Abrazos Adventure Portales New Mexico
offering family and individual recreation to Portales, Clovis, Cannon AFB and the
surrounding area with horseback riding and lessons
Wendy Toombs owner/instructor 575.760.4444

Bart is a thoroughbred. We bought him from the Clovis horse sale March 20, 2004. He
was advertised as a grade Quarter Horse. When I called to find out more about him the
guy said he was in the bunch they got from the racetrack in Colorado. Racehorse and
riding school are not words that you usually put into the same sentences. The man said
he was pretty laid back and thought he was a Quarter Horse. He said there would be a
number tattooed in his upper lip.

Of course I looked the next day and there was. There is a letter too (I think it is at the end
of the number). When I called Quarter Horse they said the sequence was wrong and to try
Jockey Club (that is the registry for Thoroughbreds.) They had a horse with that number
and color in their records and, for a fee I could have the information.

I couldn’t resist. Bart was born in Kentucky in 1996. He was given the name of Millstreet.
(On papers that come with him he was called Bart and I liked that – Big Black Bart) At the
tender age of 1 year he was sold for (are you sitting down?) $135,000.00. He was bred to
run but apparently didn’t like it. He won just over $20,000 in his career.

He is the tallest in the barn at 16 hands 1 inch tall and maintains weight at about 1050#.
When he came to us he looked like his color was bay. Over the years he tends to look
black more and more. By the end of summer we usually have a brown saddle mark.

He is thin skinned and doesn’t like a stiff brush used on him. Some people are tender
headed so probably the same thing.

Students have primarily ridden Bart. I have used experienced riders in the beginning and
they have worked on specific things to bring his training along. That is not the usual way
to train a horse but since I am present at the lessons I can try to make sure things are
done a certain way.

The first winter we had him he wasn’t used. The cold weather caused a lot of extra energy
and students weren’t ready to deal with it. The following summer we used him quite a bit
and during the next winter we could use experienced students on him. Part of their lesson
was to learn about lunging before riding. They would lunge Bart in the round pen before
getting on. This took the energy down and he paid attention for the ride. In fact, he was a
lunging wimp and wouldn’t want to trot with the rider.

The following summer we were able to use him for more inexperienced riders and that
winter he could be caught, tacked and used without lunging.

Because he jumps forward when asked to lope I have decided to just use him for walk and
trot. I am afraid he would unseat the riders. He works nicely bareback, western and

When we bring him into the barn to tack up he grinds his teeth (he actually does this in his
pen too). He will stomp his back feet one at a time and toss his head. I feel this is left over
racehorse claustrophobia. He is not mean, just doesn’t like being crowded.

There are times when people are having conversations that Bart will interject a ‘look’ and
some head movement that make it appear he wants to comment on what is being
Bart coming to his new home.
You just have to make the place your
own. Nothing like a good roll to settle in.
Okay - what next?
Look at the girl's face.