Harry is the self-proclaimed leader of my herd--just ask him. He is 17 hands of intelligence, opinions, enthusiasm and a sense of humor. Bred in England, he is by a French Thoroughbred stallion out of a Cleveland Bay mare. I purchased him from a Canadian event rider. Harry has definitely been around! I evented Harry through advanced level until metabolic trouble caused his retirement. I nursed him through EPM and Lyme disease and then had a blast foxhunting him. For many years Harry’s favorite thing was to jump bridleless to music in front of large crowds. You can read more about this here: Unbridled. These days, at 32 years old, Harry has embraced a slower life style with frequent hacks through the countryside and, of course, playing in the creek! I often employ him to impart his vast wisdom on the young horses I train. I strive to keep Harry active and interested because the worst thing you can do to Harry is to bore him!
"Rocket" is a wonderful soul. He is by a Belgian Warmblood grand prix show jumper out of a Thoroughbred mare. He enjoyed lower level eventing. I hunted him a bit which he absolutely loved. A very handsome, sweet gentleman of a horse, he did not deserve to be struck by the West Nile Virus on September 11, 2003 especially after having been vaccinated against it two years in a row. But vaccines are not 100 percent effective. He spent two weeks at a veterinary hospital but made a full recovery. Rocket very much likes bridleless riding-probably because it is easier for him to sneak mouthfuls of grass! He spent about three years leased as a school horse but returned home in 2013 at age 20. Rocket is now retired at age 23 but still always looks very handsome!
"What a cute face!" is the normal reaction out of just about everyone who meets Xcel. He is incredibly cute! And incredibly smart, sensitive, over-reactive, emotional, jealous, opinionated and quick. He occasionally suffers from hiccups. He keeps me laughing and also very sharp. He has had more hoof trouble than any horse deserves but is sound most of the time now. Because of the problems in his hooves, Xcel was never able to compete in eventing so I have explored "Liberty Training." We are both learning this wonderful type of training developed by Carolyn Resnick in California. Xcel is by Miner’s Mark out of a Sovereign Dancer mare. Please read all about him by clicking on Reschooling The Thoroughbred.
Tommy is a tall, striking, very nice moving off-the-track-Thoroughbred with a sweet disposition. So what was he doing at a local slaughter sale on a snowy February Saturday in 2006? I sure did wonder so I bought him. Tommy really needed to learn to trust people, to become relaxed and to learn how not to be a race horse and he is well on his way. He was going nicely and learning to jump in 2008 when he started having problems somewhere in his body. He spent several years perplexing both me and the vets as to what, exactly, was wrong. He then took a detour into some severe eye problems which came close to costing him his eyesight. He recovered well but continued with body issues until 2013. Tommy is finally on his way into being a nice, sound horse to ride. Tommy is a1999 foal by Haymaker out of Any Old Charger.
"Chromey" is the newest member of my herd and also the youngest at age 7. Purchased in 2015 as my next event horse. He was evented lightly by his previous owner but needed a really good farrier. He has one now and has been mulling over the whole eventing gig. He is a lovely boy with a sense of humor.
Rollie (Sloopy’s Rolex) is a wonderful retired TB gelding. Purchased as an eventing prospect Rollie later developed arthritis in his neck. These days he is a great turn-out buddy and gets along particularly well with mares. He is a real lady’s man. For that, he is an important member of my herd.
Buddy is a 10-hand mule who brings a smile to everyone who sees him. That’s his job. His other job is learning to trust people. He came to me many years ago through the Middleburg Humane Foundation, a local organization I do volunteer work for. Buddy has very, very good reasons for being very afraid of people. But he has made tremendous progress since I have owned him. I have discovered that mules are quite different than horses. He has taught me a lot and he is a joy to have. To find out more about the Middleburg Humane Foundation, visit their web site.
Merlin is Buddy’s best friend and sometimes arch enemy. I suppose you might say the two get along like brothers. I found Merlin at an auction in Front Royal, Virginia where he was enormously overweight, foundered and had long, curling up hooves. I suppose it was love at first sight. Merlin is a real treasure! He is very sweet and incredibly cute though I think he missed his calling as a lap dog. He lives in a small pasture with Buddy but when I bring him into the barn for grooming or to have his hooves trimmed or whatever, it is quite a chore to get him out of the barn again! He loves attention!