So, of course when I went shopping for a youngster in 2004 my criteria aside from the above list was: no big and no grey. So what did I end up with? A very large, grey TB. And now, here I am with my 3rd horse who is in fact a classically bred but modern Trakehner. Since I seem to wind up with exactly what’s on my “don’t get” list, in the future I’ll be sure to include: no good movers, no good conformation, no good attitudes, and no beautiful, thick flowing tails.
Harry has been with me for a little over a month now. If all Trakehners were like Harry the breed would be one of the most popular in the country. He has a quiet confident attitude and is quite intelligent. We have never had the same lesson twice - he learns the first time and retains information better than any horse I’ve ridden. He does many things that I would not expect of a 4 year old such as: stands still under saddle without getting antsy –pantsy while I lean off to one side to open and close the arena gate. Once gate’s open, he half-passes through and allows me to close it without ever taking a hand off the top rail. He has virtually no spook in him, and he does everything I ask the first time.
He quickly took over leadership of the pasture and at feeding time is the first through the gate, by rank of course. I have never seen him use physical force with the other horses but we can tell that they obey his commands without question. (This is why he has adopted the nick name, Scary) He just has an outstanding presence about him that shows in all aspects of his life. The only quirk he has under saddle is that he is bothered when his forelock and mane tickle his ears. He’s a high maintenance boy and requires a few braids when working.
I have now jumped him a handful of times; starting over Xs, once or twice over verticals-including a few related lines-and last weekend we took him to school XC. I like to keep it simple and fun the first few times out by not asking technical questions that may cause him concern. We had a small group of three and Harry set off early on as the path finder. He was brilliant and tackled every question with ease. We worked him in the water, up and down the banks and then I fooled with a few BN/N gallopy fences. Kim and I were very excited with his progress and are hoping to get him out to some Area V recognized novice level horse trials this season. 1st on the list though are a few local schooling shows and clinics. Stay tuned…
Kristen and Scary