Read the Success Stories for these former Bits & Bytes Farm horses.
Former Prospect Horses bought directly from the track or trainer.

* Prospect Horses are horses that were bought from our Web site photos and a vet check. Read "How to Buy a Prospect Horse" for more information.

All photos on this Web site are copyright protected and may not be used without written permission of the owners.

Former grey horses for sale - Weatherford is having an identity crisis, he can't decide whether or not he wants to be a gray or a roan.

Weatherford is having an identity crisis, he can't decide whether or not he wants to be a gray or a roan. July 2008
























OTTB - Weatherford aka "Roo" is learning to canter and jump with his new mom Julie Buddemeyer. October 30, 2007

Weatherford aka "Roo" is learning to canter and jump with his first mom Julie Buddemeyer. October 30, 2007















Weatherford aka "Roo" has made it home to Frederick, MD.

Weatherford aka "Roo" has made it home to Frederick, MD. July 2007














Click here to see Weatherford's Prospect Horse For Sale photos.

Click here to see Weatherford's Prospect Horse For Sale photos.



















































Click here to see Weatherford's Prospect Horse For Sale photos.

Click here to see Weatherford's Prospect Horse For Sale photos.





































Bits & Bytes Farm Success Stories

Our horses > success stories > Weatherford

Weatherford aka "Roo" aka "Sully"

OTTB - Weatherford has a new name and a new mom! July 2008

July 23, 2008 - Weatherford has a new name and a new mom!

Hi Elizabeth,

Sorry it has taken so long for me to get back with you. I have been spending night and day at the farm with Sullivan, Sully for short, aka. Weatherford. Yeah, I changed his name. Weatherford was a mouthful! All I can say is, he is great and doing great! He is all and more than what you and Julie said. Sully is a perfect match and everything that I have wanted.

The first day he arrived at the farm, he had myself and others worried when he came off the trailer. Sully introduced himself with snorting, kicking, and very pushy. I guess if I had traveled five hours in a metal box, I would come out a little excited as well. One particular owner was very concerned about her Hanoverian that Sully was going to be sharing a pasture with. My little guy could literally fit inside of Proffitt! Once I introduced him to his new pasture, he quietly settled down to eating grass.

Off-the-Track-Thorougbhbred Weatherford quietly settled down to eating grass.

A couple days later, Sully was introduced to one of his pasture mates, Cody, a draft horse and Proffitt. All three sniffed each other, were unimpressed, then started grazing.

Everyone is amazed at how quiet he is and only being five years old. I have been hacking mostly in the riding ring, but did venture out and let him explore part of the woods. If he does startle at something, Sully just stops, looks at it, then continues on. Right now, I think Sully is having an identity crisis, he can't decide whether or not he wants to be a gray or a roan. Hopefully, now that he is on night turn-out, he will become a gray again. No matter what, he is beautiful and everyone loves him! Please let me know if you have problems with any of the pictures.

Thank you again for all your assistance. I tell everyone about you and 'Bits & Bytes Farm'. By the way, I chose 'Trailhead Trucking' from the bids that came in on the transport and this couple, Donna and Bob Barrett, was awesome! Very patient (not that they needed to be) and very professional. I would highly recommend them. They are from Wyoming.

Thanks again,
Faughn Crockett Sharp

OTTB - Weatherford has a second mom after leaving racing to become a sport horse. July 2008
Weatherford has a second mom after leaving racing to become a sport horse. July 2008

July 7, 2008 - Weatherford has a New Mom!

Congratulations to Faughn Crockett Sharp of Virginia Beach, VA on the purchase of Weatherford! Julie Buddemeyer sold Weatherford when she purchased Irish Morning Mist.

Hi Elizabeth,
Just a quick note to let you know that Weatherford arrived at his new home and is doing GREAT! He is awesome! My son is coming down to the stables this afternoon and will take some pictures. I will write the whole story on him for your "update" web page. He is awesome! Thanks for all you have done! It is a perfect match!

Faughn Crockett Sharp

June 12, 2008 - Weatherford is sadly offered For Sale

Sadly, I have to offer Roo for sale. My board keeps going up and while I can afford the board on 2 horses, if ever I need to employ the services of a vet, I could be in trouble and with 2 horses that is just an impending reality. My trainer has been working quite a bit with Roo and adores him. He is very quiet, responsive and willing. She has been doing grid work with him and lots of cantering. His backend is still weak compared to the rest of him, so cantering is still his weakest gate. He is such a good boy, I have really been dragging my feet on selling him, but since this last board increase, I know I have to let him go. He is suitable for all disciplines, and would be fine for an advanced beginner working with a trainer. The only reason I don’t say beginner is because he does have a soft mouth and I would hate for that to be ruined by someone yanking on him, etc…He is definitely not a “run off with you” horse and is great on trails too. I have attached some recent pics of him and you can see is making progress coming on to the bit and getting round. The pictures don’t do him justice, he is drop dead gorgeous right now, all shiny and dappled out. He is also very reasonably priced, but I am going to picky about who gets him, I want someone who will keep him in regular work and love him as much as I do. Let me know if you know of someone and you can definitely list him on the site too.

Thanks for everything Elizabeth! I will send pictures of Irish soon too.
Julie Buddemeyer

Elizabeth's Note: We will always help find a new home for any horse that we have placed. Julie bought Irish Morning Mist when Megan could not keep him and keep up with her school work. Faughn bought Weatherford from Julie when the horse she was hoping to purchase (Barbo) was sold before she could arrange to meet him. Faughn wanted a grey horse and Julie needed to find a good home for her grey horse - Voila! a perfect match and we ended up with three buyers getting what they wanted and two horses finding wonderful new moms!

October 30, 2007

OTTB - Weatherford aka "Roo" is learning to canter and jump with his new mom Julie Buddemeyer. October 30, 2007

Hi Elizabeth!

I just wanted to send you an update on Roo’s progress. He is doing great, we do a lot of work on the lunge line with side reins to help build that top line and encourage him to give to the bit. We also do sloping hill trots to strengthen that back end!

He has proven himself very sensible on trail rides and even walked right through a large puddle after I walked through it first to show him it wouldn’t swallow him. Now, after it rains, I always walk or trot him through any puddles in the arena (which he does easily!) to make stream crossings or water jumps manageable when we start tackling them.

He is giving more to the bit and starting to flex at the pole and his trot is coming along nicely. The left lead canter has also improved, although we haven’t started any collected cantering yet. The right lead has also improved…some. He is still very unbalanced and extremely strong going right. We have gotten to the point where I can get him to canter past the gate (huge struggle on the right lead). Luckily, our arena has two gates on either side, so I take him in one gate and out the other, just to confuse him, so he really doesn’t know which gate to associate with coming or going. That has been working, but my back up plan is to put two jump standards that he always spooks at (they are very reflective) in front of the gate. I figure he will either stop running to the gate or stop being afraid of the standards, so either way is a win for me. Once he is more balanced on the right lead, he will be more controlled like he is on the left. We do quite a bit of lunging on the right lead so he can work on finding that balance without me on him.

The most exciting thing we’ve done, however, is free jumping! He was such a sport. We’ve been over cross rails and some small verticals together, but nothing substantial, just enough to make him pick his feet up. I have been pleased thus far because he has not been “over-jumping” the jumps. If he can trot over it he will and he doesn’t jump 2’ like its 4’. So I like that he isn’t nervous, just unsure. So we decided to put up a chute and see what he has.

We didn’t do anything crazy, probably 3’6” was the highest we went. We didn’t want to frighten him with it, just wanted to let him find his balance over fences on his own. He did fabulous, didn’t refuse a single fence no matter the height, didn’t even think about running out, we didn’t even have to crack the whip! I got him trotting in the general direction, released him and off he went! After going through the chute, he would just run to the gate (admittedly that was nice in this instance) and wait for me to give him his treat and catch him again. The first fence he was almost always off center and side ways going over it, but the second fence he always corrected himself, found his distance and went over it dead center. I couldn’t really see him from the side (only behind) but my trainer said he gets his knees up nicely. I think he only knocked over two rails the entire time and one he just dropped a back toe.

I can tell he is still a bit unsure about jumping, but he is completely willing and I think once we build his confidence and its not so new, he will excel at it. My trainer was very pleased and impressed, especially with his attitude. Sorry, I didn’t mean for this to be a book, but its been a while since I’ve written! Hope all is well with you, I’ve attached some pictures, we finally bought a camera!

Julie Buddemeyer

August 17, 2007

Hi Elizabeth!
Just wanted to update you on Roo, no pictures yet, I need to steal the camera from work for a weekend! Roo did his first real jump last week, I was so proud of him.

My trainer set up a small cross rail at the end of some trot poles, and he just quietly trotted over the cross rails. Then we set up a little vertical, which he completely ran through the first time. He knocked all the poles over, but he went THROUGH. He didn’t stop, he didn’t duck to either side, just went straight on through. I was very pleased. The second time around he soared over the jump! He wasn’t going to let his little tootsies touch a second time.

I have another lesson tonight, so I’m anxious to see how it goes, everything he does is great, he tries so hard. My trainer thinks we have made great progress. He is picking up correct leads at the canter, is getting a tad smoother to the right, is keeping his neck straight now, and accepting the bit better. And yes, to contradict those who believe all ex-racers are hot, I need to wear spurs with my OTTB.

To my disappointment however, he is not picking up much weight. I have him getting a scoop of Buckeye Trifecta grain 2x a day, plus ¼ scoop of Gro’N Win and shredded beet pulp 2x a day. Any ideas, suggestions? Thanks for your help! I hope to have pics soon!

Elizabeth's Note: When we get a new horse into the farm the first thing we do is worm him and get his teeth looked at by the dentist. We always assume the horse has worms. Work with your vet to determine the best way to clean the worms out of your horse.

Read Elizabeth's Training Notes for Worming Thoroughbreds - Putting weight on OTTB Thoroughbreds.

July 16, 2007


I wanted to update you on my first ride with Roo! It went great!

He stood stock still at the mounting block (my work had paid off!) and didn’t even budge once I was mounted. Even my trainer was impressed. He was great in the lesson too. Not bothered by any of the jump standards, very amicable through the whole lesson, I don’t think he pinned his ears once.

We just walked and trotted and even got him to step over a ground pole (after some convincing). He definitely needs work to the right (to be expected!) and will need a drop nose band to start as he is playing with the bit and getting his tongue over it sometimes. There is nothing about him that is “hot”, he is simply a green, but very willing horse. I will try and get some pictures of our next ride together. He actually comes to me in the pasture and loves attention. He truly is an oversized puppy dog.

Julie Buddemeyer

Elizabeth's Training Note:
I am happy and not surprised at Julie's first ride. The best jumpers I have ever had have refused to walk over a rail on the ground! That means they care where their feet are and they are careful. Try a drop nose band or a figure eight which holds the jaw closed. I had to use a hackamore on one horse until he got over the fear of the bit. The most important thing to remember is never to scare the horse. If he is not doing what you want, you may not be communicating clearly what you want.

Julie's answer to Elizabeth's comments:


I hope that proves to be true with Roo! He wants to please so much, I think he will be great. That’s not the whole story of the ground poles….

I didn’t write to you about it before, because I didn’t think much of it. But, it might help someone else with a similar problem, so I will fill you in.

Before I started him under saddle I was hand grazing him in the area around the arena just to spend some time with him. There is a jump with some poles on the ground out in the grass, so I thought I would take him over there and walk over the ground poles, just with a lead rope and halter. I didn’t think this was going to be a fiasco. He would not budge once we got to the poles, even after sniffing and investigating.

I thought “shoot, this is our first real ‘test of wills’ and I certainly don’t want to lose the first time.” So, I went and got a lunge whip thinking maybe he just needed a little more encouragement. No luck, although I did succeed it getting him to walk and trot circles around me in BOTH directions (the right is always an accomplishment).

So I took a different approach…We started walking up to the poles, as soon as he stopped, I would keep encouraging a little more. Every time he took a step forward, I let him graze, just a couple of bites. Eventually we were right in front of the ground pole. Then I would only let him graze if his head was over the pole. He obliged quite willingly to that. While he was grazing over the pole, I simply picked up a front foot and put it over the pole. He brought the second one over himself and then his back end. After that, we stepped over the pole no problem! We kept walking over it until there was no hesitation. Success!

Now to under saddle….We set up the scenario so there was a pole perpendicular to the fence and then a second pole touching the first pole, but parallel to the fence to create an open-ended box. We figured by doing this, his only way out was to back out, if he tried ducking to the side, he would still be stepping over a pole. He again stopped in front of the pole, and we did get him to step over it once, but he wouldn’t a second time. So, I got off and led him across, just as we had done in the grass. I did this several times to reinforce the concept, then got back on. From there, my trainer led him across with me mounted. We did that a couple of times and then she gave me back the reins and “acted” as though she was leading us over the poles by walking over with us. After that we were able to do it on our own with no hesitation. Throughout the whole process he was never fussy or mean or did anything more than back up, away from the pole. Once he realized what we wanted him to do, and that is was “ok,” he was more than happy to do it.

Anyways, maybe that will help someone on the site if they are having a similar problem. I am finding that there isn’t anything he won’t do or refuses to do, it is just a matter of teaching him what you want him to do in a non-threatening way. I want everything to be a positive experience for him and am thinking of ways to gently outwit him into doing something, than trying to force him to do something.


Elizabeth's Training Note:
Job well done! I will add this to the Training Notes from Elizabeth page with a credit to Julie.

July 13, 2007


Tonight will be my first ride on Roo! We started work this week on standing at the mounting block. I had limited success earlier in the week, but it was mostly my fault because I was not doing a very good job of conveying to Roo what I actually wanted from him. He did the classic stand perfect until I actually step on the mounting block and then swing the back end away so he’s facing me. Last night I got smart about it and took a jump standard to make an “aisle” between the mounting block and jump standard. This prevented him from swinging his hind end around. The “aisle” kept getting smaller and smaller as soon as I was sure he was “ok” with walking between the two pieces of equipment. By the end of the evening he was standing perfectly by the mounting block while I was scratching and leaning on him from the top step. I will let you know how this evening goes. Everyone at the barn loves him and calls him my “cute little pony.”

Julie Buddemeyer

July 9, 2007


Well, so much for running around like a crazy horse after being turned out for the first time! We turned Roo out for the first time on Friday and a little crowd had gathered for the imminent show. They were all sadly disappointed.

Roo quietly walked around the paddock, sniffed here and there, maybe broke out two trot strides and then started eating his hay! It was as if to say “there’s nothing to see here folks!” It was so funny, people were even whistling and clicking at him to try and get him to trot around, not him. Just a nice, quiet, investigative walk. I had to laugh. Its no wonder he didn’t do well as a racehorse, he’s just so laid back!

I plan on getting on him for the first time either Friday or Saturday, the only reason I’m not doing it sooner is because I know the bridle I have is not going to come close to fitting him, so I need to get him his very own. Do you have any suggestions on bits? I have no idea what they use at the track. Do you think a single jointed or double jointed snaffle would be best?

Julie Buddemeyer

Elizabeth's Training Note:
We like to us a French link snaffle with a loose ring. Just make sure the ring does not pinch the horse's lips. We also use full cheek happy mouths with a roller in the center. A regular snaffle can be harsh if you pop him in the mouth. It "nutcrackers" the jaw and forces the joint into his palette. Many Thoroughbreds have a shallow palette so the French link is good choice. I like the ones that have a bit of a curve to the two sides of the bit. At the track they mostly use a D ring snaffle. I find fussy horses like copper rollers, full cheeks and French link bits. Click to link to a good resource site for tack and bits. See our Links page for more Thoroughbred resources.

July 6, 2007

Good Morning Elizabeth!

I have attached a picture of Roo, its not great, but the lighting wasn’t cooperating and he was fairly interested in his feed bucket this morning. I lucked out and my farrier is able to shoe him today, so I’m excited for him to get his racing plates off and start feeling good. We had fun with the bug spray this morning, he was unsure, so I brought him into a paddock to hand graze him and started by rubbing the bottle all over him, and every once in a while I would spray him and then pretend like nothing happened and keep rubbing him with the bottle. He got used to it pretty quick.

Julie Buddemeyer

SOLD! Congratulations to Julie Buddemeyer of Frederick, MD.

Weatherford was a Prospect Horse For Sale in June 2007.

Weatherford was a Prospect Horse For Sale in June 2007.

Click here to see his Prospect Horse For Sale photos.

Click here to see Weatherford's Prospect Horse For Sale photos.

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