"Project Horses" - When we list a horse for sale as a "Project Horse" we do so because that horse has one or more issues or special needs which need to be worked with or through by the new owner. With Christie's limited energy these days, she is not up to working these horses through their various difficulties and so we are selling them at a low price with the understanding that this horse is a "fixer-upper" and will take some work from you to consider it a well-trained anyone-can-ride horse.
COLOR: Jet Black
PRESENT REGISTRIES: Tennessee Walker
TRAINING LEVEL: Fully trained, life-long riding horse
EXPERIENCE: Extensive trail experience
GAIT: Very smooth, easy to ride
TEMPERAMENT: Loving but full of energy under saddle
PERSONALITY: Dominant in the pasture with other horses, he makes a good leader
HIS STORY: We adopted Doc (previously named Old Hickory) from the Kentucky Equine Adoption Center, a very fine horse rescue in Kentucky. He had been there only three days when we showed up, looking for a couple of good riding horses to take home with us. He had been the lifelong trail partner of a Kentucky woman who, in her 80's, finally decided she needed to stop riding. She entrusted him to KYEC and their exceptional track record for placing horses well. We were not considering horses of his age (he was 20 and we were looking at younger horses) but they suggested I get on him and that was all it took. He was so polite and well trained under saddle and he moved out effortlessly, flying around the ring at speed but never making me feel out of control. We brought him home!
He took a while to adjust to life at the ranch. He was flighty and frightened for the first few weeks. It became clear that he needed to bond with some people he could count on to really settle in. We matched him with my niece, Lucy, for the summer, and he began to relax and show us what he was made of. Lucy and Doc went out on the trails and galloped the summer away and both seemed to love every minute of it. Doc has now gotten to know more of us at the ranch and settled down into the reliable, wonderful riding horse we knew he could be.
Unfortunately, my niece has moved out of state and Doc is now left to be ridden primarily by friends clients that come up to ride with us - in other words, people he doesn't know well. It has become clear that he is looking for a relationship with a special person and will thrive more in that kind of situation than as a general riding horse for strangers.
His Issues - What makes this horse a "Project Horse?"
- Age - While Doc is spry and active and shows little issues of age, he is an older horse.
- Hard Keeper - Doc lived all his life in Kentucky and has not adjusted easily to our northern climate. He does well only on supplemental grain and with a close eye kept on his dietary needs. Our set-up here makes it difficult to have individualized feeding routines for one horse and we are struggling to keep weight on him. Last summer, when we were able to get him on an individualized feeding program, he kept weight on himself well and had no problems.
- One Training Issue - Doc is well trained and highly experienced but has one training issue which keeps us from putting just anyone on him. (We think this would be solved if he had a consistent relationship with a rider who was a strong leader but it may take a little work as you build that relationship.) Sometimes towards the end of a ride, he insists on turning back to the barn before the rider is ready and can be a hand full to keep from turning back early.This is the kind of thing which can be fixed with training and a solid, consistent relationship, but we just don't have the energy right now to do that.