Friday, January 29, 2010

Jody Strand Clinic - Tag's Impression

Part 1

When I'd first walked into the arena with Tag, Jody Strand commented he thought the horse had a very pretty face. Once I got onto the horse and Tag began to move, he commented again. Jody thought the horse was a pretty mover as well. Then Jody stood there just studying the horse for a bit.

Next thing you know he asked who I'd said his sire was. Before I could answer, Jody Strand answered his own question, "Did you say that stud you rode earlier today?" I replied with a nod and Jody nodded his approval, " Niiiiiiiccccceeee!" slowly rolled off his lips.

I think it doesn't get much better than that for a breeder. I know in my heart if I can get this kind of response from someone like Jody Strand I am on the right track. Sooner or later there will be enough of these horses in the ring people will want to know where they're coming from and I'll finally be getting my young horses sold.

I would think from the impressions I got of Jody Strand that he will not forget these horses he met at this clinic. I hope that will be helpful sometime in the future. That's part of the reason I've taken my horses to clinics over the years.

Jody made the comment the horse didn't have a really long neck but it was well shaped. The man had commented earlier in the clinic he preferred horses for his amateurs that didn't have those really long necks because it's hard for an amateur to keep a horse like that together.

That led to a bit of discussion about how slow these horses that I breed mature. The current length of the horse's neck is what it is because he's in the middle of a growth spurt. Jody asked "Didn't you say this horse was coming 5........well, he looks more like a coming 3 year old." I nodded in agreement with this statement as Jody continued those late maturing horses are sure worth waiting for.......again I nodded in agreement. It was nice to have a professional see what I see in my horses.

From the beginning of the ride the horse was strong I knew it was because he was unfamiliar with his surroundings. Tag was trying to do what I asked but his self preservation switch was in the on position. Getting the horse to slow-up so Jody could see the trot I knew was there just wasn't happening.

We talked some about what this horse's job might be. I mentioned Richard's belief the horse was western but Jody definitely thought pretty hunter. He commented about how forward a moving horse Tag was and I laughed knowing that trolls can make any horse go forward. Still Tag was making an impression and Jody thought I was right on in thinking he'd be a good maturity hunter horse for this year.

I'd explained that the horse's training had been sporadic from the point the show season began. Richard's told people at Region 4 that Louie had less than 90 days under saddle. That meant Tag and Percy were under that mark now since each was nearly a month behind Louie in the amount of days each had been worked.

I think with that amount of time under saddle Jody didn't expect much more from the horse than what he saw. The horse was stepping deep underneath himself and lifting his shoulder......and his back at all three gaits. Yet I knew there was a lot more there to give.

The horse had just barely been asked to bridle. Yet he knew how to get underneath himself and go slow if asked. Before I'd gone to Tulsa I'd had rides with a nice flowing gait at both the trot and the canter with moments where the horse rolled over into the bridle. Getting to that point on this day seemed like a more difficult task than I had energy for.

As I tried to push the horse forward into a barrier, he was dropping his head to avoid the pressure. This evasion the horse had not been doing before I'd left. Jody told me to pick him up saying the behavior can contribute to a young horse dropping its shoulder.

I was trying to lift the horsed. Tag was having trouble tracking what I wanted as he worried about what trolls might lay in wait for him. My body, having not really recovered from my Tulsa trip, was beginning to ache. I even began to worry I might have an asthma attack before I got the horse where I wanted.

Tag did eventually settle down. The pretty trot I remembered was back and sometimes the horse even rolled over into a nice frame. Jody stood there in the middle of my circle nodding his head in approval. It was clear he really liked this young horse and the job Tag had done on this day.

As I walked my tired sweaty horse from the arena, Jody Strand and I talked briefly about what it's been like for me as a small breeder trying to break through into the market. I explained people in the area seem to be stuck in their routines for finding new horses and those routines didn't include a "new" breeder like me.

With a concerned look Jody asked me if I had sold any horses. I responded in the affirmative and that expression relaxed some until I mentioned so far those horses had not realized their potential and that didn't help a breeder like me. Again he nodded in agreement but he commented I was on the right track. All I can say is I sure hope he's right.

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  1. You always provide such fascinating insight. I wish I could see photos or videos in my head of all this though. I sure imagine it, but it would be so cool to see your horses in person! ;)
    Anyway, I'm glad Jody was impressed with your horses! I think you nailed it on the head, people being stuck in their routines with breeders/horses. I do hope one of your horses finds the right place or gets recognition for it's talent, in turn helping market RR Arabs!!

  2. You have some very beautiful horses and they look very well taken care of. Love the narrative about your experience at the clinic.

    and thanks for visiting my Journal.