After reading that last several blogs and all the wonderful comments, it is clear that we, writers and readers, are all cut from the same cloth. If our common passion for our horses and other animals is a disease, than we are all terminal cases.
That is why I love this Blog. I realize I have not been as consistent of a participant as I would like, but it makes me smile to log on, read and know that I have many kindred souls out there in cyberland whom I have never met in person but with whom I share a very strong common bond. How cool is that!
With that said, I thought that with this being my first blog of the new year that I would catch everyone up with the 4 legged residents of Rocking Horse Ranch. There are currently 17 members to our little herd, 15 of which are long term residents. I won't go into detail on everyone, only the biggest characters and yes they will all eventually be material for a book.
The king of the ranch is Pete who I have written about before (my thoroughbred related to Secretariat). Pete is my soon to be 22 year old Dressage schoolmaster who has been with me since he was 9. Pete knows that he has #1 status but he is a benevolent monarch as long he is first to get treats and attention when I walk into the barn. Pete feels and often acts more like 2 than 22. He entertains us regularly with his acrobatics in the turn out (although I generally cringe fearing a pulled shoe or an injury) and with all the breaks from the December rains I had to temporarily stop letting my students ride him because he was so full of himself with pent up energy he almost launched them and even came close to bucking me off. He is not mean about it, he just feels good and forgets you are up there sometimes. Pete is my equine soul mate and will be hard if not impossible to replace. Like Francesca, I am looking for a new competition horse and am finding the task both daunting and intimidating. But that will be another blog and Francesca you and I will have to compare notes.
My other equine children are Hank (who is the paint pictured on the blog), Tahoe and newcommer Hershey. Hank has been rehabbing from a suspensory strain and sidebone issues and may be headed to surgery (also the subject of a future blog) to cut the nerve in his foot in order for him to be pain free from the sidebone. I am struggling with the moral implications and have not 100% made the decision but he is unhappy being out of work and watches me every minute that I am in the barn as if to say "why aren't you riding me?" It makes me feel horrible and even though Hank is walked and groomed daily, I don't think it is not enough for him. Tahoe will be 28 this year and like a good watch, he just keeps on ticking. He is a bit "creaky" but still the kid's favorite and he relishes being the center of attention when the kids are around.
Hershey is the newbie. He is a thoroughbred, just turned 3 with the new year and was given to me by a TB breeding farm that had fallen on hard times when the owner died. I needed another horse like a hole in the head, but he was headed to a horrible "horse dealer" had I not taken him. He was dubbed Hershey (His registered name is Black Mountain) because he is a chocolate brown, very sweet and likes to give kisses. Hershey is the picture of wide-eyed innocence and often looks at Pete and Tahoe as if they are Yoda, the Karate master and Merrilegs combined. He is in the process of being broke and I think he will be a great pony club or event horse someday.
Then, as many of you know, Michele Scott keeps her horses with me. Monty, Michele's daughter's pony has turned out to be an incredible schoolmaster for Kaitlin. Monty is only 10 (same age as Kaitlin) so they have many more years together. Monty is the clown of the barn and is known to through his feed bucket around or kick the stall door if he is not fed breakfast on his schedule which is about 4:30 or 5 am. Monty also LOVES to jump and luckily so does Kaitlin, but in Eventing they also have to do Dressage which they both approach with about the same enthusiasm as a kid eating brussel sprouts.
Michele's other 2 horses are Krissy and Will, who she now leases. Michele recently blogged about Krissy's retirement but this has not stopped Krissy from being the "hot Momma" of the herd. Before she settled on a committed love affair with Will when he came to live at my place she previously had "cougaresk" relationships with horses far younger than she including my Hershey. Leave it to say, everyone always knows where Krissy stands on her opposite sex relationships. She is quite content in her retirement as long as her men are near.
Cami is a mare that is a bit of a Jeckel/Hyde pony that belongs to one of my students. She is deviously smart and quite lazy and thinks she gets opinion on everything. She is a good little jumper though and is teaching Lexie to be a strong little rider out of self defense if nothing else.
I will blog more about the other horses on another day but a quick run down is Maxim -who is gorgeous but is a "special needs child", Chief - the prankster with a heart of gold, Max - who is the laziest former winning racehorse I have ever known, Mason - very sweet but "rides the short bus", Memo - well lets just say she has "issues", Honey - heart of gold very tolerant mare and last but not least Jake - (Honey's son) who is only 4, very kind but has a little bit of the devil in him.
Well that is the update for now, I hope I have not bored everybody but I just find each of the horses individuality one of those simple joys of living around horses. Like those little things that Laura wrote about. How are all of your herds doing? I hope that the new year brings joy in the little things and prosperity and success in the big ones.