Archive for July, 2008

4th of July Fireworks

It has been an exceptionally busy two weeks since we brought Klondike home, and I finally had time to take him out alone.  It was the moment of truth; just me and the horse.  Did I make the right choice?

Klondike performed magically.  He listened, responded, and tried to please each step of the ride.  Giving to the bit at a trot on the trail needs a little work, but so does my riding.  He gave me three long, even, collected canters on the farm lanes.

I relaxed on the cool down walk home, knowing that I had made the right choice.  Klondike was a true winner, regardless of what the racing stats show.  I saw the neighbor’s head over the hedge, and was getting ready to say “Hello,” when the firecracker went off.  My hands and throat tightened, and I got ready for a wild ride.

Klondike…he…blinked, I think.  It’s hard to tell when sitting on him.  Apparently Klondike also missed the memo that five-year-old thoroughbreds should leap sideways, and bolt in terror when subjected to nearby fireworks.  Yes, Kid Klondike is worth his weight in gold, and I have struck it rich.


July 6, 2008 at 9:43 am 1 comment

Atypical hunt barn

Klon now lives at a small Pennsylvania farm with two other horses.  He will be used on the trail quite a bit, and run a few hunter paces each year.  Klondike is not as fond of the ring, and will probably be happier with this arrangement, than on the show circuit.   

He is making progress in joining my herd, but not without the loss of a little hair and hide.  Until two days ago, I had to separate Klon from the others horses while not out on pasture.  The alpha horse responsible for Klondike’s trouble is Drifter, a retired Tennessee Walking Horse.  Drifter ran his last hunter pace in May, 2007, and was last ridden in January, when his degenerating eyesight was deemed too dangerous for trail rides.   


Since retirement, Drifter has shown signs of arthritis in his hocks, and is stiff from inactivity.  Enter a new, young gelding (Klondike), and the activity level in the paddock has increased.  While Klon has not pushed his luck with the old guy, it forces Drifter to keep moving to stay between the mare and the new gelding.  This adds up to a fair amount of slow walking each day, and has been good for the arthritic joints.

Those able to read her freeze brand will recognize Challis as a BLM Mustang, foaled in 04, rounded up from the Challis, Idaho herd, and her serial number from that herd.  Challis was rounded up at 7-months, and joined us in February.  She is very green, and needs a buddy on the trail.  Kondike is providing the rock solid partner that she needs.

This week we partnered Challis and Klon on two ring warm ups and trails rides.  Drifter is now resigned that Klondike is here to stay, and doesn’t pose too much of a threat to his alpha status.  While still asserting his control on the herd, things are more peaceful between the three horses.




July 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

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