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Friday, July 8, 2016

10 Things You Didn't Know About Zander the Wonder Horse

Last week I was finally able to meet up with Emily at Princeton Show Jumping to watch her show Zander in the 1.30 meter jumpers. He is one of my favorite horses to watch, not only because he's such a hunk, but because he's super scopey and makes everything look smooth and easy. He can seriously lope up to 4'6" fence and sail over it like it's no big deal. You can tell he loves what he does and he's really been developing into an upper level horse.

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Zander had his own thoughts about how much the fence should be sliced

video

And that's how I was able to capture this picture. The picture was taken in 1.30 meter jump off the day before the went in the 1.40 Welcome Stake . So many people had great reactions to his photo on social media that Emily and I thought that people might be interested in learning a little more about this wonderful horse.

1. Vivaldi aka Zander is a registered Irish Sport Horse by Ars Vivendi that was imported from Ireland as a three year old and Emily helped break, trained, and has ridden him since then.

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 2. He thinks he's a person. He loves to sniff other horses while they're in their stalls but does NOT like to be turned out with them. He's quite lovable to people and doesn't understand why he can't get a human turnout buddy instead; he loves to play with people in his field.

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 3. Speaking of turn out, he HATES bugs. He has to go out at 5am in the summer, head to toe in Bug Armour and makes it very clear when he's ready to come in.

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 4. While Zander doesn't have many quirks anymore, when he was first broke as a three and a half year old he couldn't/wouldn't turn left. As in, he would run into the corner of the ring and hit his head rather than turn left (as you can tell from his slicing photo, he no longer has issues with left turns).

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5. As a five year old he would throw temper tantrums that would land him in a time-out stall. Anytime he saw a mare he would become more interested in a breeding career rather than a riding one (even though he was gelded as a three year old). If he saw a mare within 1000 ft he would spin to the left and drag you to them, if you managed to stay on that is.

Zander's time out stall

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6. He is an escape artist and needs an extra lock on his stall. He can undo clips and chains in a matter of seconds and will wander into the barn to find his people friends or look for treats. Speaking of treats, he thinks he's the king and we'd have to agree, so we treat him as such. He knows exactly who gives him treats, where they are kept, and will remind you if you forget.

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7. Zander also has a mischievous side. At WEF last year he thought his stall would look better with a window, and with his brother Trevor's help, opened one so that they could keep in touch. They were caught in the act and both seemed pretty proud of themselves.


Hiiiiii, we haz window nowww!!!


 8. Zander loves to be curried, really loves it. He lets you know which spots he wants done and practically falls over when you find it.

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9. His stall is his happy place; He doesn't like anything done in there other than getting cookies or scratches. If you try to pick his feet or wrap his legs, you better just pull him out because its not going to happen in his stall. He doesn't get mean, rather he's just offended that you're in his house and he'll just circle around his stall to try and get away.

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10. He loves to jump and show off how high he can go, truly loves it. Recently he's been practicing serpentines and turning faster, which is probably where he learned his sideways jumping trick which he was also quite proud of himself.

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And there are the 10 things you didn't know about Zander. Do any of your horses have any quirks or special talents that you find adorable? 

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