Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19th 2010 Hello Sunshine!

The sun is out and is beautiful!  Now, if I weren't sick I would be enjoying the weather 100%, as it is I think I'm only getting about 65% enjoyment total. 
I'd like to take this entry to tell a bit about my horse, Bastian (fitting as he is the reason I started this blog). 

Bastian is a 6 year old Thoroughbred gelding.  He has a big old blaze and one white ankle on his left hind.  He stands 16.2 HH and I suspect he will have another tiny growth spurt before he finally stops growing.  His half brother had a growth spurt around 7 or 8 and gained about an inch or so, though I would be quite fine if he stopped where he was.  16.2 is quite large enough for me. 

I bought Bastian in 2005 from a lovely breeder in Maryland who breeds for Hunters, Eventers, and Ponies.  So my guy has never raced.  I got him at a discounted price because he a kind of wonky foot, but it is only wonky if you look at in the right light, the stars have aligned and the moon is setting by 6 PM.  Basically, it doesn't affect him one bit and you really do have to look to find it.  I couldn't pass up the deal though.  A good friend found him for me and called to let me know I should take a look at him. 

At the time I was looking for an Event Prospect.  I wanted a baby so I could bring it up and teach it correctly (all my previous horses had pretty much been crazy fixer-uppers, I figured it might be nice to start with a clean slate instead of one with boatloads of issues, more on them later!).  So I drove the six hours to go look at him, an untouched 3 year old in a pasture.  It was his eyes that really drew me in.  So I paid my bill, and he loaded beautifully into my trailer to leave the only home he had ever known.  We trailered 2 hours to Wilson College where I overnighted him before the 5 hour trip home.  When he arrived at their facility, he calmly walked off the trailer, down the aisle and into his overnight accomadations.  He screamed twice, searching for someone familiar.  No one responded, so he gave up and ate his hay.  When I came back the next morning he was covered in shavings from having layed down to sleep.  I took this as another sign he was keeper, a young horse taken from the only home and buddies he has ever known and he was totally relaxed in a new and very busy environment. 

(Bastian ready to come home!)
He loaded right up on the trailer again (wow, right?  He is a CHAMP) and we drove home.  Arriving home, I unloaded him and brought him out to our pasture.  My 30 year old Arabian mare (then 27), Goldie, was waiting to welcome him.  They greeted each other, Bastian trotted around for about 3 minutes and then he settled into graze.  Again, he seemed completely unphased by the change in environment and his new buddy. 

I had the vet out a few days later to look over him (a post purchase vet-check) and make sure there wasn't anything obvious that I had missed.  He loved him, but was concerned only because he thought he was drugged.  LOL, had I not known the breeder and had my friend not been the one who helped me to find him I might have given validity to his concern.  So he passed with a clean bill of health.

From that day in May of 2007 (Kentucky Derby Day, actually), Bastian and I have been through quite a bit.  And I'm not talking about "he always spooks at the garbage cans" or "we just can't get our left lead" kind of a lot.  I am talking about major broken bones (me) and major disease (him).   Alas, the remaining history can wait for later posts, onto the present!

As I mentioned earlier, I am sick. :(  I've been sick since Tuesday, so after a successful for Bastian, but unsuccessful for me ride on Wednesday, I had my trainer/instructor, Kristen, ride him for me both yesterday and today.  Yesterday he was a bit of booger, ignoring half halts and leg.  Today he was a gem, his stride had become more elastic, he was much more responsive to both leg and half halts and he was engaging his hind end a bit more.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but he's a smart cookie and truly does aim to please. 

Hopefully I will feel up to riding tomorrow, the weather here is truly gorgeous and we've been able to work in the outdoor since Wednesday.  I hate that I am missing the nice weather!

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