The HORSE IDEOLOGY WP blog starts off with the death of my horse Pepper in November of 2007. She was an Appaloosa X who I loved so very dearly and I’m in the process of putting my old blogs about our partnership back up in a new WP format. She died probably of a heart attack after a three month battle with laminitis that resulted due to Cushings Disease (she came to me on New Years weekend 2000 and passed in November 2007). If you need help regarding this disease start here.
In December 2007, reeling from Pepper’s death, I made arrangements that one of my former lesson horses, Brego (aka Beautiful Boy in this journal) was returned to his former owner, a college kid that had been forced to sell him a few years earlier by parents.
He was a QH-Arab cross that was extremely flighty though he had the most beautiful movement and did some lovely groundwork. He could effortlessly dance a shoulder-in and I used a lot of Clicker Training with him during our ground work sessions that really beefed him up. BB is the definite “beauty is what beauty does” and he threw me once too often.
Tristan (aka T-man, Big Guy, Big Boy), an OTTB, was also a former lesson horse and during my time at the hell barn when I was barn manager was about the last time we rode consistently (2010) because of his many health issues: a fractured pelvis that he recovered from (2009), lameness issues and melanomas.
Tristan taught me a lot of great things and improved my knowledge of riding quite a bit. He was an overbent horse due to many years prior (before me) being ridden in draw reins, heavy on the forehand due to lesson students, went behind the bit and dropped contact, and had physical issues which made him crooked.
Many of my riding students, when I taught, didn’t get along with this gentle giant (16.2 hh) but we always seemed to understand each other.He also taught me a lot about courage. May he Rest In Peace, running free with his ladylove.
He was with me from about May of 2004 to April 2016.
In January 2008, I met Z for the first time and decided to buy her. Looking back this was really a bad decision on my part. Not because she was a baby but because of where I was with my life and it was purely an emotional reason running after something I had lost.
There are a lot of my training challenges with ZZ discussed in this blog, however, readers won’t know how borderline dangerous she really was. In the spring of 2015, after trying two different trainers and working with a rider, and years spent with her, we decided to have her humanely euthanized rather then risk her aggression seriously injuring someone.
I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions in my life – buying her was stupid – euthanizing her was brave because public opinion is to keep trying with these troubled horses. Since I had owned Z since she was 18 months I knew her issues were not from life experiences but were genetic (her mother was also unrideable and dangerous). It takes courage to make hard choices and say goodbye rather then send a horse like this to auction and let someone else break their neck on her – or worse – have a kill buyer get her.
The smartest equine I’ve ever owned is my little mini-pony Dancer (aka Pandora on this blog) that I bought in the Jan-Feb of 2004 for my horseback riding lesson business. Of my horses she has now been with me the longest. Yet we are living on borrowed time as she is now her 40’s and this last year has grayed so much. As an older pony, the battle continues to be hoof care (she has rotated) and keeping her sound.
In December 2012, when we were renting a country place in Missouri, I bought Dulce purely as a companion to Dancer. She is inbred miniature horse that the former owners rescued from a backyard, animal hoarder situation. She is extremely head shy and hard to catch. Working with her has improved this somewhat but not totally as I don’t spend enough time with her.
Both of the ponies will spend their lifetime with me.
For some time, I had been wanting an uncomplicated horse. When I had gone looking before and found Z, I was actually looking for a draft cross. When I was boarding in Oklahoma, I looked again and found nothing that I liked. When we were in Missouri, I looked and came up empty.
After I was able to release Tristan to his Final Peace, I started looking again. After my experiences with Z, I knew exactly what I didn’t want. I wanted something I could ride and enjoy TODAY, and like a miracle, Dante (originally sold under the name Chance) came into my life June, 2016.