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Southern Jack - "SoJak"

2007 16.2 hh Bay Thoroughbred Gelding

CONFORMATION & MOVEMENT – SoJak is an exceptionally built horse with a sloping shoulder, long, muscular neck, strong hind quarters, well-sprung ribs, a beautifully marked and inquisitive face, and a kind eye. I find his proportions to be nearly perfect and have no complaints of his conformation at all. In fact, have not seen a horse quite this exquisite in a long time. He has a very flat-kneed and floaty trot and a medium-strided canter.

HISTORY – SoJack, Jockey Club: South Jak by Limehouse out of Devine Diva (Theatrical), had 14 starts (1 win, 0 places, 1 show) and $9,555 in earnings. Seven owners tried to find race track glory with this poor horse in under six years of his life. When I met him at the track he seemed a little cranky but only once I got him home and after observing his behavior did I realize that the poor guy was a victim unlike I have ever encountered. SoJak had the most standoffish, disenchanted, and even sometimes fearful and aggressive tendencies. For three months I did nothing other than 2x daily short in-hand sessions to teach him that he could safely walk up to me and have his forehead touched. Throughout the summer of 2013 I added in 3x weekly short longeing sessions of walk and trot over a ground rail and continued to work with him to reconsider his hatred of humans.



October 2014 First Fences Video


VETERINARY & SOUNDNESS – SoJak has been pin-fired for injury to both splints. I battled countless abscesses in his feet throughout summer 2013; his hoof wall was simply too weak and too brittle to hold a shoe for more than a few days. He lost more and more hoof as each shoe ripped off. Finally in August I gave up with the shoes and increased the farrier’s formula to a full cup 2x per day. Only then, did I see real growth and a gradual improvement in his soundness. In October 2014 he became sound enough to enter training barefoot. Today, even without having been on a hoof supplement, as he walks down my brick barn aisle, I hear a reassuringly solid sound.

TRAINING - A thoroughbred that likes people is an incredibly stoic hero but because SoJak was so disenchanted with the human race, probably from being forced to run despite being injured and in pain from the splints, he expresses his distrust at the slightest hint of discomfort or pain. I am choosing to proceed very slowly with his training. Even when I was struggling with the condition of his hooves I tried to do something with him in the arena 2-3x each week, just to brush him, tack him up, and have him trot around a few laps in each direction to monitor his progress. I wanted to tell him what his new job would be, that it would be easy and rewarding, and that his pain would not be ignored. I have spent more time brushing and petting him than two horses need. The extra time has paid off. I have seen him transform from a horse who turned away and pinned his years when you approached the stall to one who is happy, engaged, and interested to see what is going on and maybe even get a pet or two on the forehead as you pass (but don't hang around too long or you'll get the grumpy face!). His character, attitude, and soundness are so much improved after 20 months that he is trotting and cantering over some cross rails and small verticals. He has the most quiet way of going; I think that he is glad to know that his new job will not involve pain or humiliation. He has a beautiful trot, two lovely leads, and has been nothing but willing to jump any fence infront of him.

POTENTIAL – When I bought SoJak in January 2013, I had not purchased a new thoroughbred since 2006 - to say that I had looked at a few horses prior to selecting this one is an understatement. Because his look and his pedigree are so similar to my beloved, Phenom I completely disregarded the fact that he was so physically and emotionally abused. Because he was so big and beautiful, the fact that he was a little banged up was fine with me. I believe that as he becomes more physically sound he will completely let go of the emotional baggage he carries. Over even his early fences I could feel that he is a natural hunter; beautiful, deliberate, and perfectly correct with his balance, pace, and form. Even with his history I can see that he wants a job (as long as it doesn't hurt!) and that he wants to have a human friend (especially if she has a cookie) and I remain confident that I will find the horse within him that wants to be a reliable hunter and equitation mount for an individual who is willing to take things very slowly to build his trust and confidence in yet another situation.

SPECIFICS - full-cheek Waterford, regular bridle with standing martingale, a regular tree saddle with a 54" girth, and an 82" blanket. He does not require a standing martingale but keeps his nose in better with one.

VIDEO - the new video was taken simply because my husband had our camera on hand for recording my son's ride. Sojack is not very clean and had not been ridden for about two weeks prior to this ride, due to rainy weather. But, it accurately shows his personality, lovely movement, and willingness to give a second career a try. It also shows that he is not a forward horse, I will be working in the coming weeks to get him to reach for the bit a little more; but, all-in-all a great starting point!



Price subject to increase with training and show experience/ success.