Since then, I’m yet to find anything to phase or upset this kind natured, gentle horse. He’s hacked alone, in company, in traffic, across open fields all in a snaffle, he’s xc schooled enthusiastically popping 3’3” fences from the open course, jumped through water, attended a SJ clinic, and is led and handled by my 72 year old Dad.
Last weekend, we ventured out for our 1st training show. We started cautiously by entering the clear round and the 2’9” – more for experience rather than to be competitive at this stage. Previously he’d been travelled in a lorry, so we didn’t know he would react to a trailer; of course, he wandered straight in without hesitation and travelled quietly throughout without even getting warm.
Upon arrival he tied up by the trailer, and just watched the world going by whilst we tacked him up. Warming up he seemed oblivious to the other horses and just went about his business, before winning a ribbon for his clear round, and jumping a super double clear in his class. He also completely ignored the kamikaze pigeon who flew into the mirrors in the arena right next to us as we prepared to jump!
At just 7 years old, he’s still relatively inexperienced, but takes everything in his stride. I’m sure there will be things we come across that he’s not sure of, or times where he gets a bit excited, but his behaviour has been impeccable so far and his attitude second to none. He is just 1 of many TB’s and ex-racers who are entirely undeserving of the ‘stressy, hot’ label that plenty of people are keen to give them. Oh, and he’s also being fed staypower mix – no cool mix for my boy!
I completely understand that people have different tastes and might prefer say a coloured cob to a TB, or a Warmblood, or a native breed – that’s just personal preference, but I know that some people would automatically discount a TB based upon the stereotype which is sad. Definitely worth pointing out that a stereotype is only a generalisation though, not a rule, and very often not a true representation at all. Since his arrival, Blue has proven himself as a safe, sensible and chilled out gentleman, and is a fine example of a happy transition from racehorse to riding horse. You would have to go a long way to find a horse with a better nature – TB, sport horse, cob or otherwise! Horses are individuals just like us, and their personality, training and a whole host of other factors defines them, NOT a label.