a lunge
whip thinking maybe he just needed a little more encouragement.
No luck, although I did succeed it getting him to walk and trot
circles around me in BOTH directions (the right is always an accomplishment).
So I took a different approach…We started walking up to
the poles, as soon as he stopped, I would keep encouraging a little
more. Every time he took a step forward, I let him graze, just
a couple of bites. Eventually we were right in front of the ground
pole. Then I would only let him graze if his head was over the
pole. He obliged quite willingly to that. While he was grazing
over the pole, I simply picked up a front foot and put it over
the pole. He brought the second one over himself and then his back
end. After that, we stepped over the pole no problem! We kept walking
over it until there was no hesitation. Success!
Now to under saddle….We
set up the scenario so there was a pole perpendicular to the fence
and then a second pole touching the first pole, but parallel to
the fence to create an open-ended box. We figured by doing this,
his only way out was to back out, if he tried ducking to the side,
he would still be stepping over a pole. He again stopped in front
of the pole, and we did get him to step over it once, but he wouldn’t
a second time. So, I got off and led him across, just as we had
done in the grass. I did this several times to reinforce the concept,
then got back on. From there, my trainer led him across with me
mounted. We did that a couple of times and then she gave me back
the reins and “acted” as
though she was leading us over the poles by walking over with us.
After that we were able to do it on our own with no hesitation.
Throughout the whole process he was never fussy or mean or did
anything more than back up, away from the pole. Once he realized
what we wanted him to do, and that is was “ok,” he
was more than happy to do it.
Anyways, maybe that will help someone
on the site if they are having a similar problem. I
am finding that there isn’t anything
he won’t do or refuses to do, it is just a matter of teaching
him what you want him to do in a non-threatening way. I want everything
to be a positive experience for him and am thinking of ways to
gently outwit him into doing something, than trying to force him
to do something.
Elizabeth's Training Note:
Job well done! I will add this to the Training
Notes from Elizabeth page with a credit to Julie.
July 13, 2007
Tonight will be my first ride on Roo! We started work this week
on standing at the mounting block. I had limited success earlier
in the week, but it was mostly my fault because I was not doing
a very good job of conveying to Roo what I actually wanted from
him. He did the classic stand perfect until I actually step on
the mounting block and then swing the back end away so he’s
facing me. Last night I got smart about it and took a jump standard
to make an “aisle” between the mounting block and jump
standard. This prevented him from swinging his hind end around.
The “aisle” kept getting smaller and smaller as soon
as I was sure he was “ok” with walking between the
two pieces of equipment. By the end of the evening he was standing
perfectly by the mounting block while I was scratching and leaning
on him from the top step. I will let you know how this evening
goes. Everyone at the barn loves him and calls him my “cute
July 9, 2007
Well, so much for running around like a crazy horse after being
turned out for the first time! We turned Roo out for the first
time on Friday and a little crowd had gathered for the imminent
show. They were all sadly disappointed.
Roo quietly walked around
the paddock, sniffed here and there, maybe broke out two trot strides
and then started eating his hay! It was as if to say “there’s
nothing to see here folks!” It was so funny, people were
even whistling and clicking at him to try and get him to trot around,
not him. Just a nice, quiet, investigative walk. I had to laugh.
Its no wonder he didn’t do well as a racehorse, he’s
just so laid back!
I plan on getting on him for the first time
either Friday or Saturday, the only reason I’m not doing
it sooner is because I know the bridle I have is not going to come
close to fitting him, so I need to get him his very own. Do you
have any suggestions on bits? I have no idea what they use at the
track. Do you think a single jointed or double jointed snaffle
would be best?
Elizabeth's Training Note:
We like to us a French link snaffle with a loose ring. Just make
sure the ring does not pinch the horse's lips. We also use full
cheek happy mouths with a roller in the center. A regular snaffle
can be harsh if you pop him in the mouth. It "nutcrackers" the
jaw and forces the joint into his palette. Many Thoroughbreds have
a shallow palette so the French link is good choice. I like the
ones that have a bit of a curve to the two sides of the bit.
At the track they mostly use a D ring snaffle. I find fussy horses
like copper rollers, full cheeks and French link bits. Click
to link to a good resource site for tack
and bits. See our Links page for more Thoroughbred resources.
July 6, 2007
Good Morning Elizabeth!
I have attached a picture of Roo, its not great, but the lighting
wasn’t cooperating and he was fairly interested in his feed
bucket this morning. I lucked out and my farrier is able to shoe
him today, so I’m excited for him to get his racing plates
off and start feeling good. We had fun with the bug spray this
morning, he was unsure, so I brought him into a paddock to hand
graze him and started by rubbing the bottle all over him, and every
once in a while I would spray him and then pretend like nothing
happened and keep rubbing him with the bottle. He got used to it
SOLD! Congratulations to Julie Buddemeyer of Frederick, MD.
Weatherford was a Prospect Horse For Sale in June
Click here to see his Prospect Horse For Sale photos.