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Blog Tales from the LOPE Ranch

Apalache King Update


King has just finished his 30-day assessment with Laura at Poseidon Sport Horses! He has done incredibly well with everything — and has become quite a favorite at the barn.

Apalache KingKing came straight from Retama Race Park to Poseidon — he had run in a race just a few days beforehand. Typically, we like to give LOPE horses some turnout time between racetrack and retraining — but we decided to experiment and see how King did at Laura’s training barn.

It has been fun to watch his progress! Although he is young and green, King has a relaxed and confident personality — he thinks the world is a wonderful place and that he is pretty awesome himself. His viewpoint is reflected in his kind eye, relaxed walk, and lack of muscle tension throughout his physique. Many horses come off the track with the tight muscles of a professional athlete used to repetitive physical patterns.

But King has relatively loose shoulders and neck muscles, along with a relaxed topline. He moves quite freely and show much potential for multiple disciplines. King isn’t tight or sensitive about being touched anywhere — and he even loves to have his face sponged off and carefully rinsed. As you can see in
this short video clip, King also likes to admire himself in the arena mirror!

Laura wisely decided to not rush King too quickly into more advanced training work. With such a receptive (and attractive) young horse as King, it can be tempting to speed up and try to get him to the next phase (or three) as soon as possible. The horse market can be favorable to trainers who can get a promising young horse in the show ring rapidly — but that often can backfire, as green horses sometimes truly need a steady, slow approach to a new job. A good foundation in training comes from all the time patiently spent doing “boring” things — like ground work, tying, handling and so on. Skipping through those steps might seem like a good idea in the short term — but it rarely works for long term success.

King is a tall, handsome horse with nice movement and a wonderful mind. We could have already rehomed him to someone who was prepare to adopt him without any riding assessment at all. But we felt it was best for King to give him more time before he was adopted — so that he could have some training rides with Laura first.

The goal of our training initiative program is to assess each horse’s individual needs and give them as much training support as our sponsorships will permit. For Red Bird, it is best that she receive more turnout time rather than extended professional training at this time. But for King, it seems more ideal to give him some additional time with Laura for riding assessment.

We will be setting King’s adoption fee sometime soon this month — and will also be setting up appointments now for interested adopters who want to visit him and watch Laura work with him. Stay tuned for more updates soon on King!


  1. Tammy Clark says:

    hi, We are looking for a new horse for my 16 year old daughter. she rides english and western, she has been doing hunter/jumpers. She is a very tall girl, 6′ already. This horse sounds he may have alot of potintial. I want her to have a good horse, but one that she can train and work with. Please let us know when an appointment will be availble. Thank you. Tammy C.

  2. Steven Maloney says:

    Dear Lynn,
    I would like to set up an appointment to see King.

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