While I wait to get the photos from my weekend adventure off of the camera and uploaded to photobucket, I thought it might be a nice idea to compile a FAQ on Olliver. So here are the most frequently asked questions about my boy and the answers...
How did Olliver get his name?
Olliver originally had the barn name "Dealer". Yeah. I know. Not so cute. Especially considering some of my past aquaintences (ahem). Once Mik and I decided Olliver was THE ONE, we sat down to decide on a new name for him. His breeder wanted him to be registered as "Geramiah's Holy Dealer" - which we were cool with...but he needed a barn name that we gave him. Mik likes "O" names. We picked Olliver because he had such a rough start in life (Oliver Twist reference here)...and "Oliver" means - The olive tree. The biblical olive tree symbolizes fruitfulness and beauty and dignity. 'Extending an olive branch' signifies an offer of peace. I added the extra "l" just to be different. To be honest, everytime I look at my boy, he offers me peace and I forget all the stress of my life and my job. The name suits him perfectly!
Can you ride him?
No. Absolutely not. At least not for several years. And no, you can't set your baby on his back either!
Because he's a baby. You can't ride baby horses. They have to grow. Their bones and joints need to develop. I don't care that he's half Thoroughbred. And that TB's run races at just 2 years of age. He's also half Friesian. Friesians grow slowly, sometimes until they're 8 years old. He needs time to grow and develop properly. He'll most likely be 4 years old before his first backing.
Well then, why'd you buy a baby if can't ride him?
Why not? Especially when it's been my life's dream to take a baby from weanling to riding partner? And yes, I plan to do a lot of his training myself. But, I'm not afraid to call in the professionals when necessary. His breeder also trains (dressage) and has offered to help with whatever aspects of his training necessary. Just the little bit of groundwork that we've done to this point has been so rewarding. Developing our bond has been a complete joy.
How big is he?
I can finally answer this question. We got the tape out on Friday and Olliver got his first "sticking". He is 13.3 hands. A hand is 4 inches. You measure from the ground to the top of his withers. So he's just about 4.5 feet high at his withers. He's still a little bit behind height-wise, but he's catching up from the unfortunate events of his early life. He weighs approximately 564 pounds. He could stand to gain a little weight...but he eats like a pig - he's a growing boy!
How big will he be?
Best estimates put him at just over 16 hands...that's pretty big. And he'll probably weigh close to 1200 lbs. He's gaining great bone and is showing every sign of being "warmblood" in his body type. His mom is over 16 hands and his dad is still growing and is just around 16 hands. I wanted a big horse and I got one!!
What does he eat?
Well...he's a hay burner. He gets all the hay his little butt cares to eat. Plus...he gets 5 lbs of Equine Junior, 2 lbs of Purina Mills Strategy GX, 2 lbs of sweet feed, 2 lbs of oats, 1 cup of Purina Mills Amplify - plus, for the winter, he's getting 3 ounces of Cool Calories 100. A day. That's a lot of food...BUT - he's a growing boy.....oh...and I forgot to mention, he gets treats too - apples, carrots and other horsie treats....
What is Olliver's job gonna be?
My plans for Olliver include trail riding and some dressage training. He's bred and built to be a 3-day eventer, but I don't know that I'm up for all of that. He'll get plenty of work though, and the dressage training should keep him challenged (me too!)...
Hmmmm....that should about do it for Olliver FAQ 1.o. I'll keep track of questions as I hear them, and provide v.2.0 in the future.