It doesn't seem like all that long ago. Jimmy Carter was President. Charlie Daniels was on the radio. It was so hot that the Devil was filing a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement, which was nothing unusual for the Deep South in summertime. The trailer arrived with a scared, sorrel stud-colt, only a road-trip away from his first separation from his dam. I put his first halter on and pulled him out.
I'd had two of his older siblings before him, and knew he had a pedigree going back a quarter of a millennium, starting with his AQHA Champion sire Anthony West and going back on the thoroughbred side to include legendary race horses and sires. But I liked this colt for his attitude and the way he was put-together. Not as big as his sisters, he was more of a quarter horse. Solid, stronger, heartier.
As sharp as they may look, all colts are pure speculation, so that became this one's proper name. Over the next twenty years, Spec would become the best personal mount a rider could want. He's been a ranch cowhorse and a rough and ready trail horse in some places you wouldn't want to walk through. Game has been shot from his back and packed out of the woods on him. He's visited biker rallies and ridden in parades. He's run timed events, pleasure classes, rodeo, and endurance/competitive long-distance trail rides. He even did a little hunter-jumper for a while. He's ponied fractious colts and been used to stop runaway horses. He's logged a lot of miles carrying a man-sized load from foamy beaches to precarious mountain trails from Georgia to Virginia.
Spec was the first horse to arrive at Prophet's Thumb. We needed our best trail horse to explore the far corners of the land and establish the property lines. (We paid surveyors to do this, but if they have to go more than twenty feet from their truck, they don't bother to mark much.) At twenty-four, he's still the best working horse around, and would pass for ten easily.
As you may have surmised, being a breeding stallion has never been Spec's primary occupation. But he has found time to make live covers on selected mares now and then to produce some nice foals.
Size: While Spec is just under 15 hands, he has considerable height in his bloodline. (The sisters I had were both over 16 hands.) He has thrown this height in some of his colts. His son RAJ, whose dam was a 14-2 hand mustang mare (presumably with no tall heritage), is over 16-2 hands.
Conformation: Far more important than the marks on any measuring stick is how the horse is put together. Spec passes his athletic muscle, clean bone, kind eye, straight legs, pretty head, and balanced proportions on to his get. Think old-type Arabian on steroids.
Disposition: Outgoing is the word for it, I suppose. Even out of mustang mares, Spec's foals seem to demand human attention from birth. All horses can be trained, but some take to it more readily than others. Speculation 'babies' take to it like fish to water. But they have dominant personalities, so you have to be aware of just who is training whom! As a rule, Speculation horses run to people, and run away from very few things.
Soundness: Straight, clean legs with good bone, and thick-walled, fast growing hooves. The Speculation horses are the only horses at Prophet's Thumb that I don't have to do any fancy farrier work on... Although I do have to shoe Spec on a short cycle due to the sheer speed at which he grows foot.
Constitution: There's thoroughbred in his blood for refinement and athleticism, but old Spec is far from a pampered wimp. Speculations are hearty souls and easy keepers. Spec himself had one colic at the age of seventeen, and had recovered before the vet arrived. Other than that, he's only seen vets for coggins tests.
Services: Private Treaty... Limited live covers only. Miss Anne is pretty persnickety about who she'll let own Speculation babies, but you might be able to work something out with her. First for second foal arrangements will be considered for the right mares. Live foal guarantee.
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