my good buddy Leah says "I'm coming over on Thursday, and I'm all yours for the day".
Well what am I supposed to do with extra hands! A million possibilities jumped into my head, the main one being those blank spots on my web page. I decided it was time for a picture day. At first, I thought we'd do Katy and Velvet. Both need their pictures up. Then it dawned on me, O is going to the trainer. From there, he will likely have himself a new owner. He's leaving on SATURDAY... I need more pictures of him.
Leah arrived ready to go. In fact, she arrived before I was ready to go. At 7:57am my phone rings. "I'm here!"
My alarm was set to go off in 3 minutes. I made Jae brew coffee, I tried to figure out which was was up, and find my shoes.
So, by the time I get out to the barn, almost an hour has passed. Good barn buddy that she is, Leah was watering, and throwing out hay. We had to wait a bit for the horses to finish breakfast, and then we got to work. Horse number 1... Sweetie.
Of course, we started with a bath. A bit of cleaning, a bit of clipping, a lot of brushing, and we had a very large wet baby. A bit more grooming, some hair product (I am really liking a new product called "Pink" available in the ethnic hair section of Walmart) and we began to see what looks like a horse!
I think she'd make a lovely carriage horse, and she's definitely the right type to be a good trail horse. She has lovely gaits, so could do well at dressage, but, she just doesn't have the drive to be a high competition horse. She's about as perfect of an example of the mellow draft horse as one can get.
Poor Leah had to keep backing her up to get her square for a conformation shot. Leah would step away, and Sweetie would try to walk back into Leah's space. Look at her face, Sweetie doesn't know why she isn't being given the love she thinks she deserves!
But, all in all we got a few good pictures. They will be uploaded onto my webpage later, and Sweetie's page will be updated. She looks so grown up in her pictures! It's hard to believe that she's just a little 2 year old, and no where near done growing. I admit though, I forgot to put a stick on her. I would guess she's standing around 15.2 hands right now.
My point is, he was a filthy dirty mess. He had a huge knot in his tail that Leah slowly worked out, and managed to save all the hair. We started cleaning him up, and kept finding scrapes and abrasions that he sustained while breeding. A scuff on his pastern here, missing hair on his forelegs there. I would be very embarassed to send him to the trainer in such a state, so I'm really glad I had the idea (at midnight last night) to pretty him up instead of the other girls.
Then came picture time. Oh my. O decided that standing wasn't as much fun as grazing while women fawned over him. He tried to walk off. He tried to graze. He wouldn't set up right. Leah tried to pose him first. Well, there's not really that much a person can do to force a horse his size around. He was so mellow and mild mannered about it, but he also just was not getting into the right spot.
At least I wish that's how it went!
But he never was bad. He didn't understand the point of standing perfectly sideways against a wall, facing away from all the pretty mares, and then not moving for a couple of seconds. In his mind that was a very strange request (I mean, can you really blame him?).
I have zillions of pictures, which I think will be great for an upcoming blog on "how to photo your horse". I actually had a good time, and am so happy that I got some good pictures. Yes, we got quite a few nice ones, and O is a stunning man in many of them. Leah has a great eye for capturing the horse as I know it, including it's expressions (see O's head shot above).
So this is my last time to really play with them before Rose and O head out to the trainer. I am very excited, and at the same time, I'm going to miss them a lot. Such amazing horses. I didn't think I'd get as attached to them as I have, since I always knew they were for sale. These big drafts have a special way of getting in someone's heart.
A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses
I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.