The Road to Buying a Cutting Horse: Prospect #3
From my first list of potential horses, I went out at the end of the week to try this mare:
- A 11 y/o mare, limited showing throughout her lifetime, consistent baby-sitter type cutter, has been shown successfully by a trainer, people getting into cutting, and in the High School rodeo cutting. When showing, marks 72-73's.
Prospect #3 - 11 y/o mare
This mare is really the very oldest I was willing to look at. I've put a lot of thought into the ages of cutting horses, and it's really such an interesting thing. If a horse was started as a long yearling/two year old and was in professional training, it means some very serious riding from 2.5 onward. If they were shown, even if it wasn't all that successful, all through their 3-up years, they probably will start needing serious maintenance like regular injections by the time they are 5. When I was working for a big aged event trainer, our horses were getting injections, and other vet treatments like eye-wrapping, before they even showed at the end of their three year old year. So, for example, the 6 y/o mare in my previous post, was shown consistently, and is now coming into the time where she will need maintenance, but also potentially could start breaking down. Unfortunately, in cutting, we see a lot of horses break down around the 6/7 age.
However, this 11 year old mare has a bit of a different story. She was professionally started as a 2 year old, and then at the beginning of her 3 year old year, she contracted white line disease. It takes a long time to pass through their body, so she wasn't shown, or really trained, as a 3 year old. From there, her training was picked back up, and she was shown limitedly through her 4/5/6 year old year. From there, she was sold to a canadian couple, as a broodmare. However, the couple that bought her are professional trainers and breeders, and the husband, the trainer, got on her and really liked her. He is a reined cow horse trainer, but wanted to get more into cutting, and so he showed her through her 7 and 8 year old year. He did pretty well on her, coming out as a high point horse in his class for the season one year. Then, again, she fell sort of to the wayside and became the "everyone" horse. A father-in-law showed her successfully, a high school rodeo girl leased her after her own horse became injured, and showed her well. She also has been ridden by everyone - young, old, timid, and inexperienced. She's been to the mountains, is a great little trail riding horse. Just a really all-around type. When she's showing she marks 72-73's, and more importantly takes care of you out there, and can teach you how to cut. However, due to not being rode regularly for a year, she is very out of shape - definitely needs pony bootcamp for sure.
I went and rode her, first I warmed her up, then rode her on the flag, then on buffalos (a first for me!). She is snappy. Even though she's out of shape, she can really get around. She's a pretty big stout mare, and kind of tricks you. When I was working her on buffalo, all of a sudden she'd turn and be right out from underneath me - pretty cool. She definitely needs a bit of a reminder, but that's to be expected - she hasn't seen a cow/buffalo in a year. However, she was easy to get along with, and definitely had a big spark about her, which I liked. Her breeding is also pretty cool, and so in the future, she would make a really good broodmare prospect.
So, although she's definitely a bit on the older side, she is a solid horse that I can go show on and then the next day, go trail riding... which is an important thing for me. I want a solid horse I can feel comfortable I can do anything on, not just a horse I have to put in a bubble and only pull out of said bubble for shows.