2005 Mustang gelding
Austin came from a dealer at the New Holland auction in April 2015, and completed his quarantine at the end of May. This striking grulla gelding stands about 14.2 hh and caught our eye at the auction with his nice conformation and solid build. Although Austin was marketed as a Quarter horse, due to his unusual markings we think that he may be a mustang. The only history we have on this boy is that he had been turned out for the past few years, and aside from very overgrown feet, he arrived in fairly good physical condition overall.
We took our time re-introducing Austin to riding, as he appeared to have had some negative experiences with people in his past. In particular, he had anxiety around being saddled so we spent a lot of time doing groundwork and work in the roundpen. Austin is a sweet, personable guy and a quick learner who has shown steady progress. He is easy to work around and thus far has displayed lovely manners for the farrier, dentist, vet and massage therapist. He bathes, trailers well and ties like a champ. Unfortunately, Austin has been diagnosed with mild to moderate kissing spine which will limit his future activities under saddle. Austin is always willing and has walk/trot/cantered in the ring and on the trails with no issue. At the advice of our vet, we are focusing our efforts on establishing Austin as a steady and confident trailhorse, with the hope that he will make someone a wonderful partner for pleasure and trailriding in future.
Update: In November 2015, Austin was placed in a wonderful forever home just around the corner from us in Washington, Maine. His new owners will be working on his exercise routine and will be looking for the best equipment to accommodate his kissing spine diagnosis. He is now in the company of our sweet mini Taffy and will be enjoying many years of attention and love with his new family. We look forwards to seeing his progress and hearing of his new adventures. We could not be happier.
Update: After a great first year with his new family, it gradually became clear that Austin's kissing spine was affecting his ability to be a reliable trailhorse. Knowing that his quality of life was becoming compromised and wanting to ensure that he never ended up in a bad situation, his owner made the heartbreaking yet ultimately responsible decision to humanely euthanize Austin. We fully supported this action and commend Austin's owners for giving him a peaceful and dignified passing. Rest in peace, sweet boy, you were loved.