As I was looking through some of my old pictures of Alex to
use in this blog post I realized that it was three years ago today that he
joined us for retirement. In a sense I
guess you could say Alex had some excellent connections to our farm. Alex joined us for retirement from Florida,
and there were already two other horses from his barn in Florida retired with
us, Elfin and Levendi. Thus when it came
time for Alex to retire it seemed an obvious choice for him to join his fellow
barn mates in Tennessee.
Alex and his mom dressed up for a Hawaiian Luau at a Halloween show; Alex was the perfect first horse
is known as Time Marches On in the show ring.
He joined his forever family over eleven years ago. They don’t know exactly how old Alex is, but
they think he was in his early teens when they purchased him. In addition to his exact age being unknown Alex’s
breeding is something of a mystery as well.
They were told he was some kind of warmblood cross, however one of their
vets felt he was probably a quarter horse or quarter horse cross
Alex and his young rider in the show ring
daughter began taking riding lessons when she was seven years old, and as all
horse crazy girls do, she begged her parents for a horse. Her parents finally broke down and said they
would buy her a horse when she was in the fourth grade. Like most parents who purchase a horse for their
child, they had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
Alex and his young rider
The great horse search began for the first horse. Several horses were tried that did not work
out for various reasons. Their daughter
began riding at a new barn in the midst of their horse searching process. They told her that she could ride Alex while
the search for her perfect first horse continued. I am sure it is obvious to everyone where this
story is heading!
One of the very first rides Alex and his young rider had together; Alex is showing off his springy jump!
Alex had been at the farm for a few years when his eventual
forever family came along. The farm had
originally purchased Alex as a resale project. They had not been able to sell Alex and instead ended up leasing him out
to some different riders. He was leased by various people and shown in the
Alex (second from front) grazing with friends at Paradigm Farms
Darby, Alex and B-Rad
There are a few reasons why Alex ended up not being the
successful resale project the farm had originally meant for him to be. Alex is
a bit on the small side, and he is definitely not an easy, automatic ride. Alex also firmly believes that his rider must
do their share of the work. I’m also
told that he has a very bouncy canter and jumps very round and hard. A springy canter and a round jump are not bad
things but they also don’t always make for an easy ride. All of these factors probably played a role
in Alex not being sold.
Alex and B-Rad hanging out
Their daughter did not get the memo that Alex was not supposed
to be a child’s first horse. She did not
care that he was small or that he had a bouncy canter. In her eyes he was the perfect horse and she
fell in love with him. Despite the fact
that she fell in love with him the farm waited a few months before they were
willing to sell Alex to his forever family.
He had never been ridden by a child before and they wanted to make sure
that Alex really was going to be a suitable mount. Finally the sale was completed and Alex had
his own family.
Darby and Alex having a nap
Darby, B-Rad and Alex
Alex taught his new young rider not only how to ride, but
how to ride well. As mentioned above he
expected his rider to pull their weight and to ride him correctly. He was actually much more challenging to ride
at home than at shows. At home he would
sometimes duck out or do a drive-by past
a jump if things were not being done to his standards. However take him to a horse show and Alex
became all business and turned into the perfect horse.
Alex and Ogie grazing together one morning
Alex and his young rider first competed over cross
rails. They then moved up to short
stirrup and from there went on to the pre-children’s division. The pair earned year end ribbons in their
divisions every single year for three years.
By the time his young rider was
ready to step up into the children’s hunter at the 3’ height Alex was
getting older and was no longer able to consistently jump that height.
enjoying some down time in retirement
with his friend B-Rad
Alex’s young rider ended up getting a new horse to move up
on. However her mom had grown very attached to Alex during the three years he
had been in their family, so she began to take riding lessons on Alex. However between being a mom, having elderly
parents to take care of, and working, it was very difficult to find the time to
ride. They had all become very attached
to Alex and did not want to sell him, so they ended up leasing Alex to a friend
of their daughter. Alex and his new
partner were very successful showing in the pre-children’s division, and he
ended up helping their family friend win a scholarship for college based on
Alex hanging out in the woods with Darby, Lighty and B-Rad
their daughter’s friend stopped leasing Alex he joined their other horse at
Kingsmeade Farm, and Mom began taking lessons
on him again. Unfortunately Alex came up
lame soon after that. A lameness exam
revealed some very arthritic hocks and the vet felt that Alex should not jump
Alex and friends enjoying another great day of retirement
Alex on the run across the pasture
The hope had been that Alex could be partially leased out so
Mom could ride him as her schedule allowed and to help cut down on
expenses. As we all know keeping two
horses at a show barn is not inexpensive, and their daughter was doing a lot of
showing with her new horse as well. In
the end the best decision for all involved, Alex and his family, was to retire
trotting across the pasture with B-Rad
As I mentioned earlier Alex had two barn mates, Elfin and
Levendi , who had already joined us for retirement. It was a natural decision for Alex’s family
to send him to Tennessee to join them.
Thus, three years ago today, we welcomed Alex!
Alex grazing with friends
Alex finds retirement tiring
Most of you will associate Alex with B-Rad and Darby as they
are his constant companions in most of the pictures. When Alex first retired with us we thought he
was a very submissive personality with the other horses. That was the case for the first few months,
but once Alex had gotten the lay of the land things changed. He became quite the bossy little guy and has
been that way ever since!
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