Sunday, February 5, 2012


Renny, officially known as Renaissance, is a thoroughbred gelding that was bred in Virginia. Renny and his mom first met each other Renny's mom and her trainer made a weekend horse shopping trip to Virginia. They spent the entire weekend going from barn to barn to barn trying horses. Renny's mom was still a novice rider at that point, and Renny's owner at the time was also a fairly novice rider. She was going back to school and needed to sell Renny. Renny happened to be the first horse they tried that weekend on their horse shopping trip. Although Renny was young and green the ride went well. Then they kept going to more barns and riding more horses. At the end of the weekend Renny's mom asked her trainer what he thought and he said "buy Renaissance, the first horse you rode!" Thus 19 years ago Renny and his mom became a team.

Renny showing off his winning form

Renny made the move from Virginia to Ohio, and as everyone had thought when they tried him Renny was very talented. As it turned out he could also be quite a handful at times and had quite a squeal and a buck on occasion. Apparently Renny always let out a high-pitched, pig sounding squeal before he would let out a big buck. His mom said he often did this routine after jumping a jump in beautiful form and she would find herself no longer on Renny's back!


During his early years of showing Renny's mom had a great friend named Terri who really clicked with the young and occasionally rowdy Renny. She began showing Renny in the adult hunters at the "A" shows. Terri's experience and eye for a distance combined with Renny's beautiful jump and movement made them a real presence in the show ring. They won everywhere in the adult hunters and were Zone 5 champions one year.

showing at the Kentucky Horse Park

As Renny gained experience in the show ring he developed into a wonderful show ring partner for his mom as well. Renny's mom said eventually Renny got to the point where he made her look like she really knew what she was doing. If she made a mistake on course or was trying to ride to a bad distance Renny would simply ignore her and focus on his job. In her words "although Renny was a handful when he was young he matured into a graceful schoolmaster."

Renny and his mom on their way to winning another hack class

In addition to his beautiful form over fences Renny frequently won the hack classes as well. His mom said she and Renny were getting ready to go in for a hack class at a very prestigious show. The class was really big and the competition was hard with many beautiful movers in the class. Her trainer had other riders he needed to attend to in other rings and left her and Renny to do the hack class on their own. Since the class was so big he probably assumed that she and Renny were not going to do anything spectacular or she might make a mistake. As it turned out she and Renny won the class and her trainer made it back to the ring in time to make sure everyone knew that it was a horse in his barn that had won the class!

Renny and his mom hanging out horse shows

Although he was a beautiful mover and looked like he was floating around the arena, his mom said riding him did not always feel that way. Aside from riding through his squeals and bucks when he was younger, the only thing she did not enjoy about riding Renny was trying to ride him with no stirrups. It is often the case that the prettiest hunter movers can be quite uncomfortable to ride, especially at the trot. Trying to do no stirrup work on them can be incredibly difficult.

Some of his mom's fondest memories are from the way Renny would announce her presence to everyone at horse shows. Often Renny would ship to the horse shows a day or two ahead of his mom. When Renny would start screaming in his stall everyone would say "his mom is here." Renny always knew when she had arrived at the horse show even when she had not yet seen him and was nowhere near his stall. But Renny always knew and he would start screaming and announcing her presence, and he would keep it up until she came to his stall to say hello.

A portrait of Renny and two of his "brothers" that hangs above his mom's fireplace. Renny is in the middle.

Renny was in work up until his retirement with us this summer. He wasn't jumping anymore but he was still happy to go out on hacks. However his last winter prior to retirement things were a little harder for him. When he could not go out much due to snow or cold he would stiffen up and was not as comfortable as he used to be. She decided it would be best for Renny to move him to a more moderate climate where it would be more comfortable for him to be out and moving around more. After being together for almost 19 years it was a really hard decision to not be able to see him every day. However after he had given her so much through the years she decided it was time to give back to Renny, and he joined us for retirement.

Renny enjoying retirement with his friends Sam and Sebastian

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Renny and his mom as much as we have!


Kate said...

Glad he's moved in and doing well - what a pretty boy!

Sonya said...

This made me cry! Love that she put his needs first! He is still a looker!

Bif said...

Gorgeous then and now.

Love hearing the residents' stories =)

jenj said...

What a handsome boy! And I bet he is just loving his new life at your place... so beautiful!

Laura Crum said...

I loved this story, and I have a question. My Gunsmoke gelding (though not a hack or a hunter) was/is a beautiful mover to watch--people oohed and aahed over him--but a rough ride, just like Renny, especially at the trot. And I find, as you say, that this is not uncommon. Can anybody explain this? I've always been curious.

I really enjoy reading about your retired horses. I have two retirees here at home--both of them have been my horse since they were three. Gunner (mentioned above) is 32 and Plumber is 23. They are both sound and lively. Since I live in a mild climate and have room for them, it is my pleasure to care for them, but if I could not do this, you would be first on my list of possible options.