Thursday, October 28, 2010

Horse Pedigrees are Fascinating

I find looking at horse pedigrees fascinating.  I know a very small amount about TB pedigrees, and a bit less about QH pedigrees - I love learning about the classic horses in those breeds.  I know very little about the other breeds, but I'm interested in learning.

Oddly enough, Dawn and Pie are distantly related.  Here's Dawn's pedigree.  And here's Pie's pedigree. Dawn has War Relic (by Man O'War) twice in her 5-generation pedigree.  Discovery (whose grandsire was Fair Play, the sire of Man O'War) is there on the top line.  She has Nasrullah three times and Native Dancer twice, and also Dark Star, who was the only horse to ever beat Native Dancer.  Native Dancer's grandsire on the maternal side is Discovery again.

On the top side, Pie goes straight back to Wimpy through Bill Cody. Pie has Easy Jet three times and there's more Jet Deck (Easy Jet's sire) in there too.  Pie (farther back in the pedigree) has Man O'War three times, twice through mares and also through War Admiral.  He also has Nasrullah farther back.

One interesting thing about Pie's pedigree - his maternal grandmother and his dam are full sisters - that's where most of the Jet Deck influence comes from.  It's no wonder he's somewhat long and lean - there's a lot of TB in there, and in fact he somewhat resembles Easy Jet in build and carriage.  The man who sold him to me says he shows quite a bit of speed in the pasture and also when asked under saddle.  I have no plans to do speed events with him, but it's nice to know it's there if asked for!

* * * * * *
The wind seems to finally be dying down a little bit - it'll still be gusty today, but perhaps Dawn and I can get in a ride - it's been a while.  And then there are some preparations for Pie's arrival - I bought him a short-shanked curb bit with a solid mouthpiece and low port, very like the one he's ridden in now - as he gets used to me and his new surroundings I figured I'd change things as little as possible.  I also got an adjustable leather curb strap. This bit isn't it, but it looks about like this (sorry for the tiny picture) - the vet who did the prepurchase commented that he had a large tongue, so the port is a good idea:

It'll also be a good challenge for me to practice riding on a loose rein without any rein aids other than light brushings of reins on the neck or just picking up a rein - he's that sensitive and well-trained.  I've also spoken to my chiropractor - the next time she comes out she'll give him the once-over - and I'll be calling our dentist, Mike Fragale, to see if he's going to be in the area (he travels all over the country) as Pie's mouth has never been done (a good thing actually) and the vet who did my prepurchase said he had a few sharp places although none that are too bad.  I checked his incisors myself - very well-aligned - and the lateral excursion of his jaw - good too - most people who do dental work on horses pay no attention to these things and they are critically important for the jaw and TMJs to be in balance, which affects the whole body of the horse.  I also need to call my farrier, as he needs a trim and some balancing - the man who owned him did his own trims and Pie has basically self-trimmed walking over rocks and gravel since his last formal trim.  Also, the vet who did the pre-purchase e-mailed me his x-rays so I have them for my records - the hock x-rays are particularly interesting as the joint is so complicated.

The first thing I'll do when he gets here after he settles in a bit is to try all my various saddles on him to see if any will do until I get him his own - I'm looking to have a Black Rhino in cordura, either second-hand or built for him.  Same for Dawn - who knows, maybe I'll be lucky and they'll wear the same size?  I took some photos of  Dawn's back, and will also do some tracings, so the folks at About the Horse saddles (who make the Black Rhinos) can advise me.  Here are Dawn's pictures - I'm not all that happy with them as they were taken in the barn aisle with flash and they don't show her contours as well as I'd like - I think the flash tends to wash out the contours and natural light would be better.

Here she is from the sides - you can see that she's a bit downhill:

And here are the views from off the shoulder - these are supposed to show the change in shape from the shoulder to the barrel but don't very well - the transition between the shoulder and barrel is the issue that causes Dawn to be hard to fit:

From behind - she wasn't too sure what I was doing back there - I need to get this straighter and get a little more above her:

From above - the neck is to the top and mid-back to the bottom - you can see the indentation just behind her shoulder on the left, which causes saddles to slip forwards and down, onto her withers and pinching her shoulders:

And her hindquarters from above - this could be an abstract sculpture (tail to the top, mid-section to the bottom):

More pictures today, I think, if the weather and wind cooperate.


  1. Well, I LOVE researching thoroughbred pedigrees! Dawn also has Nasrullah, who sired Bold Ruler, who sired Secretariat, in her pedigree. My OTTB, Quad, also has Man O'War on the bottom (dam) side of his pedigree, as well as Secretariat through Storm Cat, on his sire's side, although he is a gray roan! I find it very interesting.

  2. I too enjoy reading pedigrees. I can recite my mare's pedigree back better than I can my own. It's fun to go to horse shows and see that the horses are related to mine. I've got an old book of Polish Arabians that show photos of all her relatives that I love to browse. Of course, my horses aren't QH and TB, they're Arabians.

  3. Pedigrees are fascinating. I love to look for / ar my horses relatives when I'm attending a show.
    Pie sounds wonderful. I am so impressed with how he is trained and how calm he is as a four year old. You're lucky to have found a horse with only one owner, who trained him well, and young enough that you can have him for years and train him exactly as you want. Perfect! I'll be interested to read about your adventures with him.

  4. I don't pay a whole lot of attention to pedigrees, except out of curiosity. I have my TB ones around here somewhere. I do know Tucker goes back to Bold Ruler breeding several times and apparently, his temperament might come from there--sharp, sensitive and easily insulted. *G*

  5. Kate...Glad to read that you are going to ride Pie English, Western and bareback. I have a feeling he will respond well to a gentle bit or none at all. May also like the lighter English saddle. You must be getting very excited about his arrival tomorrow.

  6. Pie sounds like a lucky guy and you're going to have a ton of fun with him. Enjoy!

  7. I hope Dave at About the Horse can help you out. Im very lucky that we have one of his saddle fitting experts in my area. Im still waiting on getting my saddle sold so I have the $ to put down on a saddle being ordered.

    It sure would be nice if Dawn and Pie wore the same bar #! Cant wait to see what posts you have this weekend about Pie (and pictures too?)

  8. I know next to nothing about pedigrees especially QH's. But recently have looked up Dusty and Blue. According to the papers, Blue also goes back to War Admiral and Man O'War. Color me surprised, I knew his head looked more Thoroughbred to me than QH. Dusty on the other hand is all QH with some (according to her papers) well known ancestors. It's fun to research but would be even more interesting if I knew who was who and what I was actually looking at!

    It will be such fun to get to know Pie and see how you actually want to ride him and what you two can do together. Tomorrow's almost here.

  9. He's got a lot of Three Bars in him too! Your Pie probably has quite the personality.

  10. OOOU!
    I was very excited to read this Post Kate.
    Isn't it neat to look up your horses pedigree! Dawn and Wa have Grandsires in common.

    I recieved a really beautiful set of TB Ancestory and pedigree Coffee table books last year, and began scouring them.
    My Fav is written by an Itallian trainer that has such facinating stories about the Famous TB horses. His wonderful book begins in the
    1700's, with the 3 foundation sires.
    According to "his descriptions" of the body types...Dawn would have been a "middle-distancer" with an apptitude for steeplechases!

    Wa's sire- "Pursuit" is from "Never Bend"-Nasrullah"-"Nearco".
    His Dam-"Fairway Fun", has "Princrquillo and "War Admiral".
    She is my "Champian"!

    Your new "Pie" sounds really, really nice.
    I can feel some very excellent reading, comming up soon!

  11. Lori - I think you're right about a snaffle or bitless option for Pie - I just want him to have something familiar for a bit right now so not everything's new for him. He's only lived two places - where he was born for his first year, and where he lives now for the rest of his life. It'll be strange for him to find himself in the midst of a new environment, with new horses and new routines - I also don't think he's spend any time to speak of in a stall and our horses are usually stalled at night. That's a lot to get used to all at once - although I think he's going to be pretty adaptable and settle in just fine.

  12. Can't wait for Pie's arrival! I hope he settles in just fine; I have a feeling he's the kind of guy that will take it all in pretty easily.

  13. I wish I could trace my horse's pedigree back, all I know is his sire is Magno Astrum, a cleveland bay. I can't find any information on him.
    At least I know my TB's parentage :)
    Can't wait for more Pie news :)

  14. The pictures of Dawn were very similar to the pictures I took of our Icelandic Horse gelding when I got a saddle made for him by Steele. It was a good process and we got a good saddle out of it.

    Looking forward to hearing about Pie's arrival.


  15. I knew that name sounded familiar. It's also the name of Elizabeth Taylor's horse in "National Velvet."

    I guess I'm showing my age.


  16. I've done some studying of warmblood pedigrees but know zero, zip, zilch about QH pedigrees. I have minimal knowledge of TB pedigrees.

    What tree style tends to fit Dawn's back the best? Just curious after looking at the pictures. Saddle fitting is so easy for some horses and SO HARD for others!!

  17. Melissa - I don't know - I'll see what the Black Rhino folks have to say - their saddles (Western and endurance) have quite a bit of flare in the shoulders, which Dawn needs. I'm hoping they can fit her - they don't use the standard trees - they have their own.

  18. Pedigrees fascinate me! I've spent countless hours researching and learning about my various horse's pedigrees, and I think I find Thoroughbred and QH pedigrees the most interesting. Don't ask me why, I just do.

    Looks like you and Pie are going to have quite an adventure together! Good luck getting Dawn's saddle. I know you're more English, but have you tried various western saddles on her as well?
    Just a thought!

  19. I love researching pedigrees, especially TB ones! I've had a lot of fun searching through my Cody girl's TB side! Several Belmont Stakes winners and Kentucky Derby winners in her pedigree! A triple crown winner and an english triple crown winner! Lots of distance runners and one sprint champion! She has Nasrullah, War Admiral, and Man O' War too. Bold Venture who won the derby and preakness but bowed a tendon and didn't run in the belmont. Colin, undefeated in 15 starts. Spy Song, sprint champ. And so many more! It's been fun to research! The only horse I really recognize on her QH side it Poco Bueno, but then I know TBs better than QHs!

  20. My gelding AJ isn't registered and I had a few horses after him that weren't either. So when I got Lilly and she was registered, I was SO excited to see what her pedigree looked like... I didn't know a single horse on that paper! LOL But I love her anyway. :)

    Tomorrow is Pie day!! Can't wait! I'm sure he'll settle in just fine.

  21. Your Pie is certainly bred for speed! If you get into jumping with him, I bet he'd do well.
    I had to get a custom fit saddle for Beamer too, it's well worth it.


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