A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I was once a serious horse person. I rode horses for most of my life. In high school I was a hard working competitor. I loved to ride and train my horse as well as others. I managed to hang on to the horse world when I went to college by leasing my show horse, doing a bit of horse show judging and always keeping in touch with my horse friends.
When I went to veterinary school, I was pretty intent on being an equine veterinarian. But, I also loved dogs and cats. When I graduated, I took a job working on dogs and cats and ran an equine practice on the side. After a couple of years, I decided I’d rather have horses than practice on them, so restricted my career to my day job. I continued to ride regularly and did a little Quarter Horse breeding.
About 15 years ago, I was having a lot of trouble with one ankle. It made riding painful. After a couple of years, I had a surgical fusion that took a long time to heal. At that point the horses in my barn were getting old and having health problems of their own. So I rarely rode, unless I was invited by a friend. I mostly mucked stalls, fed and generally cared for three aging horses. Within the last two years I have had two horses euthanized due to geriatric health issues. That left me with one old horse.
I thought about getting a new horse. Pro and cons. I’m not getting any younger, so I knew a young horse was out of the question. But, I also did not want to deprive myself of something that had truly been a part of who I am. So, I began looking around. Parameters were preferably another Quarter Horse, one with a little age, maybe 15 or older, and a retired show horse.
My friend of forty-five years, Dale, in Virginia, had a horse. He had been her daughter’s show horse. A few years back when Dale’s daughter was looking for a new horse, I had been visiting them and accompanied them on the horse buying expedition. The trainer brought this big chestnut gelding out of the stall and I took one look and told my friend she HAD to buy that horse. He was gorgeous. Good structure, healthy feet and a kind eye. Yes, Dale did buy the horse. He went on to have a stellar show career with her daughter. And, if you haven’t guessed yet, he is spending his retirement with me! Welcome to Pennsylvania, Dir!