Sunday, October 24, 2010

Horse #20 - Peppy

I went to see horse #20, Peppy, today.  You can't tell all that much from her pictures in her ad, but I saw about what I expected - a small, compact mare - she's 15 hands, with nice proportions, a short back and good solid legs and feet.  Although she was a little plump and out of shape, I would characterize her as somewhat petite and very feminine, with a refined head.  She has no white markings and has a white stripe in her tail.  She's fairly narrow through the shoulders, but her width is in proportion to her size.  She's slightly cow-hocked behind but not overly so.  She looks just like what she is - a performance-bred mare (she's double Mr. San Peppy).  She's quite well-trained - very responsive and quick.  She would excel, I think, at any of the cutting-related jobs - she's smart, alert and agile.

When I got there, she and the other 8 horses at the place were in their pens along the side of the small indoor arena.  All the horses looked in good weight and well-cared for, and the small indoor was very nice. She wasn't too interactive at first and could be characterized as a bit aloof - but then she's a mare and mares can be that way when you first meet them.  She led and tied well and her owner groomed and tacked her without any problem - the only small thing was that she was a bit snatchy with her hinds and the owner allowed as she rarely handled her horses' feet.

The owner walked, trotted and loped her around.  The arena had recently had sand added and the footing was very deep, which made the mare have to work very hard and didn't give the best idea of her gaits.  I rode her as well - she was very responsive, with a good stop and a lot of go.  The owner saddled up another horse and we went on a trail ride for about a half hour, up a steep hill behind the barn, through some woods, down another quite steep hill, across a stream and back to the barn.  The mare was in heat and there was some calling at first, and a bit of jigging while calling, but she gave that up right away.  She handled the terrain well and didn't hesitate to leap/scramble across the somewhat boggy stream.  There was no sign of spookiness, although she was extremely alert.

The only thing negative thing I have to say about her is just what her owner told me on the phone when we talked - she's very forward and likes to go fast - in fact at any gait her preferred gait is fast, even a bit rushed, although she will stand on a loose rein when asked.  Her name - Peppy - is quite appropriate. She also seemed a bit wary and worried, although I doubt it's anything this owner has done.  She reminded me a lot of horse #3 at the Mark Rashid clinic I audited this summer - one of those horses who's really ready, perhaps over-ready, to respond to the slightest aid.  Some of this may be training or past experiences, and some may be her basic temperament.

I'm not reaching any definitive conclusions yet, until I've visited horse #12 (Pie) and horse #10 (River) tomorrow, but I'm trending negative on Peppy.  Although this mare is very nice, I think her basic disposition and build aren't quite right for me.  I'd like a little more size (not necessarily height) and substance in build, and a horse that's a little less reactive and rushy.  A horse with go is very nice, as long as go isn't all there is.  Compared to Drifter (horse #3), she's much better trained but also basically much more on her toes - he lacked training and consistent handling but was basically a calm sort of fellow. But she's a very nice, well-bred and trained mare - if you're looking for a cow-bred performance horse she might be just the thing.

14 comments:

  1. She sounds very nice. I think I'd appreciate the forwardness, since she isn't spooky, etc. but if she isn't quite the right fit (physically and temperament wise)it's nice to know you have other good options. I'm finding your horse shopping very interesting!

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  2. Sounds like your doing well and thinking clearly in your search. Interesting to hear the details.

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  3. Very interesting reading about your horse shopping experiences. I can't wait to read what you think about #12! :)

    ~Lisa

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  4. Nice that you were able to ride her both in the arena and on the trail. It sounds like you are really thinking things through with her. I'm really looking forward to hearing about the other two horses - hope those visits go well!!

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  5. Sounds like you had a good chance to assess her , "sitting on go" can be fun if its what you want .Johnnie is always eager ,but I find when he asks to go faster , just sitting down a little and easy is all I need to say no with .I think you are wise to look at all prospects then sit back and decide

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  6. Well now, Little Peppy mare took you for a trail ride. Great!I thought she was nice looking, but pretty compact.

    I like the fact that you got to do this. Bonus. And I like that so far, everything as it appears and as it was told you.
    Waiting for the rest to come.
    KK

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  7. Good evaluation. Nice too that she seems exactly as advertised by the owner. She seems to be the horse you thought you were going to see.

    Looking forward to the next reports.

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  8. What a great post Kate .....sitting in my living room here in NZ I really am getting a feel ( as well as can be) for what you are looking at through your great write ups about each horse. How fantastic to have a good ride out on a trail to get a real feel for Peppy.Any horse I have sold I have insisted potential buyers ride out around the farm over a range of countryside. I think it gives you a really good idea of how they go.I look forward to hearing about the next few horses.

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  9. Between compact and cow pony-ish, she sounds like 85% of the horses around here. Maybe, you'll have better luck tomorrow :o)

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  10. Thanks for sharing your shopping experiences. I'm looking forward to the review on River!

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  11. I gotta ask! After all this lookin` are you sure, you have`nt seen the horse you like? I dont mean to be funny, but perhaps the horse your looking for, isnt out there?
    But I have enjoyed the trip so far.

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  12. She sounds like a nice mare but I think you're right to hold out a little longer since she's not exactly what you have in mind. Hope things go well on the next leg of the trip!

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  13. She sounds like a nice mare. Personally, I'd rather have a horse with some go than one without it. It's all person preference, hope you find the horse you're looking for on this trip.

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  14. Cheyenne - you bet the horse I'm looking for is out there - in fact I just found him - keep reading!

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