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“Casper” the Friendly Quarter Horse Gelding Needs a New Home

CasperCurrent Owner: Diana Thompson
Casper’s Registered Name: Sug Peppa N Bob AQHA #5358295
Date of Birth: March 5, 2010
Casper’s Sire: Autumn Acre AQHA # 4287926 has lifetime earnings of $345,749 in cutting competition. He stands at Oswood Stallion Station in Texas.
Casper’s Dam: Sug N Peppa AQHA # 3416598 “Peppa” won awards in Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association shows with a youth rider and adults.

Casper is a sorrel gelding with a flaxen mane and tail. He earned his nickname because he was the friendliest colt among approximately 10 foals born on the Wollenberg ranch in 2010. I (Diana Thompson) have worked with student intern Brittany Byerley, trainer Liana Merrill and trainer Pam Maccario since July of 2012 to help Casper overcome his movement problems due to a difficult birth. I adopted Casper in December of 2012.

Despite his previous injuries (see description below) Casper is now able to walk, trot and canter almost normally. He is quite friendly, loves to work and play. He is currently being ridden at the walk and trot and ponied several times a week. Casper is sound for trail riding and light arena work (he is not suitable for cutting, barrel racing or other high-performance work). He is for sale for $1 to the right person. He is smart, relatively calm, sensible, attractive and well built.

For more information about Casper contact Diana at phone (707) 542-4646 or e-mail:

Injury History and Veterinary Exams

Casper was injured at birth. He was a big colt born to a small mare. Luckily, veterinarian Dr. Dick Perce was on the ranch when his mom went in to labor as Casper had to be pulled out to survive. His umbilical cord was ruptured during the process leading to bleeding. Fortunately, Dr. Perce was able to stop the bleeding and stitch him up. The area healed nicely and Casper was turned out with his mom and the other mares and foals.

The birth trauma and pain and tension of the umbilical injury, however, left Casper unable to move normally at the walk and trot and he decided not to try cantering! He often appeared lame at the walk and was always off at the trot. He remained out in a large pasture with his foal friends for the next couple years to see if he would “grow” out of his problems. Because he was not sound, he was not handled much or put into under saddle training. When I met Casper at the age of two years and three months old, he was barely halter broken.

Casper had three veterinary exams during 2011 and 2012. During the last work-up in June of 2012 the veterinarian was not able to find a specific reason for his lameness in the joints of his legs or any problems with his neurological responses. It was concluded, however, that Casper would never perform as a cutting horse and so euthanasia was suggested. The veterinarian noted Casper showed a grade 2 of 5 lameness on the left front leg in a circle left and right with the lameness slightly more pronounced going to the left. The supraspinatus muscle of his left shoulder was slightly less developed that the same muscle on his right shoulder. Radiographs showed a slight remodeling of the coffin bone (P 111). No other X-rayable changes were found.

The first time I watched Casper move, in July of 2012, I didn’t know about his birth injury. It was obvious, however, that he had tightness of his lower abdominal muscles that pointed to an injury in his groin area. I asked Casper to negotiate poles and movements and watched him for a day at my farm. Despite his odd gait pattern, Casper never tripped and definitely knew where his feet were and how to place them over poles. When he went to lie down and when he got up off of the ground he was able to bend the joints of his legs normally (hip joints, stifles, hocks, fetlocks, and front knees and fetlocks).

I was so impressed with Casper’s attitude and coordination (in spite of his body problems) that I volunteered to work with him in a rehab program at the Wollenberg Ranch. I adopted Casper in December of 2012 and he has been in a full training and conditioning program ever since.

Diana’s Assessment of Casper’s Movement Problems

I feel that Casper’s difficult birth and umbilical injury caused muscle tension around his spine and pain and tightness in his groin area. In response to the tight and painful areas, baby Casper learned how to walk and trot by pulling himself forward with his front legs in an uneven manner – a movement I call, for lack of a better term, “lurching”. He looked and walked as if a person had kicked him hard in the groin and lower belly. Due to his uneven gaits, his front feet grew into two different shapes. This was compounded by infrequent trimming. This has now been corrected.

When he was asked to back up, Casper was almost unable to move his back feet and legs backwards. He had a hard time picking up any foot and balancing on three legs for hoof cleaning. Caspar chose not to canter out in the pasture, even when his horse friends raced around. When he was asked to canter in the arena or round pen, he was not able to hold the gait in the hind legs and would quickly break down to a trot.

Positive Characteristics and 2012 Rehabilitation Program

Caspar’s overall muscle development, other than the slight atrophy of the one muscle on his shoulder, is very good. He is strongly built with excellent bone. He has a short well-muscled back and good sized feet. Important to the process, Casper is smart, sensitive and loves to work with people. In fact, when I would drive up to the Wollenberg farm parking lot, Casper would leave his horse friends and come over to the gate of his large pasture and stay there until I came to get him. He did this even when eating dinner at the group hay rack with his horse companions. He is quite sensible and not prone to spook or bolt. He is very curious and naturally pretty bold.

I worked with trainer Liana Merrill and student intern Brittany Byerley in the summer and fall of 2012 to put Casper into a program of exercise and body work. The program included:

Huge Improvement in Movement and Training in 2013

I adopted Casper in December of 2012. He has been in training with myself and trainer Pam Maccario since January, 2013. He has made incredible progress both in his physical coordination and training. As of October 1, 2013, Casper

2013 Rehabilition Program

In 2013 Casper lived with another gelding in a paddock-arena combination. He was worked 4 days a week in various ground work, ponying and riding routines. He is calm and level-headed. He loves clicker training and liberty work. When asked, he walks over poles, plastic sheets and cardboard, touches cones and targets and touches and herds a large rubber ball.

At this stage of his life, Casper is not suitable for a beginner. He is very gentle and willing, but like any teenage can be testing at times. With additional conditioning, he will be physically sound for light trail riding and arena work (he is not suitable for cutting, barrel racing or other high-performance work). He is for sale for $1 to the right person. He is smart, relatively calm, sensible, attractive and well built.

For more information about Casper or to make an appointment to meet him contact me (Diana Thompson) at phone # (707) 542-4646 or e-mail:


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