The Stinker Pony

Stinker (aka Gatsby) is a 2009 15.3 hand unregistered saddlebred.  He is not what I was expecting to purchase when I started looking for my own horse, but I wouldn't trade him for the world.  I started looking when I was fresh out of grad school so my budget was low.  I knew I didn't know what I was looking for, so I charged D (past trainer) with the task of finding me a horse even though she was 14 hours away.

From his sales ad

My criteria was I wanted something that was fun and I didn't look funny on (I am 6'0" tall).  My goals were to do dressage and low level eventing with the new horse.  I like hot horses with a personality.  I did say no greys because I am too lazy to keep that clean.  In my budget I basically had two options.  An older horse that knew the ropes and may have some health issues or a green horse that didn't know what it was doing either. I went with the green horse, because I like young horses and I started a number of them when I was in high school.  The plan was for D to put three months in on the green horse and then bring it down.

I was expecting to get an OTTB, but I ended up with a saddlebred.  When D first sent me his video I thought he funny looking at the very least and I believe my first question was "Does his head ever drop?" followed by "Can they jump?"  I have since learned that the answer is yes to both questions.  A PPE later D went home with a Stinker Pony (also known as a gingeraffe).  She kept him for about 2.5 months and then he moved south.

Personality:  Check

We got off to a bit of a rocky start.  I didn't know how to ride him and he had leftover issues.  The lady I got him from had picked him up in an auction yard as a two year old.  He was "broke to ride and drive" which equates to have fun dealing with those issues.  Our rocky start got even rockier when he was diagnosed with EPM (summer 2015) a few months after I got him.  It was a long summer, but in the fall I was able to put him back into work.

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It took us another few months to get things straightened out (he was basically panicking anytime I rode him).  In January 2016 I got a new saddle (Stinker approved), he got shoes all around, and we started on a walk program.  This finally got us going in the right direction.  After about 6 months of walking we started slowly adding in trotting and continued to address lingering physical issues as we were able to identify it as a physical issue and not a training issue.


Things finally started coming together in 2017 and he has made excellent progress.  When I moved I started working with a GP dressage trainer about three times a month.  I made the decision to stick with straight dressage and not to try and do eventing with him, because of his health issues.

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