Daaaaaaaaaamn Cathryn! Back at it with the on point blog hops!
Offered for your careful consideration, 2009 OTTB Ima Looking Cool, aka “Murray”. Murray is a 16.2 hand bay thoroughbred who was an utter failure at racing, due not only to his small size at the time of his races (15 hands during his 2-year-old year), but also his lack of focus during training, hatred of the start gate, and refusal to be ridden by anyone but a single female jockey. This was not for lack of trying, however — the kid is fast. Which you will very quickly discover if you ever ride him on cross country, turn him out after a few days locked inside, or take him away from home where he will escape your control and run away from you.
Murray is coursing 2’9″-3′ and has free jumped over 4′ at home, but only when psychologically tricked into thinking the fences were 3’3″ or smaller. In actual fact, this only happened once, as the second time we attempted to free jump him he went screaming through the chute then galloped around the arena for ten minutes and refused to be caught. See above re: he’s really fast. Under saddle Murray is really a very straightforward jumper. He will let you know early and often
that if he doesn’t want to jump a fence, so you will become very quick with the whip and develop a really fantastic seat. If he does want to jump a fence you really don’t have to worry about it — he’ll pull you to it and save your ass every time you miscalculate your distance based on your previous experience with him. Fortunately, Murray is incredibly quick with his front end and can get himself out of trouble easily; he can jump from basically on top of a fence and still make it over. Also, will jump absolutely anything up to 2’6″ from a stand still.
Murray has some natural dressage talent, but is unwilling to push with his hind legs, bend his hocks, or come into the bridle without a lengthy warm up. He is incredibly smart and will memorize his dressage tests after 2-3 run throughs, so at least you won’t need to remember them yourself. Murray’s cute face and pathetic expressions win lots of points with judges and clinicians, so you’re bound to gain some sympathy points, especially after they see you sit a buck or two. Dressage tests will never be boring again, I promise.
Loads, clips, ties, and bathes. Details: Murray will load onto absolutely any trailer ever, as long as you don’t screw up the angle putting him in the last slot on a slant load, at which point he will stand there with two feet in the trailer and look back at you with great consternation. He does consternation well. He clips, provided you are willing to outlast his objections and wiggling and get to the point where he regretfully succumbs to his fate. He kinda ties. You can’t really tie him, as he might freak out, rear, and/or pull back, but he can also untie blocker rings and many safety knots. Does not cross tie, just don’t even try it. Bathes provided warm water is available, will depart rapidly if cold water is the only option. No stable vices, unless you count shitting in his water bucket if he’s kept in his stall without turnout for more than two days at a time.
Murray is the definition of an honest horse — he wears his heart on his sleeve and lets you know what he is thinking absolutely whenever he is thinking it. These unfiltered thoughts and opinions will come to you as a combination of velociraptor screams, sideways/backwards steps, bucks, leaps, and occasional violent throwing of himself upon the ground. No rear, kick, or bite though! Murray is very respectful of rules that are laid down firmly and consistently, as long as he doesn’t think that they are stupid or are preventing him from eating grass. If the latter is the case, he will consistently test your rules, occasionally while maintaining eye contact and then become deeply offended when you punish him for breaking a rule.
Murray will teach you the patience of a stone and the creativity of Andy Warhol as you work out the best strategy for getting a girth on him. Consider this a positive aspect of his personality — we could all use a little more patience and creativity (and supple — we ALL need more supple). Great horse for a blogger — you will never lack for content or entertaining media.
Extremely talented at lateral movements and backing — can go from 500 mpm forward to backward in 1 second. Possibly too talented. Has changes — not auto but willing to do one-tempis any time he feels like it or is upset in any way. Very flexible lower back when he feels like using it.
Spritely, fun, and cheerful, Murray is a once in a lifetime horse for the teenager with a good attitude and great sense of humor! Like a good wine, Murray gets better with time, so a lengthy trial will be an option (I took 18 months). Come and meet him today — as long as you’re not too manly. Murray doesn’t really like men, or women who are really dominant, or anyone who has ever wronged him.