Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet Jack

This is Jack getting all excited because he hasn't seen his friends in awhile

Yesterday was the day I met Jack. Unfortunately M, his current owner was unavaliable to show him to me as she had to put her other older horse down and didn't feel like she would be up to the task. Instead D, his former owner, took the time to talk to me and show me him. My first impression of Jack was great. He came cantering up to the fence when D called him and was super easy to catch.

She told me a bit about him as we got him saddled. She had rescued him off the track when he was a lot younger and he was in bad condition. Thankfully after a bit of TLC he came right. She had always been a show jumper (up until recently) so with her most of his experience was in jumping. She said she just loved his jump but sometimes he was a bit looky and would jump higher then he needed to (at this point he was sounding supiciously like Red). She's done 1.20m show jumping on him. He's done one ODE but has done a few cross country clinics where he was sailing over the Open jumps easily. He's an easy keeper (i.e. not like Red who fluctuates between being practically obese in the Summer to under weight if hes not fed daily in the Winter). His hooves are strong and she only used shoes so she could stud him when jumping. He's never been lame. His ground manners aren't the best I've ever seen but that can be worked on. She had also taken him to her dressage friend and had him schooled. Once they got over the trot situation (see below) he was great. Unfortunately Jack was always the horse D rode last in the day. She had another horse which took priority plus she schooled horses for other people. She said she was always having "first rides" on him and she never liked him enough to want to put up with his trot. Which is why he was passed onto her friend M.

Jack is enjoying a good scratch on his withers. You can just see the pleasure on his face.

Before I got on him she warned me that his trot was sticky and fast... more like a pony trot then the hack that he is. M had also told me about it so I knew that I wouldn't be getting beautiful extensions out of him. I mounted up and took him for an amble around the paddock on a loose rein. Soon I gathered him in and asked for a trot. He went into it straight away and it was diabolical. His neck came up and his steps shortened so much that we were barely moving. His body was bunched and I kept thinking he felt like a colied spring (not in the sense that he was going to suddenly start bucking wildly but just that he was so bunched up). I worked on getting him softer and he slowly started to un-wind and I managed to get a few resonable trot strides out of him. As in trot strides that any normal horse would do immediately. I did a bit of canter and some more trot and walk and then we put him away. Being a trainer herself D said she would be happy to come and give me Dressage lessons since she knew Jack so well. She also offered to float Jack down to Pony Club for me so I can take him over the jumps there. She did warn me that he had been out of work for awhile so for the first few weeks I would get a lot of thoroughbred crap out him until he came back into work. Also apparently he's much better with flat work if you take him out and do some jumping with him first. She stressed the point that because of his trot this was a horse you would have to love otherwise you would just get pissed off everytime you asked him for a trot.

This is Jacks impression of a "too-cool-for-you-cool-guy" as he ignores the other horses. He really just wants to be loved.

Once I got home I gave Sue, my instructor, a call and told her about him. I was going to do this earlier but when I called she was in the middle of a meeting with the Pony Club instructors and I was on speaker phone so I got to say hey to all of them. She said she would give D a call soon and we would go from there. I really think that Jack is the horse for me. Especially with my limited funds. I think his trot can be worked on and that he could be an awesome horse with some work.


Chris said...

I just love what they do with their top lip when you find the right spot to itch ;)

Well, sounds like you might have another horse on your hands! Good luck!

Katie said...

lol Jack was halerious when his spot was found. He twisted his head to the side and screwed up his lips and bobbed his head up and down... totally cute!

Pony Girl said...

I like that last photo, it's a nice one of Jack's handsome face!
I think he sounds like a good prospect/project. Sounds like the trot will need some work, but it also appears that everyone is being really honest and up front with you about him. If you know what needs to be worked on and you have the support to do it, I think this could turn out to be an amazingly horse for you!

Katie said...

Thanks Pony Girl! I really appreciate your comments. Ever since I heard about Jack I've had a great gut feelings about him. I really think he will work out for me. I'll keep you all updated.

Mary said...

Jack is butiful and sounds amazing.
I wish I had a horse like him.

Mary said...
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