I already confided that Baybe was a slight disappointment when he was born, but only because of his lack of coloring. In every other way he has turned out exactly as planned!
The first time I took Baybe out to be shown was at a Sport Horse farm where they were holding inspections. I entered him in the yearling colt class. After parking the trailer, I went to sign in and dear hubby decided he was going to unload the boy. Well, that was a disaster! He back him out of the trailer and Baybe took one look around him, got excited about all the horses around him and decided to take off running! Now my hubby is not a small or weak person, one moment of hesitation was all that yearling needed and he bolted for the prettiest run you ever saw! As he ran away from the parking area, past the outdoor arena and around the back side of it, you could see his TB side come through! He was beautiful! He poured on the speed on the back side of the arena and rounded the corner, heading towards the parking area with every one's horses tied to their trailers in various states of tack! With his lead rope flopping, he very smartly pranced through the rigs until he found one with two pretty mares tied to it. We arrived to grab his lead and redirected his energy back to our own trailer, while the mares squealed and he whinnied in response! Yep, that was Baybe's first public appearance. Scared the beegeesis out of everyone, gave them all a good eyeful of stunning movement and ground covering speed!
Surprisingly, he won his class that day! He was quite pumped up about being out in public!!
And his show appearances have all been quite jazzy! He is a show off! When he competes, he just seems to know when to turn on "cute"! When he jumps, he is very rounded and his expression is that of "give me more"!
He was a late bloomer.......physically and mentally, he was a gangly dork at 3 years old. He just needed time, time to get his head together, time for his body to fill out and to find his feet. He did all that and more.
As I stood with him for the shoer yesterday, I decided a raincoat is probably the best thing to wear while handling Baybe. He has always been fascinated with licking and sucking on clothing. It is a very strange fascination, but he never fails to latch onto your shirt sleeve or pant leg. When you are done, you feel as though you have walked through the sprinkler, your clothing is damp everywhere. He is truly a character!
Being that Baybe has so much personality, he can be imposing to anyone new here on the farm. His regular rider these days is 14 years old and very adept at dealing with Baybe's strange ways! He will not want to go into an arena alone for his Dressage or Jump class, it is just the gate people and the imposing gates, once he is through the gate he is all business and very eager. When outside of the arena, he just stands around all lazy like, but once inside and cued to perform, his switch turns on and you can't help but stare at him......he is that cute!
Training him to ride was interesting. Our first real saddled ride was in mid autumn, the ground was wet again and he had a hard time getting the "balance" thing of having a rider and keeping his feet under him at the same time. But he was willing and we persevered! It was quite startling for both him and I when he lost his footing on slick ground and went down on his side, taking me with him! I thought for sure he would bolt and trample me, but no, he laid there with me and turned his head around looking at me like "how in the H^ did that happen?!!". I pulled my leg out, he rolled to a sitting position, I got up and checked him over and then coaxed him up. No injury, just a stunned look and a big heavy sigh. I trotted him by hand around the arena and saw he was just fine, so I remounted and we went back to work. What a good boy!! What a relief!
He spent the winter early in his fourth year training for the Inland Empire Quarter Horse Show. I was confident he would be fine, but the person I had riding him was not so fine. I did not know this person had no real show ring experience. The atmosphere of a show ring with 20 horses fresh from winter can be overwhelming. So, Baybe got two rides and we left for the day. But I decided to go ahead and finish showing him myself that year. I put him in a B show, he took a fourth in EP and a fifth in WP! These were good sized classes too, so I was overjoyed with Baybe!
He has taken to new things with such a good attitude that I am just more than happy to saddle him up for myself or anyone else! I feel confident that Baybe is truly ready now for his future owner. He has miles and miles of trail riding, dressage exposure, H/J exposure and rail class experience.
Parting with him is the problem...........having raised him from birth and bringing him this far with the express purpose of putting a kid safe horse on the market.........man, it just is irking me how many people will call and have no clue as to what to type of riding experience they really have! So we will just keep up with the training and showing, until that one special person comes along for Baybe!
Photo shown of two nice Appaloosas, on the left is Smart Little Sign, owned and ridden by Talea Morgan and on the right is Unwapped Baybe being ridden by Kaitlyn Stoop. Photo taken on 49 Degrees North northeast slope August 2008