11. Critique your horse’s conformation.
Conformation is not really my area of expertise, but here goes! (Photos taken about 4 years ago.)
The good: He is the cutest! Objectively: he has excellent bone and rather nice leg proportions, both front and back. His back end especially is rather nice. Good depth of barrel. Very expressive eyes and a kind look. Not built downhill, but just about even. Not over or under either front or back. He is ever so slightly cow hocked: just enough for smoother gaits but not enough to impact the joints. Excellent feet: big and tough.
The bad: Holy shoulder, Batman. It's massive. And overall, his entire front end is disproportionate to his back: there is a lot of weight there, even if he's not technically downhill. His heck is over-thick and his throatlatch is basically nonexistent, leading down to a poor tie-in of neck and chest. He has the Roman nose to end all Roman noses. His top half is generally out of balance with his bottom half: he has the build of a 16hh horse on pony legs. His head is several steps beyond ginormous.
Overall: he's got a functional conformation, but he won't win any prizes.
Sleeping and/or eating. No, really. Oh, fine - hacking out for a short distance, perhaps 20 minutes or so, ideally with some undergrowth to crash through. Followed by a snack and a nap.
Cowboy Magic Shampoo & Conditioner, clippers, sunshine.
1. He's genuinely adorable, with an avid, expressive face that charms absolutely everyone.
2. His brain. His default is to be chill and laid back and still. He puts up with an awful lot.
3. This past year notwithstanding, he is tough as nails about so many things: doesn't need a blanket, never runs in turnout, will hack just about anywhere, and is overall a very easy keeper.