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Shopping for a Prospect

by Donna Irvin
Running the Plan with Vaquero was turning him into a great athlete.
Sharon and Vaquero at one of our
Kewanee, IL Clinics

I don’t buy many horses, but I am always looking for a prospect to replace my older and more seasoned horse, Ropenator. I bought Vaquero as a three year-old in 2004. Vaquero was sired by Firem Jet, a son of Fire Water Flit. I liked him for his athletic bloodline. He had about 30 days of riding when I bought him. I felt he had just what I was looking for in a barrel horse prospect; he used his hind-end naturally and had good balanced conformation and forward impulsion.

I found out Vaquero could buck! He was cold-backed at the start of every ride so I made sure I would have the time to ride him down. A round pen is a great training resource, especially for a volatile horse.

Some of the things I immediately liked about Vaquero were also challenging at times. His ground manners were weak and he entered my personal space, uninvited. He showed me he definitely had an opinion, a trait I look for in a performance horse. I knew it would take additional training time to build on his patience level and gain his confidence.

These are the skills and abilities I value in a prospect:

  • Good length of stride.
  • Conformational balance.
  • Enjoyable to ride and improves with every ride.
  • Responsive to legs and hands.
  • A quick learner with a bold personality.

Let the training begin!