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  • Hello from sunny Arizona!  I've been lurking around for a couple of days and this seems like a nice place to discuss horse things.  I'm the lone horse person in my house, so I don't get a lot of that here...at least not without blank stares and a bit of drooling if I go on too long. [:)]

    I've recently moved back to my home town of Tucson, AZ with my husband, 2 little girls, 3 cats, a dog and my horse (of course).  We are all adjusting to the heat after being away in the mountains for so long.  My horse seems to be happiest of all, and is looking fat and shiny.  She's an OTTB who is now 20 years old...not so as you'd notice.  She's showing no signs of slowing down, and is often mistaken for a 3 year old (I know! but really, it's been happening!).  I've been "fixing" her since she was given to me 10 years ago.  She had some pretty major issues, but has really turned out to be a nice horse under it all, IF you can get her to trust you!  I think I've had my fill of "difficult" horses now, but I sure have learned a lot along the way.  I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

    I'm looking forward to "meeting" and discussing with all of you. 

  • WELCOME!  Glad to meet you.  I admit, we are a pretty nice bunch here.  Always glad to have a new member.  You will notice we have a "general chat" where many of us check in every day.  Feel free to join in on any thread.
  • DesertHorse, Hello and welcome from crispy Central Texas.
    Glad you found us.
  • Welcome to the Horse Forum! Nice to "meet" you [':)']
    This is a great place to talk horses and lots of other things too. The people here are just great and helpful too! Enjoy!
  • Welcome to the forum!  I've been gone a couple weeks and missed being able to get on here and visit w/ everyone.  We need pictures of your mare!!!  I'm in southern California although we seem to be having a really mild summer.
  • Pictures of Silk, as requested.  That's her on my profile pic, and I've loaded up three more.  One with my husband's niece (does that make her my niece-in-law??), the second with my oldest daughter when she was about 18 months old, and the last one taken when we farm-sat for a friend of mine a few years back.  All these are in the Flagstaff area...where we live now looks nothing like this!  LOL  Need to get some pictures of ME riding her...I'm always the one holding the camera.
  • Silk looks like a great horse [':)'] I love her name too!
  • I love T'breds! I'm glad she found you.  Sounds like you've given her a wonderful life (so far!).

    I've got 3 OTSB's  (one was off the track in about a minute - no speed there) AND my little appy girl who has been likened to owning a pet goldfish.  *rolls eyes*  I'm determined to ride her SOON. 
    Anywho...  welcome!  You said "mountains" and I imagined Colorado.  LOL  I guess Flagstaff and Tucson are different but I don't know too much about AZ.  Just passed through on my way from CA to VA (a few times). 

    I'm in the Mid-South.  It's hot here but not AZ  hot.   Not Kuwait hot either.  That was 120 and climbing when I left in June.  But I thought about AZ a few times when I was over there!! 
  • Hunterseat, Flagstaff is a lot like the Colorado mountains you are thinking of, but with less water.  It's one of those little islands of high mountain forest that crops up here and there in AZ.  I lived there for 17 years.  It's a 4 season climate, and the elevation is 7,000 feet in town...climbs rapidly as you head up to the ski area.  We got tired of the snow and wind, which is why we moved south to Tucson.  It's true desert down here.  I grew up here, and my folks are still here so that's nice since my girls are still really little.  Silk seems to really like the weather...not having to keep warm at night and grow a super bear coat for the winter means that she is gaining the weight I've been struggling to put on her, which makes me happy.

    LOL, Dolphin, her registered name is Taki Silktime Gal.  Silk was the only reasonable name I could get out of that mess!  The people before me were calling her Talkie, like she was some kind of radio.  No thanks.  That was the first of many things that changed for her when she came to me. 

    Silk's a neat horse...very sensitive, and also very reactive.  I think she had a pretty rough life on the track and after.  She'd had 8 owners by the time she was 8 years old.  Crazy stuff.  It sounds like several people on here have off the track horses of one kind or another.  That's really nice, I had a hard time finding people with TBs, let alone OTs in my horse community, so no one really had any idea what I was dealing with when I first got her.  I considered selling her, but figured if I wasn't going to put in the time to fix her, no one else would either, and I didn't like where that train of thought was going, so...here we are 10 years later.  [':)']

  • LOVE your lasts sentence there!  Of course you ride her Western, being out there. 
  • I've ridden her everything.  Western, English, bareback (a little), but mostly I ride in an Aussie stock saddle (no horn version).  I find it to be the perfect saddle.  It's got all the things I love about English and Western, and none of the things I don't.  Very close contact, very comfortable (for us both), and VERY deep and secure for trails or silly horses! 

    As for a slow trot...HAHAHA!  You funny.  Not really.  I always joke about how this horse doesn't do anything slow.   I have however learned how to sit her version of a slow trot.  It's not what you'd want to see in a Western show ring, but it's slower than her fast trot...which would put you in the next state by nightfall!  LOL.  When I first got her, it was like having a rocket on a string!

    I have ridden her on the trail quite a bit, though that was back in the days before my kids when I could ride more regularly.  She's sure-footed and athletic, but gets nervous easily.  So, if she's been ridden a lot and we are either with other horses or going somewhere she knows well, she's pretty good.  If it's a new place, or she sees a horse-eating deer, well, she keeps me on my toes.  She doesn't try to dump me or anything, thankfully.  If she gets scared, she RUNS.  If I don't let her run, she starts doing other things to move her feet, and her brain stops working.  I have a lot of strategies for getting her brain back, but there were times when getting off was the best idea. 

    I've heard of people with completely lovely OTTBs that their kids can ride and they trust completely, but that has not been my experience.  I think TBs are incredible horses...strong, bold, lots of enthusiasm and very intelligent, but IMO they are super sensitive and they need a lot of riding and skillful handling.  I sort of had a crash course with this horse.  I had a lot of riding experience, plus formal instruction, and some training experience before I got her, but nothing that prepared me for her.  Mind you, she had issues other than just being a TB.  I am a much better horsewoman now, and I have her to thank for that.  Would I have another TB?  Hmmm...maybe.  I'd be really careful in choosing one if I did.  I got this horse as a gift, and at the time (as now) it was this horse or no horse, and I figured that any horse was better than no horse.[':)'

    I think the trouble is a lot of people who end up with horses like this aren't realistic about what they want/like to do.  If you want to mosey on trails with a horse that takes care of you, a TB is probably not for you.  If you like to think about your riding and the state of your horse's mind, all the time, then you'd love riding my Silk.  Some of my friends in Flagstaff wouldn't ride or even handle her.  I think that really is a mental block, because she's not an ogre (she's actually quite sweet), and her ground manners are good.  However, I've gotten to the point with her that I really don't want anyone else to ride her, so it suits me. 

    From your name, I assume you ride English...do you do trail or arena work mostly?  How are the OT Standardbreds?  I've heard they are lovely horses, but I've never met one.  How old is your appy?  She's so cute!  And, what were you doing in Kuwait?  I'm glad it's not quite that hot here.  It was 117 on my patio one day in July, but we don't usually get or stay that hot for long.
  • You put into words my feelings towards tbreds.  You left out.... stamina.  Foxhunting fools!!!  Yep.  Grew up English with a TON of lessons.  Jumping, some showing, some hunting....  Right now my Zagnut is a pacer and I can't seem to spend whatever it takes (time, money) to get him to trot dependably.  I don't sweat it.  He gives me a really nice trot every now and then.  So mostly trails, though it hurts my feelings not to be able to jump him.  Maybe we will get it down.  He's just so fantastic.  I love him so much.  The trotters are HUGE movers, as is Zag when he trots.  LOVE it, though.  Zag does a nice little saddle gait when I ask.  OH and I just got a harness for the cart I got last year.  SOOOoooo.... we shall be driving before long. 
  • Stamina is right!  You can't wear them out.  People used to ask me if I couldn't just "tire her out" before I went for a ride to settle her down.  Yeah, right!  She can go all day.  And the more you let her go, the more she wants to go!  I had to figure out how to make her think before she was safe.

    So, explain to me, since I have limited experience with both jumping and gaited horses...why can't you jump if you don't have a reliable trot?  Is it too hard for them to take off properly out of a pace?  I think gaited horses are so cool...I had an Arab/Tennessee Walker cross as a teenager, and I think he was trying to gait for me, but I didn't know what to do with it, so I taught him to trot instead.  He also had HUGE movement.  He was one of those amazing, once-in-a-lifetime horses...would do anything for me, and was also quite the comedian.  I miss him.

    Oooh, driving!  That's something I've always wanted to learn how to do.  One of these days....
  • I'll answer that!  But I need to get going this morning.  I'll be back!
  • Hi, DesertHorse! I actually do have a desert horse - a Straight Egyptian Arabian - here in the rainy Willamette Valley of Oregon. I hear ya about not being able to tire out the horse. Riding Kabarr is like riding the train - go, go, go... I only longe him pre-ride to check attitude. [';)'] He would never wear down.

    Welcome to the forum. I look forward to getting to know you and Silk.