Thursday, January 12, 2012


OK, OK, this isn't really Starbuck, but it's what I like to think she looked like as a foal... X)

Today when I went out to the stable Marina (the stable owner) called me over to meet some people who were loading a pickup truck and it turned out that they were the folks who bred Starbuck (or Partiture, as she was named at birth)!  I was excited to meet them and learn a little more about her history.  Turns out she's NOT a Hanoverian / Anglo-Arab mix after all but in fact a Zweibrücker / Thoroughbred blend... At any rate very similar breeds, but her mother (the Zweibrücker) apparently had a heavier, old-style body type so they said she would probably grow a fair amount more.  Zweibrückers are a lesser known German warmblood which boast Hanoverians, Holsteiners, Trakehners, Anglo-Arabs, Thoroughbreds and German Draft horses as common ancestors.  The Wikipedia article has the following tidbit which I found to ring particularly true: "The head is dry, expressive, and aesthetically appealing though need not have out of the ordinary refinement."

I asked about the huge L-shaped scar Starbuck has on her left buttock (sorry I don't have a photo, I'll try to remember to take one tomorrow) and it happened when she was about four months old but they don't know how she got it, she was just gashed open one morning when they got to the barn.  Since the stitches wouldn't hold and it kept opening when she would run around, they had to put her in a little paddock and had her wound cleaned and rebandaged every day.  This explains why even before she started her training she was so absolutely cool with being rubbed all over by humans and I think made my job a lot easier at the beginning!  I remember being impressed and surprised by how people friendly she was when I first met her and now it all makes sense.  They've promised to look for a photo of her mother and some papers which might have her breeding details, I'd be pleased as pie to get more details about my baby girl and see what her parents were like!

Anyhow I let her have some play time with Coco in the arena today, I got a great video of them running and playing.  And at the end when they were all tuckered out we led them together to the "scary" side so they could bravely eat grass together next to the dreaded invisible tiger cages (in other words where she freaked out and fell the other day)... at first she was real jumpy and ran away every time anything made a noise, but then I started causing the noises myself (throwing rocks at bushes and whatnot) and she calmed down a lot.  My plan for the next few days is to work in the middle of the arena and then try to rest in the scary spots, hopefully with patience and practice she can overcome this fear and come to trust me just a little bit more.

I also noticed that she does a lovely trot with lots of suspension in one part of the arena where there's a fair amount of vegetation, this Saturday I might check the footing and do a little longeing there if Marina approves.  More or less the same principal as cavalletti... getting her to lift her legs and use her muscles differently.  Definitely don't want to overdo it, maybe just a couple of circles in walk and trot.  We'll see how it goes...

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