Friday, September 2, 2011

Three Horses: A Photo Essay (Including Butts, Distinguishing Marks and a Yucky Neck)

I haven't done a photo post in a very long time, and some of you may not have ever really "met" my horses, so today I managed to drag the camera to the barn.

First, let's get Dawn's yucky neck out of the way.  It continues to look pretty nasty, but so far there are no open areas, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Here's the pleating of the skin that I was talking about:

And here's the nastiness, which is skin and hair peeling off:

It's actually not as bad as it looks and it's not sensitive to the touch.  The swelling is now almost gone - just a little bit left between her front legs.

But Dawn's actually a very pretty, feminine mare.  She's a TB, 14 years old, and we've had her since she was 4.  She's actually very sturdy for a TB - she's about 15.1 and fairly short-coupled, with good overall balance, although she's very slightly downhill, and has very nice feet and legs - her hind end isn't as straight as it looks in the photo and she has pretty nice angulation:

For a horse that hasn't been worked that much this year, her hindquarters are looking pretty good (I had to put the word "butt" in the title - what sort of hits should that get?!):

Dawn is all bay, with no white anywhere, but she does have a number of distinguishing marks (she also has a lip tattoo since she raced), of which I keep photos in case of a need to identify her.  She has acquired most of these marks due to her tendency to have accidents of various types (in addition to odd illnesses).  On the right side of her barrel, there's a large triangular scar:

On the top of her right front leg, another scar:

And yet another scar on the right side of her chest, along with a "dent" in the middle:

And there are lots of other dings and dents . . .

Pie has just turned 5, is a QH and I've had him since November of last year.  He's slightly long in the back, and is a bit lankier than Drifter, and I think he's about 16 hands (he grew a couple of inches since I got him).  His overall balance is pretty good, and he has outstanding feet and legs (he's standing on a slight uphill slope):

His butt's developing nicely with the work we're doing:

He's got a couple of interesting distinguishing marks.  He's got a brand on his left thigh that only shows when he's in his summer coat:

And he has an interesting whorl on the right side of his neck just below the crest - I call it his "galaxy" - it's a circular whorl just to the right of another triangular hair pattern:

But then of course, his most distinguishing characteristic is his head and face, with his very deep jowl, slightly Roman profile and white markings - I like to think of him as rugged - that's my Pie!:

Drifter is also a QH, is 10 years old, and I've had him since the end of March.  He's quite heavily built, although not in a halter horse sort of way.  I think he's 14.3 hands, but his barrel is so substantial it fits my leg just fine.  He's short-coupled, very muscular, has excellent legs and feet, and his overall balance is very good.  His shoulder is unusually nice - great angle and width and heart depth.  He's got the potential to be a real athlete:

His hindquarters are coming along nicely too - when I got him he was pudgy and out of shape but that's a thing of the past (he's standing on a sight slope here so he's not quite even):

He's got a couple of interesting distinguishing marks - a "thumbprint" on the right side of his neck (I forgot to get a picture of that), and two matching whorls, one on each side of his barrel just in front of the hindquarters, with a raised "seam" of hair running under his belly between the two whorls:

He has a lovely face and head - big, broad, deep jaw and small muzzle - and his expression is often alert:

I enjoyed taking those photos - I'll have to do that again soon!


  1. Cute photos! I didn't realize Drift was just 14.3 hands. He doesn't look it due to his body type and bone.

  2. It always amazes me how different horses can look from photo to photo (due to everything from their expressions to how they're standing). Wow on Dawn's neck pleating...she must have been puffed up to beat the band!

  3. Really very good! You should do more. That neck must have looked awful! But as you say it is healing. Good luck.

  4. That was fun! Drift's build reminds me of my Starman. He was about the same height and build. Although I am tall (5'9") with long legs, I didn't look totally stupid on him. I think size of barrel is more important than height in fit for a rider. At least a leggy one like me.

  5. Come to think of it, this is a great idea to keep in your files should something happen and you need a full identification of the horses.

    Might be a good project for all of us to undertake. Something for me to do as part of my knee rehab!!

  6. Great post and interesting. I may have to try that too with our horses one day.


  7. Poor Dawn, I'm glad it isn't sensitive because it looks uncomfortable. She's a pretty mare.

    The two boys are very handsome too. Nice butts! Can't wait to see what kind of hits you get with that in the title. Good idea though for identification and general all around references from month to month.

  8. Love the pictures, Kate--and what great descriptions to go along with them!

    You have an nice equine brood. :)

  9. I love horse butts... especially nicely muscled ones!
    Nice photos!

  10. You may have started something here! Drift sure has a pretty face. And Pie at 16 hands? Wow!

  11. From past pictures on the blog I never would have guessed Drift at 14.3 hands, I definitely would have guessed a few inches taller. He is a very solid looking guy!

    I heart Pie.

  12. Awe. I will have to do this ... go over every square inch of my new horse. I noticed an adorable "swirly" or "whirly" on his neck just behind his cheek... I'm following Dawn's condition... I'm amazed at how much there is to learn about horses....

  13. They are all gorgeous! :)

    I can't believe you've already had Pie for almost a year. Wow time flies.

    I'm glad Dawn is feeling better.


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