Remember when Presto was so little and fuzzy and cute? Remember those inspection pictures where he looked like a respectably attractive tiny horse? Cling to those. Cling really really hard to those.
I wish I could claim that I had forgotten just how ugly baby horses can be, but trust me I am still quite aware. Sadie, his dam, was so freaking ugly for so freaking long that I was kind of worried there for a while that I’d accidentally discovered a new species of mule. Her 5yo year was finally the tipping point, when she decided to fill out, and her body finally matched up with her head and legs.
And because she was so ugly for so long, it’s not something I would easily forget. She did end up beautiful, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but wow. I got to be pretty expert at taking advantage of those rare “omg she looks like a real horse” days to get pictures of her before she inevitably looked super awkward again within 24 hours. I think a huge part of it is that she just kept growing, so slowly, and so steadily, for so LONG. My 15.2h, narrow as a fence post 2yo (that I was terrified was going to end up being teeny tiny) ended up a very big, very stocky, very solid 17h hippopotamare. It just took her a good 6-7 years to get there.
I think Presto is following his mother’s lead in the awkwardness department. At not quite 9 months old the kid is TALL, like he’s for sure going to be close to 15h by the time he’s officially a yearling (geez guys I think he’s going to be every bit as big as Sadie, but I don’t even want to string test him because denial), and he’s all leg. He is lanky and he is rangy and he is hairy and he looks a little bit like a giraffe and a mule made a baby and then covered it with the coat of a yak. I love him dearly, but he has entered that really not-at-all cute stage of baby horse awkwardness, and who knows when he’ll look like a real horse again.
I don’t know if his awkwardness is 100% genuine, or if it partly has to do with the fact that his condition still hasn’t totally caught back up to normal from being sick for essentially the first four months of his life. Either way, I still can’t help but be thrilled that we’re here. The weanling/yearling fuglies are a milestone that I was worried he might not ever make it to, so I’m okay with him not being the most attractive animal at the moment. It’ll get better. Hopefully he makes it back around to “pretty” a lot faster than his mother did (please please please omg please), but either way it’ll be a privilege to watch him grow and develop.
The vet wants to wait a bit longer to geld him, so for now the whole gelding and then moving him closer to me thing is on hold. I have 2 barns on the docket to go look at in the near future, but as of yet I just don’t know when he’ll be ready to move down here. It might end up being later next spring or summer. No worries though, he has little QH baby Murphy to play with and terrorize up in Midland. It just means Presto updates and posts will continue to be a bit sparse for a while.
USEA announced last week that there will now be a Central Championship for FEH and YEH, held at Texas Rose, which is only about 4 hours from us. I hold out zero hope for him being attractive enough to show in hand as a yearling (like, god no, who would want high res professional photos to commemorate THAT phase?) but maybe he’ll get a little prettier at 2. If he’s at all presentable I’d like to at least get him out there and support our FEH program, even if he doesn’t qualify for Championships. It’s great to have that option on the table now though, either way.
And just a few days after USEA’s announcement, EquiZone restocked all of their bridles. Which meant they now had a brown cob in the Ivy bridle. And if it went in with the other order from Black Friday, they would honor the super sale price. Soooo now Presto has a pretty bridle waiting for him if he decides to be attractive enough to show in hand. Stop judging me, it was only $65 with reins. That’s basically free. And if nothing else maybe the pretty, slightly weird-looking bridle will distract the judge from the gira-mule-yak that’s wearing it?