Christian's Hope aka
Bobby is For Sale! September 16, 2007
September 16, 2007
Bobby went to his very first show this weekend! I
am sure John will send you pictures and his own
update, but I wanted
to give you mine as well.
We entered Bobby in Intro Test
A. I only entered him in one walk trot test, because I did
not want things to be stressful his first time out. I got
on him about 45 min early and like all young horses he found plenty
to look at. I gave him a minute to let his brain settle and
then I began to require his undivided attention. I was amazed
when he gave it to me. He warmed up beautifully.
at the schooling shows, I find the warm up area to be a very frightening
place for young horses. It is littered with kids darting
to a fro with no plan or attention to others in the area. So,
I choose to warm him up in an area where is was just us and
another horse. This meant it was on uneven ground which
made it a bit more difficult, but he was great.
I ride a lot of young inexperienced horses so I knew that just
because he was great in warm up did not mean he would be great
in the ring. As
soon as the person in front of us did her final halt we began
trotting around the ring. The judges stand was a truck, which
of course was a horse eating truck. I just kept him at that
end and went past it as many times as I could before the judge
blew the whistle. I then made my turn to trot down the centerline.
He immediately spooked at the letter A.
He then went in and
was a little super star. He listened to all of my aids!!! He
did round circles!!! He made the transitions when I asked
for them instead of at his will. He kept his his frame steady,
although he could have been looser in his back and stretched his
neck out more. He even halted straight and remained immobile
long enough for me to salute. All together he was great. I
did not care what place he was in I just wanted to see what the
judge said about him. So I was very anxious to see his dressage
I was thrilled when I saw on the score board that he
had won his test with a 65%. There were seven other
horses in his group and I watched a lot of them go. They
all appeared to be well schooled horses who have done this for
a while, which made me even more proud of Bobby. When I
read his test the judges comments matched what I felt. The
best part was that he got an 8 on his final
an eye out this guy is going be around and doing well.
And John's Update:
It has been awhile since we sent you an update on Bobby, and after this past
weekend, I have some exciting news to report. Since we have been concentrating
on Bobby's flat work in the last month or so, we entered him in the dressage-only
component of a schooling show at Big Bear Farm in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
please to report that he was splendid in the dressage ring, and finished
1st out of eight horses competing in his class! I am attaching
a photo of Ashley riding him in the test. (Note that his tail has
gotten longer !)
He has done so well that we have decided he is ready to be put
on the market as a horse in training, so he is officially for
sale. Although he has the jumping basics down, we will now
be working on refining his skills over fences. Ashley reports
that Bobby has a lot of scope, very powerful hindquarters,
and doesn't like to touch anything when he jumps.
Becky's description of him as having a lot of personality has
certainly proven to be true -- he is the personality kid around
our barn, and makes us laugh almost every day. We think he
will make a great young rider's horse or a very nice horse
for a smaller adult.
We will have a video of Bobby posted shortly on
his page on our SummerWind
Farm Web site.
Prospective purchasers may contact us about Bobby at
We'll keep you posted on Bobby's progress and the results of
All the best,
April 6, 2007
Christian's Hope learns to jump with his
I finally got a decent photo of Bobby jumping. (I'm having difficulty shooting
the "point of takeoff" ; perhaps you should include some photography
tips in your training tips !)
Elizabeth's Photography Tip: Buy
a fast camera. Check the shutter speed of a camera before buying.
I shoot with a true SLR Canon camera. A great Web site to learn
about digital cameras is:
Ashley reports that Bobby has tremendous power
in his hindquarters, and will likely be happy to jump anything he is put at
once he learns the basics. He's getting there quickly.
Bobby continues to do well and has become an established member
of our "herd" --
his best buddy is our old schoolmaster, 17 year old Chase, my first horse. Ashley
plans to take him off the farm for an overnight soon, in simulation of going
to an eventing trial. We hope to have him in his first competition in early fall.
I'll keep you posted.
Elizabeth's Note: Notice Bobby's form even when
he is learning to jump. Thoroughbreds are the athletes of the equine
world. They can do anything if you take the time to teach
them carefully. Do not rush their training. Ashley and
John are taking the time to train Bobby and are not in a hurry
to show him. Taking him off-the-farm several times before
actually going to a show will teach Bobby that he is not "off to
the races" just because he is getting into a trailer. Watch for
great success with this horse and get on the waiting list to purchase
him as John and Ashley's goal is to retrain Thoroughbreds for eventing
and find them good homes. We look forward to helping them find
March 16, 2007
Hi Elizabeth -- I finally broke down and bought a digital camera, so thought I'd send you a couple of photos of Bobby that I took with it.
He continues to do well. Ashley is working with him almost every day, and he is doing a little beginning jumping. We had a horse chiropractor in to see him, and she felt he would need only one treatment. He seems to be moving a little more freely since then. I don't think he has any soreness at all now.
Hope all is well with you all.
February 27, 2007
Christian's Hope now at his new home at
Summer Wind Farm in Newnan, Georgia.
I know you and John have been corresponding about Bobby's progress, but I thought I would let you know a little bit about how he is doing. I know when you and John talked he told you that he was back sore. It was more like whole body sore. I figure this was probably due to the fact that he was used to such a tight work out schedule and he had not been worked for a month or two when we got him. We have been giving him warm baths and I have been working him on a regular basis. I think the work has been most beneficial and I think he is really starting to feel good.
I have been working him on the lunge line with side reigns so that he could learn how to stretch into the contact. I have also been riding him on a regular basis. I find it easier to do most things on the horses back, than on the ground. That is just kind of my way, I think everybody has to figure out what works for them. I have been working on just the basic stuff with him. He is learning to go straight and stretch through his neck and back. As this process has been taking place I have noticed a large improvement in his movement. I have mostly worked him at the trot because I find these basics to be one of the hardest things to teach, but crucial to any horses training. I think once he gets these things down he will move along pretty quickly.
Like any horse some days are better than ever, but he seems really eager to learn. The other day we had a great day so i decided to trot him over a x-rail. He zigged and zagged into it, but he went ahead and went over it. It was really low, but he was still unsure of how to get all four legs on the other side with out hitting. He hit it with his hind leg and got a little bit nervous. I was very pleased when we re approached the fence and he trotted straighter to it and really used himself over it. I think he is going to be a very scopey jumper.
We do a little bit of cantering, and it always makes me laugh that he picks up the right lead easily and has trouble with the left. He is actually better at the trot to the right as well. I figure this is because he it stiff on his right jaw and shoulder going both ways and I am just better at softening a horse on the inside than the outside.
One of my favorite things is his personality. He has a little bit of white around the outside of his eye so at first I thought he might be a little bit flighty. However he is actually a teddy bear. He loves to lay his head over my shoulder and put the entire weight of his head and neck on my shoulder and close his eyes while I stroke his head and hug and kiss him. I also was so thrilled the first time a pulled into the farm and he was out in the field. I rolled down the window and called to him and he came trotting up to the fence. I think he and I are going to have a good time together.
I hope to try to get him to schooling shows by this summer. However I always believe that each individual horse will tell you when they are ready for knew things. I will keep you posted on how he is doing.
Thanks for helping us find him.
February 13, 2007
Bobby continues to settle in well. He has made one of the easiest transitions (knock wood) that any of our former racehorses have made. Tell Becky no squealing yet. Maybe he'll do that after he's been to a horse trial or two and knows when he's on his way to the cross country course.
February 10, 2007
Christian's Hope with John Parker and his new eventing trainer - Ashley Giles.
Bobby continues to settle in well. Tell Becky that he remembered about longeing, even to the right ! Ashley got on him today, and he even stood still while she mounted up. (Becky will be surprised at that too). She took him over a single ground pole, and he did a nice little hop over it the first time. We think he might be a little back sore, so we gave him a "spa treatment" with some hot wet towels on his back inside the barn -- he really enjoyed that!
Elizabeth's Note: Many horses are back sore after racing or will be made back sore by riders doing too much too soon. Stay off their backs when cantering and don't do sitting trots until you build up their back muscles with lunging and hill work. The polytrack surface, new at many racetracks, seems to make the horses more back and muscle sore. This soreness will go away with time and proper training. The "spa treatment" of hot wet towels, chiropractic, acupuncture and laser treatments will all speed up the healing process.
Christian's Hope with John Parker and Ashley Giles
February 9, 2007
We arrived at Summer Wind Farm here in Newnan about 7:00 pm after an uneventful
trip back from Kentucky. Other than stomping in the trailer before we left
Scroggin's Stables to let us know he was anxious to get on the move, Bobby
was good on the trip.
We had hoped to get back in daylight to turn Bobby out for a few minutes, but as it was dark when we arrived, we put him in his stall straightaway. He rolled in the fresh shavings, took a good long drink from the water bucket, and settled into his feed with relish. When I went back up an hour or so later to check on him, he was peeing and there was a pile of manure, so it was good to see that all systems were working with regularity after the long journey. When I checked on him the last time before turning in, he was lying down snoozing. The boy can relax in a new place, it seems.
We turned him out by himself this morning in our riding ring for a few minutes. There were some ground poles in there, and he paid them no mind. He greeted a couple of 20+ year old retired eventers in the adjacent pasture, and was very polite to them, even though one of them was squealing at him -- lots of licking and chewing.
After he had gotten his kicks and bucks out, we turned him out with our old schoolmaster for new or young horses, 17 year old Chase, my first horse. They ran around a few times, which gave Ashley a good chance to watch his way of going, and it looked good on first impression. There is a small grassed "dip" (not really even enough to call a ditch) in the middle of that pasture caused by natural rainwater runoff flow, and when Bobby would come to it at a run, he would jump it without breaking stride. A pretty good sign for a prospective eventer ! After he and Chase ran around for about 10 minutes, they settled down nicely, and are now "eating the same blade of grass" as the expression goes.
The farrier is coming over this afternoon to take his racing plates off, get a good first look at his feet and start shoeing him for his new career. All in all, it's been a good first day.
Please note my changing of the spelling of Bobby's barn name. I was not able to abide the feminine spelling of his barn name and was even thinking of changing it altogether until I watched the movie "Phar Lap" (for about the 10th time), about the great Australian racehorse, and was reminded that Phar Lap's barn name was Bobby. So maybe some of his greatness will come to Bobby if we leave that his barn name !
Becky called me this morning to see how he's doing, which I appreciated. It gave me a chance to ask her some more questions about Bobby's former owner John Davies and how he came to give him the name Christian's Hope. I make it a point to learn as much as possible about both my horses' and my Greyhounds' rearing, their racing careers, and their general backgrounds, as the stories are often interesting, or even fascinating, as in Bobby's case. Becky said you would have a copy of Mr. Davies' obituary, as well as some e-mails from his secretary. I would love to have copies of those if you can send them when you send the registration papers. I enjoy telling the story of how Bobby got his registered name, and want to make sure I'm 100% accurate in the re-telling. Becky is sending me a copy of a winner's circle photo, but if you have that in electronic form and can e-mail it to me, I would be grateful. I am also going to see if I can get any photos of him as a foal.
I'll keep you posted.
Click here to see Christian's Hope's Prospect Horse For Sale page.