Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Transformation Tuesday: Jack!

I was scrolling along through Facebook the other day when I came across this picture of Secretariat:

Secretariat has always been my all time favorite racehorse, so when I had the opportunity to acquire a chestnut descendant of his, I hooked up the trailer and went to get him immediately. That's how I acquired my "little" Jack. Of course, Jack had a lot more going for him than just his color and bloodlines, but they definitely tipped the balance over to "must have!".

At three years old and just off the track, Jack did not look much like his famous ancestor. He looked like a giant, gangly teenage boy. The next year did not do much to improve Jack's looks. He shot up from 16.3 hands to 17.2, and just got more and more gangly as he grew taller. 

With the growth spurt, he got even clumsier. I won't lie, there were several times I watched him shamble across the pasture and despaired that I would ever turn him into anything remotely resembling a dressage horse. 

But in the last few months I've noticed Jack really starting to come into himself. He's still a giant goofball who doesn't always know where all his body parts are, but more and more I've seen him moving like a grown horse and not a clumsy teenager. I decided to take a picture to compare his new physique to his old pictures, which required him to pose for the camera.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a handler on hand like Secretariat up there. Since Jack is a very friendly fellow who doesn't understand that he is not actually a lap dog, I ended up with several fuzzy pictures of his ears and nose before finally bribing him to go away with food. 

Then I had a new problem, how to get him to lift his head out of the hay long enough to get a similar picture. I tried jumping up and down, yelling and waving my arms:

I tried throwing rocks in front of him to get him to look up:

I tried throwing rocks over him to get him to lift his head out of the hay:

This was proving to be more difficult than I had anticipated. 

Finally, after I had exhausted my supply of rocks and was about to give up, he sort of looked up:

"Wait, were you just throwing rocks at me?"

It's not perfect, but I'll take it!


  1. Hahaha I feel your pain, Mystic is impossible to take photos of unless she's tied up.

    What a handsome pony you have! He is looking very grown up. :)

  2. Jack is filling out nicely - what a hunk!

    That is one of my favorite pictures of Secretariat. (Weren't Big Red's hindquarters a thing of beauty?!) ;D

    Somewhere, I read a bittersweet story about the bond between he and Eddie Sweat. Apparently - Secretariat was not thrilled about the plane ride out to Claiborne after his race career was over. As the plane noisily took off and banked away from the airport, Secretariat was so nervous he grabbed up a mouthful of Sweat's jacket and held on for dear life. Sweat talked about how that just tore him up...

    1. Awww I've never heard that story about Secretariat!! Thanks for sharing it. He truly was an amazing horse.

    2. That's a great story! It always amazes me that horses will tolerate air travel at all. I know several humans that need several cocktails and a xanax to fly!

  3. Daaaaamn what a difference! He's all grown up!

  4. He certainly is filling out and looking good!

    One of my life highlights was meeting Secretariat in person. I stopped in at Claiborne, and not only did they send me down to his paddock to see him, they brought him out of the paddock so I could stand next to his shoulder and touch him. He was a perfect gentleman, unlike some of the other stallions. What a thrill!

    1. Lucky you! He died when I was just a little girl, so I never got to meet him. But I get to play with my very own Big Red every day, so I guess that's a consolation!

  5. Jack looks gorgeous!! He's done so much filling out. Also wow I had no idea he'd shot up to 17.2hh!! How do you get on his back? Hehe just kidding. The outtake shots had me giggling. I've had days like that where I couldn't get the horse to look up to save my life. I'm glad he finally picked his head up long enough for a picture. :D

    1. I get a running start and vault off the mounting block! Ha! Actually, it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be, he stands very nicely at the mounting block (surprising for an OTTB).

    2. Lol!!!!!! I'm glad he stands well! That helps! :-)

  6. Replies
    1. Hopefully he's done growing up and is just filling out now, otherwise I'm going to need a taller mounting block!

  7. Lol. but he's eating mom, waaay more important lol. He's beefed out for sure.

  8. aw what a cute expression! conformation shots are shockingly difficult to take lol. anyways he looks great - really starting to mature!


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