Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meet Moe

Meet Moe, a Hanoverian gelding who joined us for retirement five years ago. Moe was bred and born in Argentina. They don’t know at exactly what age he was imported to the U.S., but they do know he competed in dressage for several years with his first U.S. owner and did very well. His next owner rode him in the hunters and equitation, but they had multiple horses and Moe was simply one of many horses in the barn.

Moe


Moe and his future mom crossed paths when she was on the search for her next mount. Moe’s mom had started riding as a child and her first horse was a small horse named Roger that she showed in short stirrup and in 11 and Under Equitation classes.  Eventually Moe’s mom outgrew Roger both from a size and ability perspective. Roger went on to a new young rider to show them the ropes, and Moe’s mom began searching for her next horse.

Moe and his mom


Moe was actually the first horse his mom tried when she started her horse search and she loved him from the first ride. She tried more than a dozen other horses after trying Moe as her trainer felt it was important to explore all of her options. However, none of the other horses felt as perfect as Moe, and he and his mom became a team in the fall of 2008.

Moe and his mom


Moe and his mom spent the rest of that fall and winter getting to know each other. Although  Moe was never a push button type of ride, he was very forgiving of his new young rider’s mistakes. The one thing she learned about Moe every early on was that he didn’t enjoy being ridden on a loose rein. He liked his rider to have some contact with his mouth and a supportive leg. If she cantered up to a jump and just threw the reins at him it wasn’t going to happen, and she learned that winter that she couldn’t throw her contact away and she had to be more than a passenger on the way to a jump.

Moe and his mom hanging out at home


Moe and his mom started our showing in the hunters and equitation. When they ended up changing trainers and moving to a new barn she spent hours and hours focusing on and re-learning the basics. This helped her learn how to truly ride Moe, and at that point they became a force in the equitation ring. They won both over fences and on the flat in the equitation ring.  As their successes in the equitation ring multiplied, they began also competing in the jumpers to complement the equitation. They rode the jumper courses as if they were harder equitation courses, and ended up having some wins and earning a few championships in the jumper ring as well.

Moe and his mom studying their course at a show


During the off season in the winter Moe would sometimes go into “beast mode.” He would start a ride very mellow and very quiet, but the moment he decided his mom had used her leg a bit too strongly he would turn into a racehorse. At one point Moe seemingly out of the blue decided that flower boxes with pink flowers were the devil. Moe’s mom ended up making her own flower boxes, stuffing them with pink flowers, and taking them everywhere. He stood next to the pink flower boxes in the cross ties, they used them schooling at home, and they toted them to the warm-up ring at horse shows. One day, after months of lugging Moe’s pink flower boxes around with him, he decided pink flower boxes were fine again and never looked twice at another one.

Moe being unbraided by his mom at a horse show


Moe’s stall was was located next to the main cross tie area at the barn and he was always happy to interact with everyone and beg for treats. His favorite treats included freezer pops in the summer, soft peppermints and his absolute favorite, Sonic tater tots. One time his mom’s trainer was having chicken nuggets for lunch outside Moe’s stall and he kept begging for one, so she gave him a chicken nugget. Moe loved it, and he wanted another one.

Moe and his mom


Towards the end of their showing days together Moe and his mom were competing in the year-end medal finals for her local hunter/jumper association. When the class started, the in-gate peron asked who wanted to go first. Moe’s mom and her trainer looked at each other, and her trainer told her to follow her plan and go for it. Moe and his mom went in first and had the best course they ever did together. Despite the handicap of going first, when all of the qualified riders had completed the first round Moe and his mom were called back on top for the testing of the top four riders. They went last in the test as they were in first place. The jumped the second course perfectly and were at the final element of the test, which was three lead changes to be performed either through the walk or the trot. Their first two changes were perfect from the trot. Then it was time for the final thing, the third change. Moe’s mom got nervous and accidentally picked up the same lead again. Moe and his mom still ended up in third place overall, but she never forgot the feeling of that perfect first course they rode together.

Moe taking in the sights at a horse show


Shortly after that class Moe began exhibiting some intermittent lameness. They gave him six months off to rehab. He came back sound but when they started showing again he didn’t have his usual  joy in the ring anymore. They dropped him back down to some easier classes and he once again became happy to go in the ring, but eventually the lameness returned. At that point they decided to retire Moe rather than continue to push him. He had done everything his mom had asked of him, and they wanted him to retire while he was still sound and healthy enough to enjoy his time.

Meo and his mom going for a ride on a snow day


Five years ago we met Moe. I went and picked up Moe myself as he came from our local area. His family was a little worried about Moe settling into being part of a family group as Moe had a history of being very shy and submissive with other horses and something of a loner. Moe was very shy and submissive for a couple of days, but it was short lived and he quickly became a happy member of the group we call the Big Boys. He quickly learned to love running, playing, grooming and being a Big Boy. He also quickly became very herd bound, and any notions Moe had of being a loner were soon forgotten. Moe doesn't do anything alone. 

Moe and his mom




We are excited to share Moe's story with you after five years, and we hope you have enjoyed getting to know him as much as we have!


Moe grooming with Levendi

Tony, Homer and Moe 

Moe and Homer

Levendi and Moe

Hemi and Moe 

Homer and Moe 

Levendi and Moe 

Moe and Levendi 

the first picture I took of Moe five years ago 

Moe on the run

Levendi,Homer and Moe 

Moe and Grand

Levendi, Tony, Moe, Homer and  Elfin

Moe and Thomas

Moe and Leo 

Trigger and Moe

Baby and Moe being wild things

Levendi, Moe and Homer 

Homer and Moe

Homer and Moe being silly with their tongues 

just another day in retirement

Moe and the other Big Boys found something to stare at 

Thomas, Moe and Apollo 

Levendi, Moe and Homer

Moe knows how to get dirty; he has the grey horse gene



Moe and Levendi 

Trigger and Moe

Levendi, Moe and Trigger 

Apollo and Moe 

Chance, Levendi, Leo and Moe 

Moe (center, at the gate) and friends waiting to be fed 

Moe and Grand being wild on a snow day 

Moe and Thomas waiting for breakfast 

Moe (far left) and friends having a lazy day 

4 comments:

Kate said...

Love the story and the pictures!

theanimallover said...

Long live Moe!!

Karol Ayne said...

What a beautiful boy-- and a lovely story. ♡♡

Lori Skoog said...

That first picture you took of Moe 5 years ago is a knockout!