Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Falling for the Wrong Guy

Or, err, gelding, as the case may be!  This seems to be a fairly frequent topic in the blogosphere, so I thought I'd share my latest crush.
There is a young horse I am somewhat enamored with. I think he's a little funny looking right now, he will be a little late to mature. I guess I'm interested in getting some other opinions of this boy. I find that flaws tend to become less noticeable to me after awhile, so some other perspectives would be welcome. Of course, I realize it's really hard to judge anything from a photo, let alone the rather bad photos I've posted.

So, without further ado, meet Willi.
Here as a 3 year old.

 Willi is a coming 4 year old Hanoverian/TB and is bay with no white. His is by Ikoon, the only fully KWPN approved jumping stallion in Canada and out of an approved Canadian Sport Horse TB mare who is a grand daughter of Affirmed.


Willi is now a coming 4 year old. He was just started this winter and is doing very well under saddle. What I've mostly fallen for is his excellent temperament, he is such a sweetie and just takes everything in stride. He can be a bit sensitive but uses his brain when he's scared and has already learned to look to people for the answer. I was petting him in the field yesterday and he is so interested in what you are up to. At one point I thought he might get a little pushy but he never did. He was always respectful but definitely curious.

Now the challenge. Can you look past the super long hair and dirt? Lol, I know, he looks a mess. But he lives outside and it's been very mild, so this is what you get.

Aside from being in need of muscle, his major fault seems to be that he toes out a bit in front. I'm on the fence about how important this is to me. I do want to compete, likely in hunters, but it's not like I will be showing super intensely anything. I also love dressage. Really would love to do a bit of everything and I think that's possible since none of it will be at a very high level. I've known plenty of sound horses that don't have perfectly straight legs...but they weren't MY horse, so maybe it didn't matter so much.

Front legs. I think this photo exaggerates the right front a bit as he is standing on uneven ground. His whole leg is angled to the outside here but really the toeing out is only from the fetlock.

Of course, the real issue is the young horse and first time horse owner combination. This wouldn't really be my first horse but I was a kid with my first one so I'm not counting it. I was glad to hear this week that his owners are not sending him to spring sales as they thought they might, so I have some time, lol. They are continuing his training until the fall.  Perhaps I can arrange to lease him at that time...

I might be dirty and have 
hay in my hair but I'm cuuuute!

So...come on, tell me how silly I'm being!

[note: I'm not the type to jump into animal-related relations irresponsibly, in case you are concerned your comments may unduly influence me. I am still in love with a very inappropriate mare that I've blogged about before. I absolutely want her and absolutely recognize she is not right for me. So feel free to have fun with comments without worry!]


Golden the Pony Girl said...

I am bad at conformation. I could give you my opinions but I don't think they would be worth much! He is also hard to judge as he still looks really young and needs some more filling out time. I heard recently that with warmbloods you should look at them at 4 weeks, 4 months, and 4 years and disregard everything else. Probably a bunch of hooey but thought I would share!
I think if you want to do amateur level stuff temperament is the most important thing. As for conformational soundness your vet could help you with that part to know for sure. If he has a good temperament and personality you really dig then I say that is a really big deal.

RuckusButt said...

So maybe by the time he sheds out and turns 4 in the next few months he'll look like a horse instead of this weird thing, lol! It will be interesting to see what he looks like by the end of summer!

Good point about the vet check. I just don't want myself to get too blinded to hear the advice!

Golden the Pony Girl said...

Yeah I think we just can't help ourselves! They always say bring a friend in to look at the horse as well but, same thing goes I guess :) I would ask the barn manager (or whoever handles him on a daily bases) what he/she thinks of him. I think no one knows a horse better than the person who does the daily handling. Just another idea. Keep us posted!

RuckusButt said...

Aye, there's the rub! My regular instructor is the one doing his basic training =D Not exactly an objective source (which we both joke about). For what it's worth, she thinks I'll love him.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

It is hard to say without better photos. There is definitely some potential there but he is a gangly, gawky guy right now. They all go through this phase, some stay in it a lot longer than others. If you trust your instructor, and I'm assuming you do since you ride with her, I think she's a great source for an opinion. She knows both you and the horse and would be responsible for helping the partnership work. I think it is great to have that kind of insight into a horse myself, much more helpful than a trail ride or two on a completely unknown horse.

HorseOfCourse said...

Difficult questions, RB.
It is always difficult to tell from pictures, and on the best pic you show here (3 yo), he is immature in his body.
Conformation wise, I see some disadvantages if I was to buy a dressage horse.

But how much weight should one put on it?
To me it boils down to two main things:
- a correctly built horse has a larger chance to stay sound
- and he will find the work easier to execute

But temperament is very important, and can sometimes outweigh physical ability.

When you buy a young horse, it is very much an unopened book, right? You never really know what you'll get.
Bear in mind that you will have a couple of years just doing basic work where your horse expenditures will be just as high as with an eductated horse.
If you put that sum and amount of work down into an animal, isn't it best to have as good a chance as possible for him to stay sound? And to enjoy the work?

Personally, I would prefer to have as correct conformation as possible, but again - your own preferences and a good temperament (together with soundness) are just as important.

When that is said, I am very fond of WB/TB combinations. They usually make good, versatile horses.
Good luck, whatever you do!
And it is no disadvantage to have your instructor on the team!