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.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's been busy around here!

And now things are finally starting to slow down.  Like, just today, I managed to ride Huck, Rooster, work with Dots and Hanna, post some ads, do some website updates.... and I felt like I was taking it easy!

The real truth to that is, my horses are all easy!  Huck, well, lets see... he almost walked into the halter, stood nicely to be tacked up... oh, but he DID pull his foot out of my hand once... because he was taking a nap while I picked out his feet.  Not really a true "pull" but it was something to report at least.

Got on, did a couple of laps at the walk to warm him all up, then did some trot/canter work.  Around the barrels (set up to weave through, not in a clover leaf) over the ground rails, and the first time around he swung wide at the gate, but a touch of the heel fixed it.  Ok, much of that was me being lazy in the saddle.  I got both leads when I asked, and could get either a hard stop, or a downward transition as I asked.  He stopped, he backed......

Yeah, I have nothing to report.  Huck is great. 

So, I get Rooster.  He walks right up to me.... and then Huck shoves between Rooster and the fence, so Rooster heads off.  Tell Huck to get lost, and walk away from the corner I was in (where the gate is) and Rooster walks up to me.  Tack him up, head out, and my phone starts ringing.  Rooster didn't bat an eye at me digging in my back pocket, yapping to people, hopping off while yapping... walking around while yapping, or climbing back on when I was done.  We did walk, we did trot... both extended and collected trot work....and we did canter.  Ok, so, the first time I asked for the canter today, he was bent wrong, and picked up the wrong lead, but again, that was me seeing what happened if I slacked off.  I got a nice transition, just the wrong lead.  Dropped back to the walk, did all my transitions again, and he nailed every single one. 

By this point, I'm thinking "How do you write an update on this?  So... the mustangs are pretty much perfect, and have been for over a week now".  So I started thinking of things that Rooster used to hate.  The teenager with the glass packs driving past...not a twitch of an ear.  I started falling out of the saddle - intentionally - and Rooster just slows down and lets me get all situated again.  We did barrels, ground poles, and then... I got something.  Heading over the tracks, and down the road past my house was a monster.  One of those trucks with the train wheels to go from street to tracks, with a boom on the back, and lots of clanging.  This was new, and this would be scarry to a horse.  Lets see how Rooster, the horse that used to have blow ups when he was stressed or scared, would act with this.......

I stopped, turned him to face it.......


........................................And he cocks a hip, and takes a nap.

So, I picked up the reins, and we did some more fun stuff.  I had a BALL!  Between the 2 boys, I did not work at all, I just rode and had a good time.  I suppose this is a good thing.  I told their owner that I thought it would take 60 days to get Rooster to be more stable, and here we are, 2 weeks ahead of schedule, and Rooster is wonderful.  Huck is amazing, and while still mouthy (I don't think anything will change that though) he's got a little more go, with out losing his consistency under saddle.  For the next 2 weeks, I plan to just enjoy my time with them, make sure that the training sticks, and have a ball.

Oh yeah, and as I was finishing up, my mother came out to take a break (she was cleaning stalls).  With eyes on, and Rooster being SO good, I decided to push my luck.  As I dismounted, I drug my whole leg all the way down his hip and leg, and goosed him in the flank a bit.  A real sloppy dismount, dragging myself off the horse.  Rooster's response....

He turned to look at me, and wait for a pat on the neck.  I gladly obliged. 

 And, tomorrow Lady leaves me.  I admit, I'm going to miss this girl.  She has been a fun horse to work with too.  I couldn't have asked for a better group this month, and I can only hope that my future clients are as wonderful (the horses as well as the humans).

Lady has the basics she needs, and her owner came by to get the low down on how to work with her.  Of course, if at any time she has a problem, I'm always willing to answer questions by email, text, or phone calls!  Any time! 

I'm excited for them though.  I think that both horse and owner will do wonderfully learning to progress together, and it's so obvious that they have a bond.  All I have to say, is that I had BETTER get an invite to their first show together!  Even if it's just a schooling show training test!

And I have decided to give myself 2 weeks "off".  I still have Hanna in for training, to be started under saddle.  She got her "eval" today, and I'm thinking that this is going to be nice and easy.  Hanna seems perfectly fine with anything I want to do.  Hell, we've been washing her head and puting ointment on a cut she received when shipping here, and she hasn't minded THAT (and I'm sure the scrubbing hasn't been the most comfortable).  Today, we did the whole "can I do this, can I touch there, do you mind leading on the offside" type of stuff, and I didn't see anything at all that needs to be addressed.  Tomorrow, we get to see how she lunges!

So, I'll save the Hanna intro for then!


  1. Who, pray tell, is Hanna?? Someone new? Jeez, Gone a day or two and everything changes.

    You life is way too boring. You KNOW how I can fix that for you, right LOL?

  2. Looks and sounds like a lot of fun - nice when everything goes that well (well, it's not just nice - you worked for it!). Can't wait to hear more about Hanna.

  3. Who, pray tell, is Hanna?? Someone new? Jeez, Gone a day or two and everything changes.

    You life is way too boring. You KNOW how I can fix that for you, right LOL?