Wednesday, April 22, 2020

that Red horse!

Lol guys it's kinda ridiculous right now. I'm sitting on my couch (like, ya know, basically everyone else), not doing a whole heckuva lot more than my day job. Except --- actually plus some other horsey stuff.

FUN horsey stuff!! Legendary retiree horsey stuff!! With ALL the media OMG!

But... It's weird haha, I know what I want to write but like, just haven't written it. Meh. Those #quarantinefeels are unpredictable I guess!! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So rather than force out any words, let's just take a closer look at that Red horse, aka Killian <3

bc. guys. I LOVE this horse, wow. I didn't even know that I missed the view between two redhead ears. sure, getting to peer through Eeyore's ears just a few short weeks ago (tho at this point it feels like a lifetime...) was such a welcome reminder. 

bc really, there's something so so special about these redheads. in case you forgot, Red aka Killian is ~21 and moved into my friend Scott's barn in the winter of 2018, skinny, recovering from EPM, and in the throes of some major hoof catastrophes. 

Red is an experienced and accomplished veteran event horse, and was campaigning at the Prelim level around the same time as Scott's other retiree, Freebee. but after his retirement and some massively disruptive life circumstances for his owner, he sorta got shuffled around for a little bit.

but luckily he found a soft landing at Scott's farm. and over the past two winters, Scott has nursed this incredible OTTB back to a healthy condition. meaning: now he's able to carry a rider for some light rehabilitative conditioning riding. (even yours truly, who has most certainly gained that #quarantine15)

the first time I rode him, I felt.... a little uncertain of his balance haha. he has a history of front end injury and hind end, uh, EPM... so i just did a 15min walk for his first under saddle in like 2 years haha. our next ride Scott was in the irons for a light hack and the horse was definitely spritely. the third time was me again, and the difference in his movement was substantial. in the best way. Red was feeling GOOD again.

possibly.... too good haha

bc homeboy immediately took to the pastures to express his newfound delight in regaining physical strength. and ATE FUCKING SHIT OMG. just look at his face in the left most picture. that is the face of immediate Life Choice Regret. 

but ya know. these special redheads. they are beloved, ya know?

and coming from the local community, Red's long-time body worker is also local. and was actually already scheduled for a visit even before his ill-conceived pasture party haha. so ya know, that was convenient haha. even better - she was able to tell us all manner of stories from this horse's history, which is always fun. 

more important than anything else tho, coming back into work -- and especially getting visited by his familiar body worker -- has really helped Red come out of his shell. he's a special boy, but sometimes these highly experienced horses kinda recede behind a wall of "obedience" without really showing their personalities.

and considering the brief (tho likely impactful) period Red spent getting shuffled around, he definitely seemed a bit walled up. suddenly, tho, that's changing. yessss!! <3 <3 <3

lol obvi that's not the Red horse, just his stall neighbor Chase, Scott's young horse. he was jealous of all the attention Red is getting right now

tho let's be real, every horse in Scott's barn (all three of them) are basically living the life. and i'm so so so so grateful that i have this small private socially-distant-compliant opportunity to interact in horsey endeavors during this unbelievably challenging time...

i think Red is enjoying it too. after marinating for a day or two post-bodywork, it was time to evaluate soundness under saddle again. and damn if this red mother fucker didn't just about bolt with me when i first got on haha.

being perfectly honest, the weakness in his walk made me really question soundness. Scott had the idea that we might try a trot that ride to see what was what, but i was verrrrrry doubtful upon walking him around for like 15 min. frankly, i just didn't feel like it was necessary to risk a potential horse + rider face plant, ya know?

but the longer we went, the more lively Red marched. march march March MARCH. and then, suddenly, 15 min into looping around the small grass ring, Red starts jigging. and like, ok brosef. i'm happy you feel lively. let's go on ahead. and i just sorta let the jig melt into a proper trot. 

aw and guys. this old boy just trotted right on around. shockingly sound. like, sure, maybe not FEI jog-up sound. but like, whoa bro. Get. It. hahaha. it was amazing --- haha homeboy was actually almost running away with me at times!! what a feeling <3 <3 <3

obvi we didn't go for very long. his muscles are weak and need gentle conditioning. but what a special feeling. it ain't much, but it's enough during these crazy times <3

Hope you all are doing ok too, and hopefully also getting those glimpses in whatever way possible of those amazing good feelings that help remind us that there's still good stuff out there, and good times coming again.



30 comments:

  1. Yaaaasss old red horse! I'm hoping my own old red horse can have a similar moment soon. He's definitely being an idiot in the field...

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    1. Ugh I’m pretty sure it’s idiot season out there, esp with all this wind lately! Hopefully tho Pig’s hoof heals up soon!

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  2. I am so glad you have such a cool outlet for horse time. It is so incredibly important for the mental health!

    I absolutely love the older been there done that horses. They have so much to offer and I find that I really appreciate them after years of greenies and youngsters.

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    1. oh man, totally agreed. honestly i roll my eyes every time i hear an inexperienced rider say that schoolmasters are boring and they prefer the 'challenge' of a green horse haha. i would have loved an opportunity to ride a campaigner like Red when he was still going haha - tho he probably would have scared the shit out of me LOL

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    2. What a classy old man! I love when those walls start coming down and you get to see the horse under.

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    3. meeeeee too -- he's got a really playful personality too, which is so fun to see in an elder statesman haha

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  3. I have a soft spot for these old red heads. I'm glad that you are getting some saddle time.

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    1. i do too <3 and yea, having this chance to be around horses is honestly a lifesaver at the moment. even if it's just like, on the weekends or whatever, it really helps haha

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  4. Glad you got some horse time, and with such a special horse! I can't believe he ate shit like that. WOW! Thank goodness the body worker was coming for a visit!

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    1. oh my goodness, i could not believe the video when scott sent it to me. he just totally wiped out, wtf. and then still KEPT GOING! it was a little worrying bc he was definitely sore after the crash, and kept galloping around anyway. but anti inflammatories are the nectar of the gods apparently, haha, and with a little tlc he was basically fine, go figure!

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  5. Glad you are getting horse time. And with a red old man! <3

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    1. meeee toooo <3 these old red geezers are the absolute best! ;)

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    1. I KNOW RIGHT?!?! he wiped the fuuuuuuck out, holy crap. so relieved he's ok tho haha

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  7. OMG I'm dying over the picture of the face plant!!! How the heck??? And to then be basically ok afterwards? What a horse! Even though he's still coming back into work I bet he's such a cool horse to ride :)

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    1. oh my gosh he is SO COOL. and actually, the more we do with him, the more horse he becomes lol. like, i'm pretty sure if he were in full fitness or whatever i'd have trouble even managing him!

      and re: the faceplant, they were really galloping around and he just got tripped up. was definitely sore and got a few days of previcox + body work. luckily tho no actual injuries!!

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  8. Gotta love those old guys who still think they're teenagers!

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    1. lol for real - actually Red AND Freebee both act more youthful than charlie, and he's legitimately half their age.... haha

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  9. Oh man, he sounds like such a character. Gotta love and older chestnut gentleman, they really are just the extra bit cheeky!

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    1. ha exactly - they just have that special je ne sais quoi lol

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  10. That face plant would have given me a heart attack. I have a soft spot for the oldies that have no clue they aren't young anymore. Glad you are getting some horse time in.

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    1. oh man, yea i definitely had a bit of a sinking feeling when scott sent that video... like, the horse got back up and kept galloping around but it was clear he was sore. luckily tho that's all it was!

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  11. The face plant is priceless. Glad he found a soft landing place and hopefully he continues to gain muscle and feel better

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    1. i'm so glad he found a home at scott's too. obvi everyone always wants to do the absolute best by their seniors and retirees, but life happens fast sometimes and unfortunately sometimes horses end up getting shuffled around.

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  12. love it! so great that this old gent found such a soft landing at Scott's. Sounds like he might be able to build up some muscle and keep doing some light work!

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    1. oh man, totally agreed. tho i probably wouldn't call it "work" haha -- but even with the very very VERY light basic under saddle stuff we've done with him, he's seemed to make rapid progress in his physical health. the hope is that with some careful tactics, he'll be able to do longer trail rides including hills and stuff at places like Fair Hill. here's hoping!!

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