So, in an amazing change of events, I find myself falling more and more each day for this short, QH-looking, smart-as-a-whip chestnut TB gelding. Its as much a surprise to me as it is to everyone else, considering I wanted nothing to do with Roman when he first arrived. But then, maybe that’s because he has done a complete 180 in temperament. His is an ugly duckling meets Beauty and Beast type story, where he is actually all three characters. You see, he’s learning to trust again. When he first arrived, he didn’t trust anyone. His fear response was to kick — and a lightening fast kick he does have!! That was him being a Beast.
At the same time he was kind of shaggy (because he eats his blankets, so he doesn’t wear one). He’s also looks like a classic QH. He’s been going through growth spurts and was kind of down hill. He has short, stocky legs and a butt that is a big, round and full as any QH I’ve ever seen. He even has the small head. In short, one would probably never guess he was full TB. Maybe an Appendix QH, but not full TB. This is him as the Ugly Duckling.
Then, around the end of January, I put him on the lunge line to see how we was moving. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that he had the most natural dressage movement I had ever seen. I just couldn’t believe it! He is a beautiful mover. Scope, suspension, and TONS of impulsion. In the words of Linda Heiny, the dressage clinician I frequently ride with, if he moves like this now, with race muscle, imagine what he’s going to be like with actual self carriage muscle. To see Roman move is to see him as Beauty.
And under saddle, he’s pretty willing, but you have to be very sure of yourself. I haven’t seen him spook at anything yet, but he’s the kind of horse that has to want to do something. There is no making him do something. But when he wants to do it for you, its amazing. He trot is big and powerful, and his canter is so smooth. And he is really easy to stop. There is no running away. This little horse’s perfect home would be with an experienced dressage or event rider looking for a diamond in the rough.