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Clear to Here

Name:

Clear to Here

Sire:

Sky Mesa

Dam:

Lough Derg

Height:

17 h.

Born:

2015

Gender:

Gelding

Color:

Dark Bay

Breed:

Thoroughbred

Price:

$4,500

I did not expect to like this horse as much as I do, but man, do I ever! Clear to Here ("Hero") is a big-bodied 9YO gelding standing just under 17 hands who just wants to be your bud.


He came to me from connections that bred, raised and raced him and who love him dearly. He won brilliantly first time out as a 3YO, but bowed his tendon soon after. He was given careful rehab and ample time off, then brought back as a 4YO and reinjured the tendon.


Knowing racing was no longer in his future, his owner conscientiously rehabbed him, then gave him the best thing for this type of injury – Mother Nature and Father Time. After having 3 years of being the farm pet, his owner/breeder asked if I’d give him a shot as a sport horse (and since I was full with a waiting list at the time, Hero got another 6 months of turnout while they waited for a spot to open up at our farm).


Since he’s so big, had so much time off and is coming back from a soft tissue injury, I’ve been taking it slow with him. He is currently working 3-4 times a week doing a mix of arena work (trot and canter poles, simple lateral work, collection and extension, engaging his hind end, etc.), hacking out and slow lunge work and line driving at the walk and trot on a wide radius.


While he is green, he is a simple, confident and uncomplicated ride and is the kind of horse that makes you feel secure in the saddle. He hacks to the arena and around the farm on a loose rein, and when you ask him to get to work, it’s as if he says “where did we leave off last time and how can I do it better?” You can feel him absorbing and processing what you’re teaching him. Isn’t that what we all want – a teachable horse who aims to please?


In the arena Hero is self-propelled (but not “rush-y) and happily transitions through the walk, trot and canter in both directions, with simple changes. He does have a tendency to hang on the rider’s hands at the canter if you let him (which is completely understandable for a horse whose only training has been for racing up until now), but is quite responsive to leg, seat and rein cues to bring his front end up and engage from behind.


On the ground, Hero is generally easy to handle, though can get a bit pushy if something makes him anxious (which is easily corrected by a confident handler). He can be left alone in the cross ties and is good for grooming and baths.


In the coming weeks, Hero will be going off-site for training sessions, trail riding and more. While he’s happy to work in an arena, he is confident hacking out in open fields or on trails, both alone or in a group. He is currently turned out in a small group of geldings, and while he’s one of the bigger ones in the herd, he is the low man on the totem pole. He also does well turned out with mares (and was actually turned out with fillies and mares during his 3-4 years off, as well as the first month he was here).


Hero does have mild shivers that affects one of his hind legs, making it difficult for him to hold it up for the blacksmith without sedation. While shivers is not something that can be cured, his symptoms have lessened with regular bodywork and exercise the past few months and I do know of several horses who have performed and competed at the mid to even upper levels in dressage and eventing with the condition. While I do not think Hero is destined for the upper echelons of competition, he should be well-suited once he is fully rehabbed for a lower to mid-level career with appropriate maintenance.


Hero is currently priced at $4,500 and will be gaining experience this summer with off-outings doing things like trail riding, schooling, hunter paces and local shows. PPEs are welcome for interested parties. 

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