Thursday, April 1, 2010

Who's your Daddy?

Wow.  Fabulous weather.  It was almost 80 degrees here today and it is going to stay there until Monday.  That means three more fantastic riding days and a bath day, which Bastian is in need of.  He is very clean and shiny, but 6 months of cold weather and wearing a blanket and riding in a dusty indoor  = major dustiness under that hair.  And to top it all off, it is my Spring Break.  I don't go back to work until Tuesday.  Life is good.

Tomorrow he will be a sparkling, shiny, germ free pony.   For all of about 15 minutes while he dries, then its back to the the dust and dirt.  Such is the bath cycle of a horse.

Bastian came up sore on Sunday while I was riding, he just didn't feel quite right in his left front.  Monday I lunged him and he looked worse. It was a weird worse, he was willing to go forward, but you could see he was uncomfortable and I'm not kidding when I say my horse has the typical Thoroughbred wimpy streak in relation to pain.  He sees another horse get a cut and he gets sympathy soreness.  Tuesday I wasn't able to make it out to the barn, my instructor pulled him out and lunged/trotted him and he looked better.  The whole time we couldn't find any heat or swelling. 

Then we finally got a big answer to the puzzle on Wednesday.  Bastian is a vaccuum in regards to his hay, we have hay holes in the loft of the barn and that is how their hay is fed, it is thrown down into the stalls.  Bastian, I am told, usually catches his mid-air as it comes down.  When the barn owner was feeding, she noticed that he didn't even try to catch it.  So she watched him for a minute and as he went to reach down and eat his hay, he couldn't.  He had to slowly and gradually stretch out his neck to reach his hay. 

His neck was sore.  We are guessing that it was from his yearly shots that he got on Saturday AM.  So Wednesday I went out and loved on him some, groomed him (the hair was flying!), picked his stall, cleaned his water and gave him a gram of bute.  I left some bute for him to eat with breakfast too.

Today he was so much better.  He was still a little stiff, but worked out of it after about 10 minutes or so and we had a FABULOUS riding lesson (I was supposed to ride someone else, but since he was good to go, we went!).  We kept it simple and short just working on getting a good connection at the trot and canter and keeping it through our transitions.  It went quite swimmingly and by the end he felt 100% himself.  He still has a knot on both sides of his neck, the right side being larger.  I massaged and linimented him, which I thinik he rather enjoyed.  I left some more bute for him and I think tomorrow he will be even better.

Aside from my horse being off at the beginning of this week, it has been a good week.  I learned that my horse was born on May 4, 2002.  His breeder lost his papers and I will probably never see them.  (One day I swear I will own a papered horse that is current and IN my name).  Not that big of a deal to me since his registry is the Jockey Club and if your Thoroughbred doesn't race, they aren't really that interested in them.  They don't have breed shows for Thoroughbreds like they do for the majority of the other major breeds.  The USDF, USEA, and USEF don't care if he is blue-blooded-bred horse or a backyard mistake.  So papers are rather moot for me, but something that would be nice nonetheless.

I've just been celebrating his foal-day in the spring, but now I have a date.  *eep* I can't wait to celebrate officially!! :)

Bastian's registered name is, {are you ready for this?  You don't get a much better name than this, its so, so, hmmmm, mundane?}, Prince Aloft.  Yeah.  That's what I said.   His name now is Bastian Balthazar Bux, after the little boy in the book "The Never Ending Story" and his show name is "Luck Dragon" after Falkor, the Luck Dragon in the same book.  Falkor's philosophy was that he could accomplish anything "with luck."  I liked that philosophy so I figured it was good name.

Anyway, back to Bastian's name and family.  His sire is Luftikus, (Meadowlake x Andora).  Luftikus is a handsome chestnut stud standing at Taylor Mountain Farm in West Virginia.  I am impressed with the resemblence Bastian has to him, they have the same chestnut colouring and the same blaze and the same adorable freckle on their nose.     This is Luftikus -->;
The picture is from the Taylor Mountain Farm page about him.   What impresses me the most is that Bastian has that same expression about him and the same head.  Its a very calm, regal, and logical outlook on life.  Don't you think that Luftikus just looks like he's surveying his realm and he knows he's the boss.  A good benevolent boss, not a crazy psychotic boss.

Luftikus had 10 starts, earned $479,630, and was in the money all 10 starts.  He had 5 wins (2 were stakes), 4 seconds and 1 third.  Not too shabby in my opinion. 

Here is the summary of his career direct from the Taylor Farm Website:
  • Won the Lonestar Park Handicap G3 300,000
    • Equaled the track record 1 1/16, 1.40.4
  • Won the Tokoyo City Handicap at Santa Anita 75,000
  • 2nd in the Strubs Stakes G2 500,000 to General Challenge 1 1/8
  • 3rd in the Texas Mile G3 300,000 beaten by only 1 3/4 lengths to Sir Bear
I think it is pretty cool that he equaled a track record.  Bastian definitely does not have a gas pedal like that, or if he does, I haven't found it.  Bastian usually takes the slow route, perhaps one day, when we are eventing I'll uncover his gas pedal.  For now, slow is good.  Which reminds me of my friend's thoroughbred, he was a Buckpasser grandson I think (maybe son?  not sure and not able to verify at the time), but he was S-L-O-W.  Fabulous hunter and dressage horse, very expressive and moved beautifully, but he had no gas pedal, none.  I don't think he even hand galloped.  But I digress, the point is that I find it interesting when a horse with a gas pedal sires a horse that seems to lack one.  From what I read, other Luftikus babies that have gone on to race have done well.  I'm going to start paying more attention when I go to Presque Isle downs to watch the ponies run and if any have Luftikus in their bloodlines, I'm betting on them.  You have to support the family, right?

So that is how Bastian got the "Aloft" portion of his name.  Prince may just seem like a good title to put in front of a name, and that is an arguable point, but he really got the prince from his mom.  Bastian's dam was named, are you ready for this one?  Princess Eff.  Yup and I thought Quarter Horse names were weird.  Jockey club names are not that far behind....

Princess Eff is a 1988 Bay Thoroughbred mare, I don't have acess to her race records because I'm not a member of the Jockey Club or any of those other racing organizations that harbor those things.  So that is were the Prince came from in his name however. 

So that is how my horse came to be and to further the fact that he was a bargain basement deal, Luftikus's stud fee is $2500.  I paid 1/2 of that for Bastian as a three year old.  I think I did okay. 

This picture above is from Bastian's first ever horse show, but I think it shows that same look that Luftikus has.

One more of Luftikus, a pose that Bastian assumes only when outside playing sometimes, he is much too much of the gentleman to do something like that undersaddle.

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