Meet Baron

I recently bought my first horse, a 5 year old Thoroughbred who came off the track about 6 months ago. This blog will record my efforts to re-train him as a show horse. Like I said, he’s my first horse so I have a lot to learn. If you have an ex-racer or a green horse, this blog may be of interest to you. (Or if you just like reading about horses, like me!)
Now, a little more about my horse. I bought him from a woman who buys racehorses off the track, rehabs them a little bit and then sells them as sporthorse prospects. His registered name is Storm Ballad and his nickname at the track was Chip, short for “Chipmunk Cheeks.” He does have very full cheeks! I renamed him Baron because I think he is too gorgeous for a name like Chip. He is a 16 hand chestnut with a fantastic pedigree which includes Bold Ruler, Secretariat and Northern Dancer (not that it matters much, now that he’s gelded!). He’s a very handsome boy, very flashy, and perfect for the show ring.
He is boarded at a barn very near my house so I see him every day and get to take an active part in caring for him. I muck his stall, feed him and see to his day to day needs. This has given me a chance to see his personality a little quicker than if he were at a barn where someone else is paid to take care of his daily needs. I have already seen some areas we need to work on. First, he is a little pushy at feeding time, especially with his water. If he’s thirsty, he sticks his head in the bucket before I can get it hung up. This means I have to stand there and hold the heavy water bucket while he slurps away. Second, he crowds his stall door when I’m coming in and out. Third, he does not know what “Whoa” means. On the lead line, if he sees something of interest, we are both going to see it whether I want to or not. This is an 1100 lb animal and I am not a very big girl. He pulls me around like a rag doll, so we’re going to have to do something about that.
On the positive side, he is submissive. He is a wuss in the pasture and if he is firmly given a command he understands, he is quick to obey. Second, he likes people and likes individual attention. I wanted a horse that I could build a relationship with, and he seems to genuinely enjoy the time we spend together. Finally, did I mention that he is frickin’ gorgeous? When I see him cantering around the pasture, tossing his head and doing Grand Prix dressage moves for fun, I am so, so glad I bought him!

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