For Christmas this year I posted on FaceBook portraits of each of our eight retirement residents with sleigh bells and Santa hats (plus Kate and our barn helper's young mustang cross). I thought about adding information on their respective backgrounds, but decided it might be more appropriate for a blog post. And since there's not much riding/training going on mid-winter, here ya go!
Back in 2012, Allan and I decided that we didn't want our retirement income to be subject to the whim of the young horse market. Also, the market being what it was (and is), we didn't want to bring any more babies, no matter how cute, into the equine world.
To quote a post I did at the time: "Little RT has done so well in his retirement with us (he's still going strong at 32), and Mama Misty is looking good at 25. Even good ol' Corky did well, in spite of his seizure disorder, until we lost him at 29. I've long admired Melissa and Jason of Paradigm Farms, so I have decided to venture into the realm of boarding. But for a specialized market:
retirees (or possibly rehab)."
|Corky at 25|
"Neither Al nor I really want a bunch of silly teenagers in and out at all hours, we're 20 miles from town, and we really don't have access to any trails in the immediate neighborhood. Plus the insurance for your typical boarding stable is outrageous. By sticking to retirees, I don't need to worry about people riding on the property, nor corralling other peoples kids (been there, done that)--keeping track of other people's horses, on the other hand, seems like a great way to utilize our place."
First, and oldest, resident:
|Royal Tardez, 1980 Arab Gelding|
|I first met RT's mom and her mom when Bri was in middle school, 23 years ago. She took lessons on one of my horses until they found RT. Then I was pleased to be able to support the family's "first horse" experience.|
|With his girl, Bri, dressaging|
|They even did a bit of jumping back in the day!|
|After Bri went away to college, and then the big city, her Mom had a hard time finding an inexpensive boarding option that would cater to his "Royal" needs. The last place refused to separate him for feeding, so when Christie called us she was desperate: he looked like a dairy cow, all hip bones and ribs! I drove across the state in February to pick him up.|
|He settled in to life on the farm just fine!|
|Mr. Studly claims Misty as HIS!|
|His first job on the farm was babysitting our last weanling, Jackson.|
|Also, an occasional grandkid lesson.|
|But, mostly, he hangs out, eating mush (he's down to four molars that don't even meet in the middle!). (Photo: August 2016)|
At thirty-six-and-a-half, RT is still going strong!
|Mighty Misty Blue, 1987 APHA gray overo mare|
I originally bought Misty for two reasons: i wanted a quiet horse for Allan to ride on the rare occasion that he went out with me. I also wanted a mare that I could breed for family-friendly, 4H type horses. When we got her at 10 years old, she had already had five foals and was really only green broke.
Misty over the years gave us seven more foals. Plus taught a couple of grandkids how to ride. She earned her retirement after having Jackson at 22.
|Our second foal, Pete.|
|Misty and Maddie, 2005|
|Misty and Grandson Mike built quite a partnership over the years.|
|And Misty has continued her teaching with Grandson Brenden.|
|Mostly, these days, she just hangs out with RT.|
Rather that make this the never-ending story, I've decided that I'll break these introductions down into pairs.
Next up: Charlie and Fizz