I purchased my 7 year old paint with the plan of eventually doing dressage with him. I'm planning on keeping track of his progress here.
His former owner saved him from the kill pen in January of this year:
He had apparently fallen in the trailer on the way there.. he had a hip injury. After a short time, he flexed sound and he was put into training, doing mostly groundwork.
I actually found him on this site (and Facebook). I went to see him, decided to take a chance, and bought him. He arrived at the boarding barn on September 29th.
We started his training tonight. We worked him in the round pen and worked on saddling. He seems very "cold backed" and is extremely sensitive to doing anything with the saddle... cinching, moving the stirrups, etc.
He does seem like he might be a bit stiff in the right rear (the hip injury). There also might be something going on in his back, and that would explain the saddle issues. My trainer said it's hard to tell whether it will be an issue or not... he could be completely fine or he could end up being sound for only light riding.
At this point, I'm feeling nervous, apprehensive, and a bit disappointed. This was a purchase I made with my heart, not my head. I expected to have to start from scratch with riding but didn't think we'd be back to square one with groundwork and saddling. But... I need to remind myself to be patient... he hasn't had much of a chance to get to know me or my trainer yet, and he doesn't trust us yet.
I knew about the hip injury and took a chance there, as well.
An equine massage therapist was scheduled to come out tomorrow and we're going to have him check Eclipse out. Thursday the vet comes out, and we'll have her check him out, too. He has some sort of respiratory infection going on (likely stress from the move), so she's going to check on that, as well.