Monday, December 24, 2018

Repost: A New Normal

Happy Holidays everyone! While everyone is hopefully enjoying some good times with family and friends, I thought I'd repost an old favorite of mine: Charlie's introduction to the blogosphere from just over two years ago in Sept 2016. 


I've been saying for a while now that something needed to change in my riding situation. That I've been eager to figure out a new regular routine, a way to keep riding on my own terms without hustling up a horse every time.

taking in the sights
Perhaps you already connected the dots that I have been horse shopping. Perhaps not, in which case, SURPRISE!

Charlie Murray (2009 gelding)
Charlie Murray is a 7 year old OTTB last raced earlier this summer. This tall drink of water actually wasn't even on my list when I went to visit the facility, but his sweet, quiet disposition (and good looks) caught my attention.

After looking at a couple horses there (and a few others elsewhere), he was the one who stayed on my mind. The one I started dubbing "plain but promising" haha.

big horse in a little round pen!
I especially enjoyed hanging out with Charlie at the facility - where he had only been for a few days but was still very nonchalant about everything. Took encouragement to move out in the new-to-him round pen, and would stop to nibble grass as he went.

Mostly tho, in addition to liking the way he is put together and liking this 'type' TB, mostly I just liked HIM. Charlie is just a downright pleasant horse to be around.

bath time!
Including watching him get his first bath at the facility with some volunteers. This guy was so curious that at one point he had gotten a bucket stuck over his nose an it took literal moments for anybody to notice. Bc he was just hangin out, like "Ha, I got a bucket!" rather than flipping out or anything.

kind eye
So I put a deposit down and got him vetted. He's got some typical race horse stuff (feet need attention and residual body soreness) but the structures and joints and whatnot are in good shape. He was green-lighted to go forth and be my event horse!

wearing a hat bc my trailer is... not Charlie-sized
So I have since brought this big guy home - believe it or not he kinda sorta fits in my stock trailer. Maybe. It's maybe a bit snug....

new digs!
He's been settling in at the new h/j place over the weekend, and has eased into the new environment mostly ok. They have a fairly conservative program for building horses up to turnout (he has been accustomed to 16 hours out daily) so his first day found him as not the happiest camper with not enough time out.

checkin out the outdoor
We did lots of hand walking tho. Taking a peek at all the fun grassy areas outside, wandering by the arenas and fields and trailers and whatnot.

grazing by the gazebo
This guy literally just took it all in. Giant truck in the middle of the barn aisle cleaning stalls? Lessons going on in both arenas? Soccer game next door? Strange guy using a leaf blower to clean the aisles (who was seemingly around every single corner haha)? None of it got more than a glance from Charlie.

yep this is an indoor!
I'm really optimistic that he'll ease into the routine of the place pretty quickly too. By day 2 he got a much more substantial chunk of time spent out in solo turnout, and that will continue to grow until he's back to overnight group turnout.

coming to say hi
I stopped by in the morning to check on him and he was hanging out quietly, checking out all his neighbor horses. But of course he had to come over and say hi. This guy is just so friendly.

"Hi neighbor!!!" - Charlie
His former owners have had him since 2012 and very clearly loved him. And apparently spared no expense in his care. Poor guy, I'm a little bit of a downgrade for him unfortunately (look no further than the tiny stock trailer haha).

let's be real. i bought him bc he's game for selfies
But I suspect he'll be just fine. I like his temperament and disposition a lot, and think he will do well in a program centered around routine and consistency (two of my favorite words!!).

more evidence of downgrade status: mismatched tack
But of course you probably wanna know more, right? How is this horse to ride?!?

"I'm on a horse!!" - Emma
The answer? He's a real sweetie. Go button, steering, and brakes are all apparently in working order. He's a little tense and mouthy under saddle right now (still learning to be a riding horse instead of a race horse) but basically just does what I ask.

obligatory between-the-ears shot
He's still wearing his race plates up front and is barefoot behind, tho that'll get fixed later this week. But he was still happy to go when I asked!

post-ride, post-bath grazing
So I'm very excited. Charlie is certainly not the prelim/training packer that Dan wanted me to buy (lol sorry Dan but money is a real thing!) but he feels like a horse right up my alley. I can't wait to get him going!


  1. I didn't see the 'repost' part so at first I was 'wait, what?' LOL. Merry Christmas to you and Charlie!

    1. Ha yup just a holiday throwback lol ;) merry Christmas to you too!!

  2. is his racing name a take on Charlie Murphy? Because that is amazing.

    1. ha i'm actually not sure - as you can see in the pedigree there aren't any charlies (or murrays, for that matter) anywhere in there. but then he has a couple half siblings that have charlie in the name. idk, it's a mystery haha

  3. I had that same feeling - Cupid was the first horse I tried and even though I saw several others after I couldn't stop thinking about him. And as they say, the rest is history :)
    Merry Christmas!

    1. definitely <3 for me, it's so so so important to feel like it's a horse i can work with and get along with, and enjoy all those quiet little moments!

  4. Replies
    1. it's always so interesting to me to read back through those older posts to see what's changed and what's still the same haha


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