Little John

Melissa Kepler
Berthoud, CO  80513


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Horse Details

Gypsy/Draft Cross

Melissa Kepler

Berthoud, CO






Star; Snip; Paint Marks; Four Stockings

Trail, Kid Safe, Ranch Work, Driving


Little John –  Big Horse with a Bigger Personality

Little John is a gorgeous 2015 black-&-white tobiano draft-cross gelding being offered for sale.  He’s 5 years old, 15.3 hands, nearly 1500 pounds, with dinner-plate hooves, flawless conformation, and enough mane and tail for 3 horses.  He’s reportedly half Gypsy Vanner, half Percheron, selling as grade.  He’s a big horse with an even bigger personality; he is friendly and funny and gentle and bombproof.  Bold, confident, and curious, I’ve never seen him spook at anything, (and my kids get up to everything that would make an ordinary horse develop a nervous disorder).  He’s not just easy to catch; he actually comes when you call him.  Go vault onto his back in the pasture, bareback and bridle-less, and ride him to guide the other horses back to the barn.  He’s got all the fancy moves and buttons, but you don’t have to be an expert to look good on this guy.  Anyone who can sit on him can ride him.  He is the first horse my littlest daughter ever rode by herself, and he took great care of her up there and gave her a huge confidence boost.  She has been riding him all over the neighborhood independently, even along the county road with the fast traffic, and I trust him completely when she’s in the saddle.  He gave pony rides to some special-needs teens with poor balance, and he was kind and steady.  He adores kids and attention, grooming and pampering.  He loves water and bath-time; I’ve seen him grab the hose to have a little water fight.  He has some hilarious quirks, like sucking up a huge mouthful of water at the trough and then walking over and spitting it out on one of the goats, (who don’t find this nearly as funny as he & I do).  He’s great with dogs, bikes, traffic, 4-wheelers, farm machinery, trampolines – you name it.  

He is broke the very best, with the smoothest gaits and transitions you’ll ever ride.  He feels like a barcalounger on wheels, but with all the power to do a big job.  He has worked plenty behind cattle and had a rope thrown off him in the branding pen.  He’ll do any job you ask with patience and no drama.  He picks up both leads and lopes fluid circles.  Nothing gets him worked up; he’s calm and mellow no matter the situation or chaos going on around him.  He’ll ride out happily alone or in a group, leading or following, even after months off, with the same delighted-to-be-out attitude and willing-to-please temperament every time.  He gives beautifully to leg pressure; you can get him to side pass without a bridle on.  Worried about his size?  Don’t – he’ll lie down for you to get on!  He’s also broke to drive, single and double.  You (or your kids or goats) can walk under him or between his legs or climb all over him like a playground.  He gets along well in a herd, although he does tend to put himself at the top of the pecking order.  He loads and hauls with no fuss in any kind of trailer.  He has no bad habits and is healthy as can be.  He’s an easy keeper and stays beefy on straight grass hay.  He bathes, clips, ties, and stands for the vet and farrier.  He’ll let a little kid pick his massive size #5 hooves.  He has good strong feet; he’s currently barefoot and newly trimmed.  He’s UTD on vaccines (including rabies), worming, and Coggins.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you why I’m selling this magnificent beast.  We just bought Little John at the end of June to be a family horse, and he has done his job amazingly, exceeding every expectation.  However, last week we had an incident in which a gate was left open, and our four geldings and herd of goats got out.  With our obnoxious dog in hot pursuit, barking and leaping and biting at the horses, they all galloped across the yard in the dark.  Somehow in the melee, my 5-year-old daughter got kicked by Little John.  She had previously crawled under him and over him countless times with no incident, including dozens of times with all of them in the corral and pasture with no halters on.  In fact, my two little girls have been tasked with bringing in all the horses from the pasture, and I have never seen dangerous behavior from Little John.  I would still describe him as kid-safe, since this was a very chaotic and unprecedented set of circumstances and my kids have spent so much other time safely on and around him.  Unfortunately, this is a one-strike-and-you’re-out offense at our house.  I’m absolutely heartbroken to have to find a new home for this horse; he is the best-broke horse I have ever ridden in forty years of riding, and his looks and personality are truly something special.  I just could never forgive myself if it ever happened again, so I’m listing him for sale.  After years of searching for the perfect horse and months of courting him, we bought him from Mark Birch, the renowned trainer and broker in Missouri.  Mr. Birch bought him a year prior to that from the Amish farrier/trainer that bred and raised him, and Mr. Birch is happy to answer any questions about Little John.

Melissa Kepler
Berthoud, CO  80513

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Item condition: New

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Highest bidder was: Catalina

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