Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Getting "OTTO"

 In case you didn't catch the announcement post ( Ok I admit, it was a bit hidden) it's here  .

Yes, the herd at Acer Farm is going to be back up to five horses before September is over.

                              Little "Otto" , short for  "Octavius " will be joining the Acer Farm herd.
Sweet boy Otto

I know, I know I plan went completely out the window. I was planning to wait until spring of next year to begin casually looking for a potential mount,  assuming it would be late summer or even fall , or maybe not even until next year before I actually found something suitable.  I had two parameters in mind (both totally opposite ends of the spectrum) of which I intended to stick solely to.

A: Find Ideal horse = Find another Morgan or Morgan/TB cross but it must be a gelding and it must be 4-7 years old and already started. Something with brains, good bone and good feet and about 15 hands, but not much bigger. If it has Morgan in it, I knew I could count on toughness, brains, good legs and good feet.

B: Rescue a TB off the track and commit to the restarting an OTTB project and hope to hell it was going to stay sound mentally and physically and try using him as endurance/sport horse prospect.

Then....This little guy came across my radar


He didn't come close to meeting either of the criteria I had outlined for myself but something about him struck a nerve. The TB bloodlines for one. And Crytoclearance on the Dam side. Bonus. Cryptoclearance was an amazing racehorse.  He produced some fine sport horses as well. As  I  mentioned in a previous post,  the daughters  and granddaughters of Crypto seem to consistently pass on the heart, toughness, longevity and success as a racehorse, train-ability and personality that Cryptoclearance became so known for.  There are also a higher percentage of successful sport horses from the daughters of Crypto.  The  sons sired by Cryptoclearance were all good horses as well with some pretty outstanding race records, but did not consistently stand out like the those from his daughters.

One of the blog readers asked about my preference on that which I  mentioned in my initial post, so there you have it.

As far as the breed, which did not exactly meet the criteria....

I have always thought the Anglo/Arab cross would be ideal for what I want to do with  my horses but honestly, I never got too serious about looking for one because I like Morgans better than Arabs. Finding Morgan/TB crosses are nearly impossible to find because, well, they are just awesome and no one sells them when the find one. Not only was this colt  not within my established criteria at all , he was a 1000 miles away.. in Missouri. and yet...I had some inclination to look more carefully at him.. I guess it was just a gut feeling.

Movement and gait is really important to me, after having a couple of not so , shall we say, elegant movers in the past (Maggie, JB, Rebel). I was really looking for some specific movement this time around. Long  floaty strides and good freedom through the shoulders were high on the list of requirements.

In the photos and videos, this colt displayed that, even at his young age, his movement was quite nice.  His conformation seemed very proportionate when divided in thirds.  He wasn't wasp wasted and he had a nice deep hearth girth. More than all that, I liked this colts Thoroughbred blood lines . The Arab side was a bit unknown territory for me.  I don't know much about Arabian  bloodlines. I did at one time, when I worked on a large Arabian breeding farm back in the early 90's but that was a long time ago. What I do know is that I tend to like the Polish and Shagya lines because the ones I have always seen appear to be a little bit more substantial build and generally less hot . They just seem less .. well.. araby??

As luck would have it, this colts sire had more Egyptian lines.  I just remember from my time working on the Arabian breeding farm from years before that we always referred to them as Gyptoids. They were always a little hotter, and sometimes downright crazy. I would be lying if I said that learning this colt was mostly Egyptian lines didn't give me pause on considering this colt...

Otto's sire is  KA Odysseus and he is some Canadian National champion of something.. I have no idea what value that brings to a horse.  I am sure its important in the show world but it doesn't mean much to me. What I did like about the stud was that he had decent substance to him , great movement and he was very balanced.  Apparently his sire, SC Odysseus was considered a great contributor to the breed but again.... clueless on any of that.. That was all great but  none of that told me much about his personality thought. The  owner of Otto met the stud  and said that his demeanor and personality were a big driver for her decision to breed her TB mare to him. She said he was very gentle to be around. I also read up on some of the owners of his colt crops and what they got for colts. There seemed to be one common theme , personality and willingness.. This was going to have to be a leap of faith.  It was all I had to go on regarding personality. I did like the fact that the stallion didn't seem to have one of those really ugly  pronounced swan like necks with one of those little seahorse heads attached at the end.. I find that hideous in the Arab breed and it's not exactly great for balance over jumps either.

So when I penciled it all out, he was definitely something worth pursuing. There has been a lot of planning, calling, scheduling and more planning going on with this sale. Many things had to fall into place and there have been a few hurdles along the way .

Stay Tuned for details on how this deal all came together...It has been quite the process and  I think it's blog worthy..


irish horse said...

I love your "Plan X." I did the same, looking for a short, started, older experienced trail horse. And getting a 6-year-old way too tall greenie. But it all works out.

I think you got the best of both worlds breed wise. I love the few Anglos I've met. Thanks for the explanation on Cryptoclearance, interesting. And I only know my Egyptian arab, but he is truly an in-your-tent, I would do anything for you type. So I hope you get that part!

Can't wait for the rest of the the story...and just as important, photos!

Jonna said...

I am glad to hear Major is Egyptian..he's such a neat boy! I hope Otto has a great personality like that! It will be fun to see him develop.. as soon as he gets here I will post more current photos..
thanks for stopping by!