Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcome Home, Cole!

Two weeks ago, I was completely frustrated with local horse shopping and was planning a trip to Ohio to look at horses. I had a list of about 7 horses, 2 of which looked especially promising. While searching, I had seen an ad on for a big bay Thoroughbred gelding in Lexington and figured I'd give the owner a call. He was so close that even if I didn't like him, the trip wouldn't be much of a waste.

As it turned out, I really liked him. He was tall, dark, and handsome. I was a bit worried about just how BIG he was, but Julie and Mandy both assured me that substance is good, even in a potential upper level horse. I took him to Masterson three days after our first meeting and he was fabulous. It was only his second "field trip", but he took it all in stride. He was very pumped up at first, assuring me that he was indeed hot enough. We did the big questions- ditch, bank, and water, and he didn't bat an eye. He actually got better the more he was challenged. That sealed the deal and I called Dr. Martha to leave a message.

Super pumped-up pony.

No horse eating ditch monsters here!

Calming down by the end of the ride.

Dr. Martha is a super-awesome vet with a busy schedule and limited appointment times, so it took until Wednesday to get her out for a pre-purchase. He flexed well enough that we went to take the x-rays, but as soon as we got all set up, the x-ray machine wouldn't fire. With some creative appointment switching, we re-scheduled for Thursday. Thankfully the x-ray machine must of just been in a bad mood on Wednesday, because the next day it worked perfectly. With each view we took, Dr. Martha kept commenting on how clean each x-ray was for how big he is. Unfortunately we did find a bone chip in his front left fetlock, but he had flexed sound on it, so Dr. Martha didn't think it would be a big deal. Armed with Dr. Martha's professional opinion, I made the decision to purchase Cole, but to invest in surgery to remove the bone chip. She said that although there's a risk each time a horse goes for surgery, the arthroscopic surgery to remove a small bone chip was relatively non-invasive and had a great prognosis. In all it should take Cole about 2 months to get back to regular work, but I'll be happy to have the bone chip gone before it has a chance to become a problem. 

Yesterday I was so thrilled to pick Cole up. He settled in much quicker than I anticipated, mostly due to how delicious he thinks Julie's hay is. I haven't gotten a chance to ride him yet, but tomorrow I plan on changing that and showing him around the farm. (I can't wait!)

Onto the trailer...

The hay net on the other side, despite being filled with the exact same hay, was apparently much tastier than the hay in front of his face. 

Into the barn...

All settled in!

So, Team Riley fans, meet Cole!:

Cole is a 5 year old Thoroughbred gelding, registered with the Jockey Club as Cole's Connection. Cole stands at about 17.1 hands. His sire is The Cliff's Edge and his dam is Irish Ides, by Proud Irish. He raced as a 3 and 4 year old, but didn't have much luck against the smaller horses after breaking his maiden at Turfway. Cole raced in mostly claimers for a total of 9 races and about $7000 in winnings. His last race was in August of 2011, before his previous mother bought him as a dressage horse. After a winter off, his dressage career was progressing well, and near the end of May, he was officially listed for sale. 

As a side note, my mother bought me a bottle of wine last week- Fourteen Hands Hot to Trot. She told me I couldn't open it until we had a new horse, and thankfully I didn't have to wait too long. We popped it open last night to celebrate!

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