Monday, February 2, 2015

Baby Otto is growing up !

If there is one thing I can say I truly just never tire of with having horses is watching young horses grow and develop. I love being able to provide a young horse with all the right nutrition and room to move (although I wish I had more acreage) to become stronger and better. It's so fun to watch how they learn new skills , become strong and run around because they feel so darn good!

Even more enjoyable to me to take a horse that has lacked nutrition and adequate care and  be able to provide an environment where they can flourish.

When Otto arrived here, I was quite shocked at his less than adequate body condition. His coat was dull, he was underweight, his energy reserves were low, and his legs were weak. I didn't waste any time getting him on a solid feeding program and as soon as his quarantine period was over, I turned him out to our pasture with a buddy. He was so uncoordinated with his legs, he couldn't even walk without kicking himself and interfering with his hind hooves. The scar on his back right pastern has not changed (there was  some thought by the vet that it could be a sarcoma early on) other than it's healed and does not appear to be bothering him anymore.

Getting out and letting him move was going to be key.  Within only a few weeks of turnout, his strength improved rapidly and pretty soon he was doing victory laps around the pasture. Much to my terror, he quickly learned how to  gallop up and over the archery back stop  which is a dirt mound about 4 feet high in the middle of the pasture. Not only was he doing this  at high rates of speed... he would  let go a huge buck at the top of the mound and stick the landing.

Training for his future eventing career maybe... ???

Since October , he has been turned out with Cassidy and it has been very rewarding to watch this colt develop. In spite of his studly habits, he is quite a character. He craves human interaction. He is one of the most curious colts I have seen in a while.

(oh, started the Clicker training too, more to come on that in a later post!)

Otto will be 2 years old on April 12th but to  look at him, he has gotten so big, he looks like he could easily be turning three. He is a solid 14.3 hands.

The other night, while feeding, I stood back and just looked him over. I see him everyday but I hadn't really looked him over closely. I was struck with how much he has changed in a relatively short time. In fact, I was struck with just how nice he is looking right now.  Yes, he is still gangly but he has filled out and I can begin to imagine what he will look like when he is all grown up.. someday..

While he still has some of the longest pasterns and cannon bones I have yet to see on a horse,  I have seen some positive improvements.

The pasterns have definitely strengthened and are more upright now. Judging from his abilities to jump straight in the air from an absolute stand still, and get several feet in the air, they don't seem to be hindering him at all.

His canon bones seem less long than they were previously as he has grown and developed.

His hind quarter has definitely filled out. More to go but moving in the right direction for sure.

He is appearing much less wasp wasted.. thank goodness because I hate this conformation feature in horses.

I can't decide if his head looks more Araby or more TB. It changes depending on the angle I look at it from. Either way, I don't think I would call it an "ugly " head!

The weather is foggy , and bleary with bad lighting so the images are not  great  but I am sharing just the same.
It was hard to photograph him because he insisted on trying to come in close to see what I was doing.
horse face

I will try not to close my eyes this time

To my right

To my left

Filling out nicely

Meaty withers.. but withers present nonetheless.. thank god!

1 comment:

irish horse said...

so cute! Being able to play and be a horse is so good for body, and mind! He looks like he wants to get in trouble: I own the older naughty version of that!