Monday, September 19, 2016

A New Normal

I've been saying for a while now that something needed to change in my riding situation. That I've been eager to figure out a new regular routine, a way to keep riding on my own terms without hustling up a horse every time.

taking in the sights
Perhaps you already connected the dots that I have been horse shopping. Perhaps not, in which case, SURPRISE!

Charlie Murray (2009 gelding)
Charlie Murray is a 7 year old OTTB last raced earlier this summer. This tall drink of water actually wasn't even on my list when I went to visit the facility, but his sweet, quiet disposition (and good looks) caught my attention.

via PedigreeQuery.com
After looking at a couple horses there (and a few others elsewhere), he was the one who stayed on my mind. The one I started dubbing "plain but promising" haha.

big horse in a little round pen!
I especially enjoyed hanging out with Charlie at the facility - where he had only been for a few days but was still very nonchalant about everything. Took encouragement to move out in the new-to-him round pen, and would stop to nibble grass as he went.

statuesque?
Mostly tho, in addition to liking the way he is put together and liking this 'type' TB, mostly I just liked HIM. Charlie is just a downright pleasant horse to be around.

bath time!
Including watching him get his first bath at the facility with some volunteers. This guy was so curious that at one point he had gotten a bucket stuck over his nose an it took literal moments for anybody to notice. Bc he was just hangin out, like "Ha, I got a bucket!" rather than flipping out or anything.

kind eye
So I put a deposit down and got him vetted. He's got some typical race horse stuff (feet need attention and residual body soreness) but the structures and joints and whatnot are in good shape. He was green-lighted to go forth and be my event horse!

wearing a hat bc my trailer is... not Charlie-sized
So I have since brought this big guy home - believe it or not he kinda sorta fits in my stock trailer. Maybe. It's maybe a bit snug....

new digs!
He's been settling in at the new h/j place over the weekend, and has eased into the new environment mostly ok. They have a fairly conservative program for building horses up to turnout (he has been accustomed to 16 hours out daily) so his first day found him as not the happiest camper with not enough time out.

checkin out the outdoor
We did lots of hand walking tho. Taking a peek at all the fun grassy areas outside, wandering by the arenas and fields and trailers and whatnot.

grazing by the gazebo
This guy literally just took it all in. Giant truck in the middle of the barn aisle cleaning stalls? Lessons going on in both arenas? Soccer game next door? Strange guy using a leaf blower to clean the aisles (who was seemingly around every single corner haha)? None of it got more than a glance from Charlie.

yep this is an indoor!
I'm really optimistic that he'll ease into the routine of the place pretty quickly too. By day 2 he got a much more substantial chunk of time spent out in solo turnout, and that will continue to grow until he's back to overnight group turnout.

coming to say hi
I stopped by in the morning to check on him and he was hanging out quietly, checking out all his neighbor horses. But of course he had to come over and say hi. This guy is just so friendly.

"Hi neighbor!!!" - Charlie
His former owners have had him since 2012 and very clearly loved him. And apparently spared no expense in his care. Poor guy, I'm a little bit of a downgrade for him unfortunately (look no further than the tiny stock trailer haha).

let's be real. i bought him bc he's game for selfies
But I suspect he'll be just fine. I like his temperament and disposition a lot, and think he will do well in a program centered around routine and consistency (two of my favorite words!!).

more evidence of downgrade status: mismatched tack
But of course you probably wanna know more, right? How is this horse to ride?!?

"I'm on a horse!!" - Emma
The answer? He's a real sweetie. Go button, steering, and brakes are all apparently in working order. He's a little tense and mouthy under saddle right now (still learning to be a riding horse instead of a race horse) but basically just does what I ask.

obligatory between-the-ears shot
He's still wearing his race plates up front and is barefoot behind, tho that'll get fixed later this week. But he was still happy to go when I asked!

post-ride, post-bath grazing
So I'm very excited. Charlie is certainly not the prelim/training packer that Dan wanted me to buy (lol sorry Dan but money is a real thing!) but he feels like a horse right up my alley. I can't wait to get him going!

144 comments:

  1. He's adorable! I saw him when I was watching another video on your youtube (videos on blogs won't work for me so I have to follow the links lol) and was hoping this announcement would be coming soon. Congratulations!

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    1. Ha thanks - I think a few ppl found the video that way ;) hopefully there will be more exciting videos to come soon!

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  2. Aaahhh, congrats! He's a good looking fellow. Looks tall!

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    1. Ha very tall - but doesn't feel like it under saddle fortunately ;)

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  3. Oh wow- tall, dark and handsome! Plus a sweetheart to boot- you hit the jackpot.
    Congratulations!
    Plus I can see two tone tack totally taking off. :)

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    1. Thanks! Tho I'm not so sure about the two tone tack... I had picked up that Stübben noseband to match the Stübben bridle, brass hardware and all... But the color is not good lol

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  4. Congrats!! He is a rather chill dude, grest job picking him out

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    1. Super chill! I'm sure he will not always be like that, but it's definitely a solid baseline!

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  5. *bounces* YAY. He is beautiful and sounds like a total and complete dollbaby. I can't wait to see where y'all are Sept. 2017!!

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    1. Me too!!! I'm eager to get started on a program with him and see how he likes it!

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  6. FINALLYYYYYYYY an update! Congrats on the new guy, OTTBs are the actual best :)

    Also, I have a brand new Charlie-sized bridle that you can have for just the cost of shipping if you're interested (it's too big for Roger's somewhat petite head). Shoot me an email at donovan(dot)jenn40(at)gmail.com

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    1. Ooh thanks email will be forthcoming shortly! Surprisingly this guy's head is actually quite proportional - that full sized bridle he is wearing is roomy on him, and he fits into my (generously sized) cob halter. But I still don't have an actual matching bridle lol

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  7. Yay! Congratulations! You already know my true feelings on the purchase (Squee! YAYAYAY!) I am just so very very happy for you! I can't wait to watch the partnership grow and progress. He seems like SUCH a good boy :)

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    1. :D such a good boy !! I will hopefully have lots to share on the mundane details of getting him going!!

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  8. OMG Congratulations!!! He's so gorgeous! I am soooo excited for you!

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    1. Thanks! I'm pretty happy with him!

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  9. YAS! FINALLY! This makes me so pleased... he's super cute.

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    1. Ha thanks - it's been a long time coming, that's for sure. But now we are here, so first order of business is turning this green race horse into a jumping pony!

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  10. Ahhhh congratulations! This is awesome, and he looks perfect. I love that classic Thoroughbred face.

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    1. Meeee toooo. He just has a lovely look and manner about him. Can't wait to see how it comes out under saddle!

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  11. Yay!!!! I'm so glad that things are working out!!!

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    1. Thank you! It's about time lol

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    2. That is exactly what I was thinking but felt like an asshole typing it! 😂

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    3. Lolz yup. Just had to wait for the right situation I guess!

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  12. EEEEE Congratulations again! He is a big, adorable sweetheart and I am SO excited for your new adventure with Charlie!! <3 <3

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  13. so much congratulations!!!!!

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  14. Omg so much yay! He is lovely, what a noble face!

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    1. I think I bought him for his face and his sweet eye ;)

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  15. you know my opinions on this already. but i had to say again hes soooo cute and im so excited/happy for both of you!!

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    1. Haha thanks girl - I might be slightly cracked to go this route but I think it'll work out :)

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    2. well any time you want to commiserate about 'wtf did we do' you have my number :P

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    3. Ha you might live to regret that when I text you freaking out after waking up at 4am questioning my life choices haha

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  16. Congrats!! He is very handsome and looks very tall. While I am new to your blog, he sounds like the perfect temperament to get you where you want to go. I hope he works out perfectly for you.

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    1. Thank you - and I agree, his temperament is what really sealed the deal for him. It feels like such a gamble buying an unknown horse haha but I am hopeful!

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  17. <3 <3 <3

    I cannot WAIT to meet him. I get home in the middle of the night on Wednesday. How's immediately after sound?! ;)

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    1. Ha the h/jers already think I'm certifiable so flagrant disregard of barn hours sounds right in line lol. Let's do it!!!

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  18. EEK! I'm so excited for you!He looks lovely! I can't wait to see where you guys go.

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    1. Thanks - I'm super excited! It's scary starting from scratch in some ways, but I think he is solid raw material :)

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  19. I am just busting with happiness for you!!! He seems like all the best parts of a Thoroughbred rolled into one. Welcome to the fold, Charlie!

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully he loves the limelight lol ;P

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  20. omgomgomgomg!!!!Congratulations! He's dreamy!! You have a horse!

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    1. i have a horse!! for the first time ever!!!! :D

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  21. Congratulations! He's adorable! (Huge, but adorable.) I look forward to your new adventures with Charlie and of course lots of pictures! I took da Bird to the HCIB hunter pace over the weekend down in Murrlin and we were fifth (?!) in low optimum, which had More Than Five Entries. It was a great course and we had a blast.

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    1. thanks haha, definitely huge lol. glad the hunter pace went well too!

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  22. Yaaaaay I am so excited for you! Looking forward to seeing the journey!!

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    1. thanks! i can't wait to see it unfold too :)

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  23. This is so awesome! Congrats! He is such a big guy and if he has the personality you are saying? What a good match for you. I am SO excited for you!

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    1. His personality is fantastic! Which may seem hard to believe given his pedigree lol but so far so good :)

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  24. Congratulations!!!! I can't wait to read all about your journey together!! EEEEK. He's so dreamy!

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    1. Thanks!! Hopefully I will have plenty to write soon enough ;)

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  25. Congratulations! He's adorable! Can't wait to see how things go!

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  26. So exciting! and welcome to the fun of tracking down baby sales photos, racing videos and winners circle pics that is owning an OTTB :D Charlie sounds like a great guy!

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    1. Ha yup, I've already been super busy on the stalker side of things lol

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    2. The Google, my friend. The Google. It knows all!

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  27. OHMYGOD.

    Congratulations!!! I am actually SO SO SOOOO excited for you and him. :) He is beautiful!

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    1. Thank you! Yay for having something to ride again!

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  28. DUUUUUDE I love hims. He has a great butt. Plain but promising made me lol. And of course you know how I feel about OTTBs. It seems like you found a sane one too, which I am apparently not good at, haha! YASSSSSS

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    1. He has every indication of being quite sane. Still lots of learning to do but I'm excited!!

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  29. Aww, congrats!! Love the bay TBs. :)

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    1. Thanks ;) I had been sorta biased towards a chestnut but this guy ticked all the right boxes !

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  30. Yesssss!!!! When Austen told me I almost screamed I'm so excited for you

    And to see how it all goes

    But also yay you have a normal horse to ride again and no more hustling rides!

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    1. No more hustling rides!!!! Thanks - I'm super excited about this guy and the journey forward !!

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  31. I loooooooooooooooooooove him.

    And the halter does look smashing. omg. yes.

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    1. His face is surprisingly fittable lol!!

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  32. So happy and excited for the BOTH of you. This seems like a sweet partnership in the making :) Have fun and enjoy getting to know each other

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    1. Thanks - that's exactly my plan. No pressure, no rush. Just building that partnership and getting to know each other.

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  33. I luff him and I'm so excited for you! Once he's not so race fit and he's more Eventing fit, he's going to look so amazing!

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    1. Thanks and I tend to agree! (Tho I'm slightly biased and think he already looks quite good haha. But yea. Needs some slightly different muscling lol)

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  34. Um, you forgot to mention that *someone* already picked him out the most perfect show name ever. He really is such a sweet looking dude. I can't wait to see how many fun things you guys get to do together!

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    1. I can't wait either haha - and Carly, ahem CHARLIE will hopefully enjoy all the fun adventuring!

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  35. OMG Congrats!!! And welcome to the brand-new-bay-baby club!!! :D :D :D

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    1. It's definitely a new and interesting place to be!!! :D I'm hoping to bypass a lot of the "baby" aspect by buying a 7yr old... But he is definitely babyish in many ways and VERY green lol

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  36. Yay!!! So many congrats. He's so big though, what a change from Isabel.

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    1. Ha definitely taller than Izzy for sure, and obvi more deep cheated. Still feels fine to sit on tho!

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  37. Glad Charlie Murphy is settling in :P

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  38. Congrats! I can't get over that sweet face.

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    1. Thanks :) I like the sweet face too!

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  39. Wow! Awesome news, and I was hoping this was where your hinting was heading! You look so good on him and he is gorgeous! Congratulations!!!! My first horse was a calm 7 year old TB and I had so much fun eventing him. I'm sure you are going to have a blast!

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    1. Aw thanks! I feel like 7 is the magic age - esp with his quiet demeanor. Hopefully he likes the work!!!!

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  40. Congratulations! And I wouldn't characterize him as "plain". I think he's gorgeous, and has a beautiful face. So very happy for you!

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    1. Ha thank you! I happen to think he is quite handsome too! The "plain" had more to do with his movement than anything else, tho I am hopeful to see some improvements there as his feet get better

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  41. He looks amazing!!! just look at that sweet adorable face! Omg so in love and can't wait to see what fun adventures you guys get into 😁 I think you found a winner with him !

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    1. Thanks I sure hope so!!!! Every time I see him I get more excited ;)

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  42. OMG!!!! CONGRATS! What an adorable boy!

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    1. Thank you!!!! He's a big ham for sure :D

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  43. WOOHOO! I'm so happy for you! Charlie is so handsome! He has the sweetest face! Congrats! (I am really into the exclamation points about this apparently!!!) :D

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    1. alllll of the exclamation points allllll the time!!!! :D

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  44. Also: MY HAPPINESS IS A GOLDEN POEM.

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    1. Ooooooh perhaps this calls for another round of haikus?!?!?

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  45. I'm so far behind but serious congratulations, he is stunning and sounds awesome. What a great brain & super kind eye

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    1. Thanks! I basically love his kind eye. Love!

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  46. Yay! I am so excited for you. He is so cute and I am a sucker for bays. Can't wait to follow your growth.

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    1. Thanks!! I'm looking forward to our progress for sure (tho also he better not grow any more lol)

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  47. YAY! Congratulations! I love him already

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    1. Not much actually, there wasn't a whole awful lot to say until everything was said and done !

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  49. I'm sooooo excited for you! He's a lovely type with fantastic breeding! Can't wait to see what the future holds:)

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    1. thanks!! i actually kinda started second guessing myself about his sweet disposition after seeing his pedigree lol but i swear he's a nice guy!

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  50. OMG I am SO SO SO SO excited for you!! This is so exciting! And fun!! I cannot wait to hear all about the fun you will have together!!!

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    1. thanks! i'm eager to get the ball rolling with him. slowly and easily for a while (with a nicely timed quiet winter), but hopefully it'll be a lot of fun!

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  51. I AM SO OBSESSED YOU GO EMMA YES SO HAPPY! CHEERS CHEERS

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  52. YAYYYYY!! He is the cutest! I am so excited for you!!

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  53. Holy Crap what a well-bred horse. First Samurai/Giants Causeway on top and Halo on the bottom? That pedigree screams class. I would love to see what he sold for. That's one nice horse you bought.

    Congratulations! So excited for you!!!

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    1. thanks :D his yearling auction record is actually public - he sold for $100K. pretty incredible. only earned about $95K tho, and hasn't had a win since february of last year. sad for his trainers who probably had higher hopes for him. happy for me tho since i ended up with him!

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    2. I actually peeked :) He was bought by Mike Ryan, who is a VERY good bloodstock agent.

      His 1/2 brothers were SUPER successful at the track - Bwana Bull and Bwana Charlie - both multiple graded stakes wins and places.

      Kind of a big deal horse you got there!

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    3. ooooh interesting! honestly you probably know more about it than i do. i googled around somewhat extensively, but am not super well versed in pedigrees and breeding and racing knowledge etc, so i am not always super sure what to look for. but that's very cool to learn!

      at some point i plan to reach out to his recent owners (who had him since 2012) to try to get more details etc!! :D

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  54. HOW THE HELL DID I MISS THIS?!?!?!?!?!

    Welcome to the bay OTTB club!!!!!! I'm so excited for you and he is SO HANDSOME! And you are certainly not a downgrade! That kid is going to have an amazing life!

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    1. thanks!!! haha hopefully he will agree with you on the 'not a downgrade' thing lol, but it's certainly a different sized pocketbook haha. all the same tho, he seems to be fine with it so far!

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  55. We need more info on this process! It sounds like he didn't come straight from the track. Did he go to a transition program? Can you name it? Was he re-started at all, or are you doing it from scratch? So curious about the details! :)

    Ya know, cause someone else you know may have purchased a giant baby TB. Not naming any names ;) ;) ;)

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    1. omg. omg omg omg but whoooooooo could it be?!??! eeeee!!! talk about needing more details!!!!! :D

      and re: Charlie, he went from his last race to his former owner's farm to let down for a little bit, then went to an adoption organization where he lived for a little less than a week before i met him. and a week later he moved to my farm. so a fair bit of movement in the last month since he stopped racing! he hasn't been re-started formally, but i understand his former owners have ridden him around here and there over the years.

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  56. Best update ever! I'm beyond excited for you! Huge congrats :)

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    1. thank you!!!! i'm pretty excited too :)

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  57. FREAKING OUT!!! SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!

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  58. Man I am behind!!! Congrats! So excited for you!

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    1. thanks - you're not really behind, it's very new!!

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  59. Congratulations!!!!!!! He is SO CUTE!

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    1. thanks! i'm already quite smitten with him!!! :D

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  60. AAAHHH!!! Just catching up on some blog reading - congratulations!!!

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  61. I know I haven't popped in in a while, but I've been still keeping up here and there with ya and this is just so exciting!!!! He looks like such a sweet dude! Congrats!!

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    1. thanks!!! hope things are going well with you too! miss your updates!

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  62. Ah, congrats!! I love his face -- so sweet!! I can't wait to follow along on your journey together.

    P.S. HE is HUGE! Omg, after seeing you so much on Izzy, this guy looks like a monster, lol <3

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    1. ha yea it's definitely a very different picture from 14.3hh isabel!! he doesn't feel giant to ride tho ;)

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  63. Congratulations!! Charlie is adorable!! Welcome to OTTB ownership!

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  64. congratulations! i'm clearly really really behind with all posts by bloggers. eep!!

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