I apologize for the length of that post. I should have split it or not done such a brain dump in the first place. Sincere thanks to those who took the time to read and comment.
I announced I had abandoned my quest to buy Quaker, my little one-eyed, Steady Eddy QH buddy. I also revealed that Heather had offered me Daltrey (nee Streak) and part of the deal if I keep him is that he needs to remain intact until O's last foals are born at Heather's in 2011. I can see where you might think I had a heat stroke or something.
"Fry," you might say, "you are closer to 60 than you are to 50 and you're a mediocre novice rider at best. Where the hell do you get the cojones to take on a Stonewall foal, much less a stud colt? At your age and experience level, you should be sticking quarters in the ponies at WalMart."
For your consideration:
- It is not a done deal. Daltrey will come here for a visit when he is weaned, which could be as soon as next month. We'll see how he does with the Boyz, see if he bonds with me and Mr. Fry, how the land does with a third horse, and quite frankly, see if I am up to the task of bringing up a baby. Umm, I can be kinda lazy. Sometimes two feels like too many.
- If at any point, it's not working, I can send him back. I can keep just my two or I can try another one. That's the way they roll at Iron Ridge. I am not in this alone. I have all the expert help and support I need.
- These horses have amazing temperaments both as a product of their selective breeding and the way they are handled. They do seem to be born "old souls". The draft in them makes them so sweet. They have their moments, like they all do, but by-and-large, they are people-oriented, compliant, and even-tempered. Most milestones, including their first ride, are non-events.
- If you handle a stallion from birth, accepting nothing less than perfect manners and respect (as they do at the farm), it's no different than handling any other youngster that's full of itself. Having hosted the then-2-year-old Stonewall stallion, Scorch, I can tell you that I had not one problem with him. If his genes are needed, Daltrey will be collected — no live cover — and he'll be gelded as soon as his jewels are dispensable.
- Stonewalls and Sugarbushes (drafts in general) mature much slower than lighter horses. It's not abnormal to wait until they are 4 or older to even start them under saddle. Jaz is 11 and Poco may be 14 (no way to know for sure). Both are sound and healthy, and unless something unforeseen happens, I plan on a lot more years of improving my riding skills with them. God willing, we have all the time in the world to work Daltrey up. I won't ride him until we're both ready. Others might, but I won't. It's that closer-to-60 thing...