Thursday, April 28, 2011


Classic Rock, better known as Rocky, is a thoroughbred gelding who joined us from Ohio for retirement. Part of Rocky’s Jockey Club name was “Stallone” and his barn name Rocky was the natural offshoot from that. Rocky never raced and in fact never even made it to the track for training. As his mom said he was way too slow for the race track and that must have been evident very early on.

Rocky and his mom

She met Rocky when he was three years old and he was barely started under saddle. She was a high school student and her family was on the hunt for her very first horse. The budget was limited so they ended up buying an inexpensive, green broke horse named Stallone. Thankfully she immediately changed his name to Classic Rock after purchasing him. I say thankfully because I know Rocky well now and Stallone simply does not fit his personality!


Rocky’s mom set about training her new, very green horse and prepping him to show in the hunters. When we were discussing Rocky’s background she made the comment “oh, to have the time and energy to do all of that work again!” They made it into the show ring and had a lot of success showing in the children’s hunters. After I watched Rocky trotting around in my arena on his first day at our farm I turned to Amy and made the comment “there’s the hack winning trot right there.” I asked his mom if she and Rocky ever got beat in the under saddle and she said, unsurprisingly, they almost always won.

Rocky and his mom showing off one of their blue ribbons

During their first year of showing together Rocky and his mom made it to quite a few horse shows and did their share of winning. Unfortunately the following year he fractured a coffin bone. At that point she was faced with some hard decisions. Her family could only afford to have one horse, and the odds that Rocky would recover enough to return to his previous level of work were low. In the end she decided she just wanted her horse to be happy and healthy regardless of whether or not she could ride him anymore.

Rocky and his mom

Rocky ended up having two surgeries and 7 months of stall rest. Amazingly everything healed and they were able to return to riding. Rocky’s clearance to return to work coincided with his mom starting college. Mostly due to time restrictions Rocky went back into light work and training, with the best part being he was able to return to jumping as well.

Rocky meeting his mom's nephew. The familiar horse to the left in this picture is Toledo. He and Rocky joined us from the same barn although they have different owners.

After graduating from college Rocky’s mom was faced with the typical scenario of the new grad, time but no money. She and Rocky attended some shows here and there, but mostly they just rode for fun. Eventually Rocky began slowing down as he got older and they eventually stopped showing and spent a lot of time out riding on trails together.

Rocky and his mom enjoying some quiet time together

When I asked his mom what it was like to ride Rocky I was surprised at her answer. “Honestly he is the most uncomfortable horse I have ever ridden – I rode him far worse than any other horse. Sometimes when I would get on another horse people would say ‘Wow! I had no idea you could ride like that! Why don’t you ride your own horse that well?’” She said Rocky was very light in your hands but very hard on your legs, and needed a lot of encouragement to really get some impulsion and go forward. No wonder he never made it to the track!

Rocky showing off for me in my arena; this was taken on his first day with us

His mom said that 99% of the time Rocky was always very willing under saddle and would do whatever she asked of him. But then the other 1% of the time was spent spooking at stupid things or taking off bucking. I love how she summed up her relationship with Rocky: “He has never been my favorite horse to ride but he has always been my best friend!”

Clayton, Rocky, Kennedy and Stormy having a group nap last week

Rocky and his mom have now been together for almost seventeen years. He was the first and only horse she has ever owned. Rocky is now enjoying an all expenses paid retirement courtesy of his mom. I’m sure he has no idea how lucky he is to have a mom that loves him so much. We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Rocky and his mom as much as we have.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Once again I am running short on time this evening. Please enjoy the pictures and we'll be back soon!

Norman trotting through the pasture

Chance and Hemi

Leo and Homer


Grand passing a relaxing afternoon in a shed


Trigger and Hemi

Harmony, MyLight and Silky

Winston, Faune and Romeo (and Bella the dog)

Silver and Gus

Sunday, April 24, 2011


This week is vaccination week. I'm sure the horses will be thrilled to learn that they all get to see the vet this week. As part of preparing for vaccinations I collect everyone's coggins in a file for the vet. Instead of spending all day re-drawing all of the marking on a new coggins for each horse I just hand the file with the old coggins to the vet so they can copy the information from them at the office.

As I was sorting through the file of coggins making sure I was not missing any I reached the back of my folder. In there were the old coggins reports for residents that are no longer with us. It is an inevitable part of the retirement farm that eventually the residents pass away. Sometimes it is a planned euthanasia, sometimes it is not. Sometimes they leave us way too young, other times they have a very long life. No matter how it happens it is sad. Painful.

I looked at the names of the horses we have loved and lost through the years of boarding retired horses. My own mare Bridget was in the pile of horses past. Poco the flea market pony. Trillion, the first face that used to greet me every morning. Other names from my pre-blogging days including Mable, Sultan, Lacy and Magick. I still have all of their coggins in my file. I just can't bring myself to throw them away. For some reason having that copy of their coggins in the file makes it seem like they are somehow still on the farm, still here.

I had to add three new copies to the group of coggins reports that reside in the back of the folder. Beautiful Buffy that we lost last May, along with Teddy and Ogie. I sat looking at all of the names for a long time, remembering the good times and the happy memories and trying not to dwell on the end.

I miss them.


Cuffie napping (Lily behind him)

Clayton and Stormy

George and Fonzi grooming each other

Maisie and Silver getting acquainted over the fence

Silver and Gus grooming each other

Silky, Maisie and MyLight waiting for breakfast

Fonzi, George, Asterik, Faune Winston, Chimano, Romeo, Gus

Murphy and Boo grooming each other

Romeo, Winston and Faune

Noble, O'Reilly and Spike

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Jason and I have had more equipment bloopers this week including one with the sprayer and one with a tractor. Hopefully I will have time to share our latest adventures with malfunctioning equipment soon. Tonight I am short on time so enjoy the pictures and have a wonderful weekend!

Winston and Faune


The wild turkeys are back. They are everywhere and almost every time I'm in a pasture I hear them gobbling. I think they are creepy looking.

the geese wandering through a pasture

Regis and Slinky


Lightening and Snappy (that's Slinky hiding behind them)

Noble (looking so clean!) and O'Reilly

Hemi and Homer

Levendi and Leo

Chance and Elfin

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pasture Switch

I moved some horses into the pasture that was vacated by our moving day last week. I wanted to let the pasture they had been in rest for awhile. The horses acted like I had dropped them off on the moon for a few minutes after I turned them loose in a different pasture. They acted sillier than when we've moved horses to our new farm. All we did was walk down the alley that separates several of the pastures. We walked from one end of the alley to the other end, it took less than a minute.

Asterik, George, Gus, Winston, Faune, Romeo and Chimano cruising around their new pasture. This is only 11 seconds or so because the zoom on my camera decided to freeze up. It does this from time to time and it is very annoying.

This is the really big pasture that is about 40 acres and they explored every inch of it. After about 30 minutes of trotting, cantering and galloping around they then went to check out the horses on the other side of the fence. They've been sharing a fence line with Johnny, Rampal, etc. but of course both groups acted like they had never seen each other before. After all they were looking at each other over the opposite sides of the fence now so it couldn't possibly the same horses! Eventually everyone realized that they had indeed looked at each other over the fence many times.

They also now share a fence with the mares and Cuffie. The mares completely ignored them and are continuing to give them the silent treatment. I'm not holding my breath that this will last although I'm enjoying the silence. I predict hearing many mare squeals at some point! Cuffie was trying to lure someone over to the fence but apparently a memo has circulated around that Cuffie just acts cute and sweet until you put your face over the fence within biting range. Then the pony teeth come out! This is Cuffie's favorite game in the world.

Changing pastures is the most exciting thing that we've done in the last few days. No runaway lawn mowers, no rocks, no plumbing issues, it has been downright dull. I could get used to this!

George, Asterik, Romeo, Gus and Chimano

Chimano, Winston, Faune, Gus, Asterik, Romeo and George

Gus and Romeo


Winston found the little stream that feeds into the pond and immediately got in and began splashing

Faune showing off his trot and pointing his toes

Chimano leading Romeo and Gus through the woods

The three grays heading off to explore; Asterik, George and Gus

Faune, Winston, Romeo and Chimano acting like they have never seen this place before

On to some other horses; Clayton, Rocky, Kennedy and Stormy having a group nap

Harmony and Cuffie grooming each other

Silky showing us how windy it was at times


MyLight having a nap

Rampal is another one who does the "dog walk" to roll on the other side

After he was done he went right back to grazing