The Fuglies. We has ’em.

Remember when Presto was so little and fuzzy and cute? Remember those inspection pictures where he looked like a respectably attractive tiny horse? Cling to those. Cling really really hard to those.

not a donkey

I wish I could claim that I had forgotten just how ugly baby horses can be, but trust me I am still quite aware. Sadie, his dam, was so freaking ugly for so freaking long that I was kind of worried there for a while that I’d accidentally discovered a new species of mule. Her 5yo year was finally the tipping point, when she decided to fill out, and her body finally matched up with her head and legs.

And because she was so ugly for so long, it’s not something I would easily forget. She did end up beautiful, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but wow. I got to be pretty expert at taking advantage of those rare “omg she looks like a real horse” days to get pictures of her before she inevitably looked super awkward again within 24 hours. I think a huge part of it is that she just kept growing, so slowly, and so steadily, for so LONG. My 15.2h, narrow as a fence post 2yo (that I was terrified was going to end up being teeny tiny) ended up a very big, very stocky, very solid 17h hippopotamare. It just took her a good 6-7 years to get there.

2yo Sadie was just… not good.
but she’s beautiful now!

I think Presto is following his mother’s lead in the awkwardness department. At not quite 9 months old the kid is TALL, like he’s for sure going to be close to 15h by the time he’s officially a yearling (geez guys I think he’s going to be every bit as big as Sadie, but I don’t even want to string test him because denial), and he’s all leg. He is lanky and he is rangy and he is hairy and he looks a little bit like a giraffe and a mule made a baby and then covered it with the coat of a yak. I love him dearly, but he has entered that really not-at-all cute stage of baby horse awkwardness, and who knows when he’ll look like a real horse again.

that’s… errr…

I don’t know if his awkwardness is 100% genuine, or if it partly has to do with the fact that his condition still hasn’t totally caught back up to normal from being sick for essentially the first four months of his life. Either way, I still can’t help but be thrilled that we’re here. The weanling/yearling fuglies are a milestone that I was worried he might not ever make it to, so I’m okay with him not being the most attractive animal at the moment. It’ll get better. Hopefully he makes it back around to “pretty” a lot faster than his mother did (please please please omg please), but either way it’ll be a privilege to watch him grow and develop.

The vet wants to wait a bit longer to geld him, so for now the whole gelding and then moving him closer to me thing is on hold. I have 2 barns on the docket to go look at in the near future, but as of yet I just don’t know when he’ll be ready to move down here. It might end up being later next spring or summer. No worries though, he has little QH baby Murphy to play with and terrorize up in Midland. It just means Presto updates and posts will continue to be a bit sparse for a while.

USEA announced last week that there will now be a Central Championship for FEH and YEH, held at Texas Rose, which is only about 4 hours from us. I hold out zero hope for him being attractive enough to show in hand as a yearling (like, god no, who would want high res professional photos to commemorate THAT phase?) but maybe he’ll get a little prettier at 2. If he’s at all presentable I’d like to at least get him out there and support our FEH program, even if he doesn’t qualify for Championships. It’s great to have that option on the table now though, either way.

Image result for kavalkade ivy

And just a few days after USEA’s announcement, EquiZone restocked all of their bridles. Which meant they now had a brown cob in the Ivy bridle. And if it went in with the other order from Black Friday, they would honor the super sale price. Soooo now Presto has a pretty bridle waiting for him if he decides to be attractive enough to show in hand. Stop judging me, it was only $65 with reins. That’s basically free. And if nothing else maybe the pretty, slightly weird-looking bridle will distract the judge from the gira-mule-yak that’s wearing it?

25 thoughts on “The Fuglies. We has ’em.

  1. I dunno I think he’s adorable LOL It could be that I’m blind to the yearling awkwards, but then again, it might be we think they’re ugly because they’re OUR horses. I remember Amber would look gangly and sooooo awkward in the fall months as she really started growing, but then she’d fill out in the winter and it was a weird up-out-up-out growth pattern for her. But I think Presto’s face is perfect. He looks so nonchalant about it lol.


  2. Stopppppp. hahahaha. Love his heart he can come be awkward and fugly at my house…he’ll fit in well. 😉 I know your struggle though, Joey is torturing me with the western type horse version of the same thing…so he’s more round than tall…and his head…his pretty little head…its so…not pretty anymore. lol I plan to do shows with the yearling uglies intact because gosh darn it, I wanted a baby to do baby stuff with and his health permitting, I’m not going to miss it. Gawky yearling pictures and all. lol


  3. I regularly marvel over some of my “yak photos” of Ruby and Cinna and then giggle over the ugly duckling to swan transformation! There’s something so rewarding about sticking through all the uglies — I just now kind of wish I’d taken more photos of Cinna at her most awkward. At the time I was mortified that I bred something so fugly so I mostly hid her behind the barn and tried not to look at her on level ground, hahaha.


  4. I’m super excited to go through all of these phases with my weanling! I plan to take all the pictures so I can track how she changes and grows. Although I’m guessing that she’s going to skip a lot of the awkward fuglies, since the three other fillies out of her dam looked gorgeous all the way through 18 mo old.


      1. Yep, they’re all quarter horses and the sire was a bit on the smaller side. My baby is by a bigger stallion, and I’m hoping she’ll end up a bit taller. So I’m okay with some awkward growth spurts along the way!


  5. he is still Presto and after all he went thru if he stayed like this i would still love him (BUT yeah let’s hope he turns into a swan sooner rather than later, after this ugly duckling staqe!). How did Sadie’s other foal (Merlin?) turn out did he grow up looking fugly then pretty??

    Poor Presto has to wait to be gelded (I am sure he is not upset about that though you may be, I know you want him closer to you).

    Still the cutest!


        1. No I wanted like 16.2h, MM’s size LOL. Considering everything Presto’s been through I truly cannot believe he’s as tall as he is at this point. Maybe Sadie’s Diarado will be a little smaller, since he himself is small?

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know, maybe come spring he will shed his yakness and there will be a *magic* handsome yearling man under there. Maybe. Probably not. At least you know you could make a nice throw out of all that fuzz though.


  7. I am LOLing so hard at those photos- they really are hilariously awful! I really had no idea babies went through such fugly phases! Too funny! Can’t wait until he turns into a swan!!


  8. At least because of Sadie you know it’s most likely that he won’t be ugly forever. Because as much as I love baby horses…yeah, this isn’t the best look 😂


  9. He is so cute! ❤️ Thou I hate to tell you that you may have to wait until he is about 3 before he grows into his ears. My little girl is only just getting there now but has decide to expand sideways and her body goes through the antelope stage (all legs and a gangley body) makes breaking in a PIA.


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