Life changes sometimes at dizzying speed. After more than a year of anticipating the birth of six clones of Marc, they are all dead but one. I can only try to move forward and find a channel for all the love and energy I was storing up for them. I went to southwestern Ontario, Canada, and bought Prince. He arrived April 21, 2012.

Prince's earlier life

 

 

 Prince
Siglavy Haida V
born June 30, 2009

 

Click images to enlarge


April 10, 2012. Yes, except for his darker color, this boy looks a lot like Peanut and is very handsome. He acts a lot like Peanut too - you'll see. Jacqueline and Mike Kinsey bought him as a yearling and have done a really nice job raising him given limited time to do so.

   

Prince is heavier boned and bodied than Peanut, as he should be at a year older. He has three nice gaits, is friendly, curious, unafraid, likes attention and rubbing.

Video of Prince's Gaits - 13M

It's kind of interesting how much difference a few years have made in my priorities. In the past, performance was almost the only thing I looked for. Today temperament means as much, as do truly strange things like body odor and potty habits :>) Potential size and talent are still important but fun and interactivity top them. Who Prince is is as important as what he does.


Well, he plays ball. How could he not be a member of our family? He's been playing with a deflated ball like the one in Peanut's stall and a cone. I took him a beach ball which didn't hold air for long but he enjoyed it.

Playing Ball - 19M
       

 

 

 

 

April 13. After calling several well-thought-of US shippers, one of them recommended Canadian shipper Rick Bodi who is very good at the red tape of border crossing. I learned he had a trip scheduled for April 19. This means expediting the prepurchase exam, Coggins and Health Certificate.

I cold-called Edwards Veterinary Service in Tillsonburg, ON, and I have to say they are the most friendly and cooperative staff I have encountered anywhere. Dr. Lex will do the exam today.

April 14. Prince passed his exam with one exception -- Dr. Lex found a slight heart murmur and recommends monitoring or further evaluating it. I am tempted to ignore it but will ask the advice of Drs. Sarah Reuss and Martha Mallicote at UF.

April 16. Cooler heads prevail. Sarah and Martha both recommend an echocardiogram. This is being arranged for Thursday at UO Guelph Veterinary Hospital, two hours from where the Kinseys live. In the meantime they will round up the health papers.


  April 19. After a delay getting Prince on the trailer, he has passed his exam with flying colors. His heart is fine and the murmur is blood flow. Thinking we would have to put off shipping for a week, I was surprised to get a call that the truck could pick him up tomorrow. Fortunately, Prince was still at Guelph and we decided it would be less stressful for him to spend the night and be picked up there, rather than trailer home, only to be whisked off again in a matter of hours. 

April 20. Jacqueline and Mike went to see Prince off this morning. He is on the truck headed south! He's probably going to feel like he's been swept up by a tornado and tossed out in Oz.
     


     

Prince is here! April 21. Rick Bodi delivered him in excellent condition and hours ahead of the original ETA.

Arrival - 12M

     

Suzanne, Randy and I completed beefing up the fencing between the paddocks and the two young stallions showed all their stuff.

The Prince and Peanut Show - 35M 

 


  April 22. After the chaos of yesterday afternoon, it was nice to see the boys play a little and then graze quietly.
 


I had a spare hoppy ball in case Peanut popped his and blew it up for Prince when he showed interest in a beach ball. Prince has moves Peanut never thought of!

Video 58M


The afternoon session of dueling hoppy balls was nearly as much fun as the morning.

Video 29M

 


The Demise of the Green Ball

April 23. Prince was not nearly as adept with the green ball as he was the hoppy ball or as good at it as Peanut was even the first time. He squealed, snorted and grunted but couldn't lie over or climb on it. He did manage to kill it with a hind foot while falling over it. A new one has been ordered for Peanut and Prince will have to settle for the hoppy.

Video 39M

 


April 27. Prince has toyed with Mori the Muck Basket before but really played with him today.

Video 5M 
 

 

April 28. Prince sings and dances for his grain! He sometimes whinneys loud but usually makes little chirps when feed is on the way. He raises one foot, then the other as he eats - every meal. Jacqueline Kinsey calls it the "flamingo".

Video 15M

Due to the birth of Mystic, the other boys have had limited camrea time.
     

June 3. Peanut and Prince get each other going, playing with toys, every day.

Wacked Video 19M
 

 

June 14. Being a golf fan, I took the laptop streaming the US Open to the barn for social hour. Prince was fascinated and a little bit afraid.

Streaming Video 8M


Prince and Peanut 

June 30. Prince celebrates his third birthday with a star-covered balloon.

 

July 10. Long-time farrier Jerry Hofer is coming today so Mystic went out early, before playtime with Prince and Peanut. They got going anyway and so did Mystic.

Triple Play Video 20M 

 


 

 
 

July 9. Prince loves to play with balls but is so hard on them he has to be limited to those that are indestructable. Today Peanut threw a beach ball over the fence and Prince promptly pounced it. I rescued it before he killed it but brought a tough Jolly Ball in for him to play with in the stall.

Video 5M

July 16. I broke down and ordered the boys an EquiSpirit Ultimate ball. It has a heavy cordura cover, a replaceable inner bladder of heavy PVC, and is billed as almost indestructable. These videos are from the second day of play with it when Peanut wasn't terribly interested and Prince wore himself out running laps before he got his chance.

Peanut Video 15M | Prince Video 4M | Mystic Video 4M

 


August 22. A milestone today - getting all four boys in the same shot 

 


Mystic and Prince
October 14. Some days we let Prince be a lawn pony and put Mystic in the east paddock for his last hour of morning turnout next to Peanut. Both bigger boys are great baby-sitters. It's amazing how well three young stallions get along. 


Mystic and Peanut


Halloween. It's tricks and treats as the boys pose in their costumes. They loved it and so did I! Mystic wanted to be a gator since he was born at UF. I tease Prince(ss) a lot about sounding girlie when he squeels for his grain so it's tutu and tiara for him. Magnum is most certainly a very hot dog and Peanut, notorious for escaping his stall, is Houdini complete with straight jacket and chains.
 

 
   

     

November 15. Prince has started on the longe line! After three brief sessions of just a circle or two of walk each way, today was his second time doing walk trot walk trot. Though he got a little confused going to the right with the trot walk transition today, he is amazingly smart and cooperative. He loves learning and, even more, pleasing.

Video - 53M

 


November 19. I love my boys! And one of the most fun things to do with them is, after play time, gather them around me for treats. They are sweet with other, with me and even with Magnum who could so easily be stepped on.

  December 27. On really cold mornings, the boys wear sheets when they first go out, to help the balance between the nice warm barn and the outside temps. They are really good about having them put on and keeping them on, somewhat surprising!
 
December 28. What a nice horse Prince is! He has made steady progress with his longeing, adding canter both ways to walk-trot. He's had a bit in his mouth several times in his stall and today tried on a saddle for the first time. It won't be long before he's longeing in full tack. He loves the work and the attention that comes with being such a good boy. He just glows when praised.

January 2, 2013. Prince loves Spanish moss. Today he was grazing on it over the fence in the beautiful afternoon light. I had to stop the video to remove the vine from around his neck.

Video - 17M
 

January 17. Prince is wearing a saddle to longe for the second time and part of a bridle with bit for the first time. He's a star! 

February 18. On one of our coldest mornings of the winter (note the frost in the far corner of the paddock), Prince played hard, maybe to get warm. He is so hard on toys, he only gets those that are already broken.

Video - 39M
 

February 24. Having the camera in hand when all three boys are playing is rare but it happened today.

Boys and Their Toys Video 37 M
   


The boys assemble for a snack of Spanish moss 
June 22 and 23. Dr. Katrin Hinrichs, world renowned expert in horse cloning from Texas A&M University, came to see Mystic for the first time since he was an embryo sent from her lab for transfer. We spent the weekend playing with all the boys and brainstorming raising young horses since she has a foal at home too. 

     

Prince is working beautifully on the longe line.

Prince Longeing Video - 41M

I've gradually worked my way to sitting on him and having a helper take us for short walks. He is wonderful!


   

Prince was stimulaed by the same palm frond that got Mystic going and we were treated to a display of the really big trot he sometimes shows. Wow!

Prince's Big Trot Video - 39M

September 13. This is a self video and I forgot to zoom the camera, but at least we're in the frame.

Prince Under Saddle - 100M

October 1. My friend and neighbor Bunny comes twice a week to help me with Prince. She has the longe line and whip and helps keep Prince moving forward when he needs encouragement. He is doing wonderfully, walking and trotting both directions.
 

 Video -
Prince Under Saddle
- 123M

 

October 17. My dear friend and veterinary ophthalmologist extraordinaire Dennis Brooks and his girlfriend Bo Reich came for a visit. We spent time with and were entertained by all the boys.

< Dennis, Bo, Mystic and Peanut



Peanut and Prince


Prince has his eyes checked

December 6. I have to mark this day and, since I don't have photos of the events themselves, I celebrate with this handsome shot of Prince. He has been going really well under saddle, gradually keeping his bend and lowering his nose and neck to the bit in walk and in trot.

Today, after working both directions in two gaits with some nice transitions, mostly on the bit, I asked Bunny to turn us loose. It was our first time solo! Prince made several changes of direction through the circle and actually steered! I am so happy.


     

December 10. I couldn't stand it and had to set up the camera for a video of Prince working. We are in and out of the frame since there was no photographer and of course, with the camera rolling, he wasn't quite as good as last week, but still a super star!

Prince Under Saddle - 210M

     

January 14, 2014. Prince continues to make wonderful progress under saddle. Here we are solo in walk and trot.

Prince Under Saddle - 172M

February. Our work under saddle is not going well, with Prince getting gradually fussier in his mouth especially. I trust Prince to be honest so I'm backing off and searching for the cause.

     

March 4. I tried Prince today in a flash noseband to hopefully quiet his mouth and, when he felt he couldn't escape the bit, he stopped dead in his tracks. OK I said. We're going to have your mouth checked.

March 6. Vet and dentist, complete with drugs, power tools and medieval instruments of torture (all of which I hate), found multiple problems in Prince's mouth. I felt I had no choice but to have the work done. After a few days off, Prince seemed somewhat improved but that only lasted one session. The fuss going to the left was getting worse.

March 11, Jean Nix told me about a vet and equine dentist who practices without drugs, power tools or torture instruments. I called immediately for an appointment. I know from past experience with Dr. Jon Seiler at Pegasus in Orlando that skilled horsemen don't need anything but hand floats to do excellent dentistry, in the process making the horses confident and grateful for the pain relief. I have neglected dental care in subsequent years because I hate so-called "current" methods.

I've kept trying things with Prince, back to the longe line under saddle, walk only, a hackamore, but with no real pressure on him for now and no real success either, content to wait for. . . 

April 22. Enter Dr. Geoff Tucker and his associate Melissa Boettcher of The Equine Practice. Based in Palm City, FL, they travel the state and often the country doing just teeth. Their slogan is "Dentistry Without Drama" and is that ever true!

After I told them a little about the boys, they wanted all three in at the same time and went right to work. Dr. T took Prince, whom I expected to be good, and Melissa tackled Peanut, whom I expected to be difficult since he doesn't like new or unfamiliar things. I stayed mainly by Prince's stall and was amazed to see floats in Peanut's mouth within minutes.

 


Dr. Tucker with Prince


< ^ Melissa with Peanut
 

I am so impressed! This team is prompt, organized, thoroughly professional, personable and great with the horses. I am absolutely confident their mouths are as well done as humanly possible, not just from the sound as floating was finished but from the attitude of the horses. We are all really happy.

Peanut was quite sharp, largely from not having been done before. Prince was moderately sharp, especially on the left where I've been having trouble, and quite sensitive in his lower first cheek teeth, where the bit could hit. Mystic was only checked and put off until he's older.

April 25. This was my first riding day after having the boys' teeth done. Prince was lovely to the right and better to the left than before. He was far from perfect but enough improved that I believe we've found the problem and will go forward from here. Peanut, who has been really good anyway, was even better.

April 29. Prince was a star today both directions in the walk and we're starting to trot again. I'm very happy I trusted that he was telling me the truth about the discomfort in his mouth and kept trying until we got it fixed.

August 26. Having worked through a variety of not-so-desirable behaviors with Prince, we seem to be back on track. The changes, especially in his frame, are really good.

I am starting, with both boys, to leave the circle and make squarish figures, including some steps in leg yield and shoulder in. Prince is starting to get the idea.

Video - 196M


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