Monday, October 25, 2010

Easy as Pie

Before I get started on the main subject of this post, a brief note on horse #10, River.  I went to see her - nice, sturdy mare with a sweet personality, but with too small feet and a too-long back for my taste and one major problem - her right hind leg, either due to injury or how she was born, was both sickle-hocked and bow-legged.  The cannon bone itself seemed to be malformed or misshapen from injury. She was sound at the walk, although with a twist as she put the foot down.  At the trot, she was slightly short-strided and off with that leg.  I don't think her owner ever noticed, and I didn't point it out, but thanked her for her time.  Nice sweet mare, though.

I went to see horse #12, henceforth and ever after to be known as Pie.  The owner opened the conversation saying that he'd decided to keep him, and send him out to Montana permanently for his ranch working horse out there, if I didn't buy him. He was exactly what I'd expected to see, and even more so, since the photos I had of him didn't allow me to see his confirmation.  He was out in the pasture, as I had requested, and we went out to get him and I caught him and led him in.  We groomed and tacked him - he was slightly resistant to picking up his front feet but I wasn't using the same signal as his owner, who's been the only one to handle and ride him.  I immediately liked his confirmation - nice big feet - no shoes and has never worn them - solid bone in the legs and good overall proportions - slightly long in the back but I think that makes for a smoother ride.  Good angulation in the joints, nice front pasterns - just the right amount of slope.  Slightly straighter in the hind pasterns, but not excessively so.  The tiniest bit cow-hocked behind, but hardly noticeable.  A bit narrow through the body, as his owner had described, but not in a displeasing or out of proportion way.  One blemish - a lump on the outside of his left front leg between the knee and pastern - which seemed to be old and cold, was probably due to an old injury and which the owner said he's had since he got him as a yearling.

His head isn't his prettiest feature - he's got a bit of a Roman nose - his owner says he wouldn't win any prizes for pretty - but I like it just fine.  His personality shows through and there's nothing wrong with what's between his ears.

The owner rode and I rode, in the round pen in the arena - the place available to us.  He was responsive in all respects, but very easy to slow or stop.  Nice back, nice sidepass.  When you give an aid, he responds to the slightest touch but doesn't overreact or rush.  Glad to stand still for as long as you wish.  Stands still for mounting and dismounting.  The whole time we were riding, huge construction trucks - dump trucks, asphalt trucks, etc., were crashing, roaring and banging their way back and forth in front of the open arena doors - the barn, arena and pastures are in the front yard of a busy sand, gravel and asphalt company.  No problem with road noises!  Comfortable gaits, and a nice natural head carriage.  Due to his size and shape, he fits me very well and I feel very comfortable on him.  I rode him around briefly in the parking area and along the driveway to the street while the trucks thundered by - he called a few times but did what I asked.  The only hole in his training so far that may need filling is that he hasn't spent much time riding out by himself - he's done it a few times when working cattle.

I couldn't have been more delighted.  I was able to arrange a vet check the same day - he was very good for all the tedious flexion and other tests and x-rays, and the extra shots (rabies, intranasal strangles and flu/rhino) I had him get to supplement what he's already had.  We did some trotting outside on the pavement/gravel and he was completely sound even over stones. He passed the vet check with flying colors and got numerous compliments on his feet, bone, overall confirmation, good manners and patience.  The vet will e-mail me her report and the x-rays for my records.

His owner gave me some nice photos of him, including some baby pictures - I'll get these uploaded and put them up when I get home.  He is the first horse I've ever had where I've got baby pictures.  He was born in April of 2006 on a ranch in Montana, and the the owner got him as an almost unhandled yearling since he already had his full brother who is two years older (I saw him too).  The owner was the one who started him and has been almost the only one to work with him since.  I must say he's done an excellent job - the horse is calm, responsive and a delight to work with and be around.  No problems trained in here - I've got a good example to live up to.

Here are the few photos that I managed to take that were worth saving.  Here is his body - I'm delighted with his overall balance, structure, bone and feet:



Here he is, making his "I'm four years old and I'm bored and this lady (the vet) keeps poking me and doing other things and I wish she would stop" - I think this is going to be known as the "Pie face":


And here's what he looks like when he's not making the Pie face:


I'm hoping by the weekend my Pie will be home.  He's exactly what I wanted - between 4 and 10 years of age, between 15 and 15.3 hands, excellent feet, bone and overall confirmation, with a short chain of custody - I know the man who trained him from a yearling, a calm, willing personality with plenty of go when asked, and with lots of very good training already in place.  I knew if I just kept at it and stuck to what my requirements were, that a horse just like this would be out there.

50 comments:

  1. Oh, Kate, how wonderful! I'm really thrilled for you. I agree with what you said about his personality showing through in his face, by the way. He has a very expressive face, and I think it's just beautiful! His alert expression, with his head cocked to the side and his ears forward, reminds me of one of my favorites of Panama's expressions.

    He sounds like he is perfect for what you wanted, he really does! Congratulations and I'm looking forward to hearing more about him as you two get to know one another!

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  2. P.S. I LOVE the Pie face. I hope you can get some more pictures of that -- not that I want you to make him bored and annoyed, but his expression is hilarious!

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  3. The Pie face is awesome!! I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU - it seems like you did indeed find exactly what you were looking for. Can I point out that I have been a fan of him since the first time you posted his ad, hee hee.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!

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  4. I meant to add that I tend to like a Roman nose sometimes, and Pie's works for him.

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  5. Kate, I love his face! What nice eyes he has! Your own Pie- great name! I'm so very happy for you- he sounds wonderful and like a very good fit for you! Of course, we can't wait for more pictures- but we'll give you time to actually get home and get him home, too. Congratulations!

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  6. How wonderful!!! Yay!! Congratulations!!! He is beautiful.

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  7. Congratulations!!! He is a great looking horse and everything you wanted, I'm glad you held out for him. I think both of you will have a great relationship. Pie has a beautiful face, very sweet and an intelligent eye. I like a longer back (Dusty has one) and she is the most comfortable horse I've ever ridden. Can't wait for Pie to come home so we can all get to know him.

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  8. It sounds as though his owner recognized that you would give him a good home. Congrats on your new boy.

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  9. Congratulations! Wow, what a face that is. And so young, too. How can you not just stand there and say, "Gimmee some pie!"? What a wonderful new chapter, and it sounds like you are absolutely delighted with him. Great payoff after such a thorough search.

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  10. Congratulations! He is adorable. I like a roman nose on a horse, it gives them character. Pie certainly seems to have character in spades. Personality plus! *L*

    I can't wait 'til you get him home and we get to hear all about him!

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  11. Congratulations! I'm very happy for you :) He's a cutie for sure - I love his face.

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  12. he's beautiful, and i actually like roman noses.. i've never known a dumb horse with a roman nose! he looks like an awesome addition to your family, i hope you have heaps of fun with him :)

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  13. Yay! I'm so glad everything went so smoothly with Pie. It seems that everything just fell into place with him. That's a good sign, must be you two are meant to be.

    I can't wait to hear more about him!

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  14. Congratulations! I think it's really awesome that you stuck to your requirements and finally found the right horse. Can't wait to hear more about him!

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  15. Congrats! Love the pics and expect we'll be seeing many more :) So very happy for you!

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  16. Congrats on your new mount Kate! Pie is lovely. Wishing you endless joy with your new guy!

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  17. Oh Kate! Congrats! He is absolutely wonderful from your words! Good foundation of training for you to continue in your way.

    So Happy for you and can't wait for more Pie adventures!

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  18. yay! he is darling! so glad you found a great horse :D

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  19. Handsome is as handsome does...and it sounds like the "Pie-Man" does it pretty well! Congratulations! Looking forward to "watching" the two of you get to know each other.

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  20. Yay! you picked the right horse, I'm so glad you hit it off with him, I've been rooting for him! Here's to lots of happy miles on his back!

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  21. Congratulations!! As you know, I've been rooting for him. I'm so glad you found the horse you were looking for. He's just a lovely horse. Looking forward to reading your stories with him.

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  22. Congratulations on finding the horse horse of your dreams! He's adorable, and has such a cute name... :)

    I can't wait to read about your experiences with Pie!

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  23. I knew it! I knew it! Pie was the one! Yay!
    And you didn't have to shop for very long to find such a terrific horse either. So happy for you!
    Is he also registered? How did he end up with his name?
    I love him! He's handsome a very cute. Love the Pie Face! hehe!
    Looks like he's got lots of personality and will bring you joy and laughter spending time with him..

    Oh yay! Congrats!

    ~Lisa

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  24. Oh! And I can't help but add: Now you have your Pie and ride it, too!
    lol!

    ~Lisa

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  25. Oh how fantastic Kate .....what a gorgeous addition to your life

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  26. Brilliant news Kate, you must be very excited, he looks lovely!!

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  27. That's AWESOME, KATE!!!! Awesomely Awesome! I'm glad you stuck with what you wanted and found the right horse for yourself! Awesome!

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  28. Lucky you and lucky Pie! Can't wait until he is there with you. You know how to do this better than anyone I know! What a beautiful boy.

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  29. Yeah! What great news! I'm so glad that all of your driving and hard work ended up in finding just what you were looking for. :-)

    I think he is cute - I like his face. Can't wait to see more pics and hear about your adventures together!

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  30. Wow! Congrats Kate! Pie was my favorite all along and I'm thrilled he's the perfect guy for you. As has been said already, can't wait to hear more about your adventures together! And I love his ears... my Panache has big expressive ears so I'm partial o big ears now, they add so much character and intelligence (IMO).

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  31. Congratulations! So glad you found a horse that fit exactly what you were looking for. It has happened for me 7 times, so I knew it was possible! :)

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  32. I LIKED THIS ONE FROM THE START!!!!!!

    Congratulations, Kate!!! I am so, so happy for you. Your new guy is cute as can be and I'm so happy he's everything you were looking for!!! Love the name, too!!!! Congrats, congrats, I couldn't be happier for you :-) Can't wait to read all about your new journey together!!!

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  33. OH - And I REALLY can't wait for lots and lots of pix of him!!!!!!!!

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  34. Im so glad you found the right guy!!! :) When I saw the title "sweet as pie" I thought the horse would be a pinto, I suppose thinking Pie like piebald. LOL But he really is cute, I love his conformation! CONGRATS!!!

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  35. Oh Kate!!!! How absolutely perfect! Perfect as Pie! I love him. His Pie face is adorable. He sounds like a brilliant boy and so pretty too. You got the whole package wrapped up for you. You deserve such a good boy after a thorough and well-thought out search. Congratulations. My mom and I and Brian and Maizie will be celebrating for you and happy to read of your new adventures on your new boy!
    I can't help notice that now we both have a Maisie/Maizie and a Pie!!! Isn't that too funny?

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  36. Congratulations--he looks wonderful, and young enough that you'll have many great years of riding together. He sounds perfect for you! Have fun!!

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  37. He is adorable! Roman or not, I think he has a cute nose…..and I just love the pie face. I give you lots of credit for all the work you have put in to finding the “right” horse.

    Although I haven’t commented, I have been following your progress in looking at all these horses and all I can say is WOW – the amount of thought & work you have put into all this is far more than I what I’ve seen a lot of people do….and it looks like you will be rewarded. Pie seems like a lovely boy (and one I wouldn’t mind having).

    Congratulations your new addition!! I’m looking forward to seeing some photos of him in his new home!

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  38. How ADORABLE is he?? I'm late to the party, but congratulations on your new boy! He does sound almost perfect....and so young to be so calm! Can't wait to read all about him:)

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  39. Congrats Kate - Pie is super cute. Can't wait to "meet" him :)

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  40. That's just wonderful news! Heartfelt congratulations!

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  41. Oh, Kate! Congratulations! He is a beauty, love the faces he makes. I like strong legs and big unshod feet. Can't wait to read more about him.
    Lucky Pie, he will have a wonderful home and get excellent care. Hope Dawn is smitten with him, he is handsome boy!!

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  42. HEY! This is a reason to celebrate! Congratulations on your new Horse! He sure is cute--I like his roman nose! I cannot wait to see the baby pix. oh, Pie, you've found yourself a good home!! (I think it is good luck he was born in Montana. Montana is so wonderful)

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  43. I hate to say I was right (well maybe I do like being right), but I was holding out for #12 since you first posted him.

    Congratulations!

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  44. It's taken me two weeks to get caught up on your journey in finding Pie Kate, congratulations, he looks and sounds like a fine horse. You are a great example of how to go about finding an equine partner. I wish everyone had such patiene and perseverance. I'm looking forward to reading more about your journey together.

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  45. Hey Kate, just me catching up after a busy few weeks with the cows. I like your pick and really admire you sticking to your guns. Me, I just try to work with what I get. How awesome to be able to plan so carefully and have such a clear head. I'm real happy for you.

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