Wednesday, October 8, 2014

That Time I Owned A Hunter

Now make  no mistake, I am a jumper princess through and through.  Way back when I started riding, like most people do, I started in the hunters and also did equitation in college.  I'm not totally allergic to hunters, I just love the jumper ring.  About 4 years ago though, I did acquire a hunter.

Since I started this blog I thought about writing about said hunter.  I don't want to hurt or offend anyone that was involved with this horse as they ended up doing the right thing.  So here goes...

Four summers ago I was perusing Facebook and saw a local aquaintance advertising a horse that needed a home ASAP.  I recognized the horse however he was advertised as a Small Junior Hunter.  He is 17hh so NOT a Small and secondly he did the Children's Hunters.   I knew him from back when I was boarding he was at the same barn.  In fact I was at the show when the first owners tried him and later purchased him.  Years later he was sold to another child in the barn who last I knew still owned him.  I was dumfounded as to why these people that (as far as I knew) had no connection to him were putting him on Facebook.  I had to inquire.  After dealing with these third parties I finally just called the owner I knew.  The story was he had been at the barn where I used to board and when the economy tanked they were hit hard and had to move him from boarding at an expensive show barn.  They took him to their friend's western barn where he was pasture boarded.  Whatever their current situation was, they needed him in a new home.  The owner warned me that he was not in good shape.  I could tell that she was embarrassed but was at least trying to get this horse help.  I knew him well and felt he didn't deserve to be in a bad situation (as no animal deserves).  I told the owner that I would take him if she would sign him over to me.  She agreed.  Then barn owner said he had to go immediately.  As in NOW.  TODAY!  Sooo without consulting husband I went home from work, got my trailer, and went to pick up hunter horse.  The owner said he was not is good shape but I was not expecting what I found.  When I knew him he was a very nice Children's Hunter whose previous owner had purchased for a mid-five figure price.  I will share with you the pictures of him from those first few days at my place.  Let's keep in mind that the owner did the right thing by giving him away to a good home...

He had gone from a pampered show horse life to 24/7 pasture board where he was by himself, on little grass, and was getting very little grain and a little coastal hay.  In the top picture you can see his yellowy color.  I immediately got his feet done (farrier said he had not been done in probably 8 months), power packed him, and started treating his ulcer (that he likely developed from pacing the fence line which barn owner said was non stop).  I put him on Senior feed, beet pulp, and as much T&A hay as he would eat.  My vet had me treat his ulcers with Succeed (he was on it about 3 months).  He was also dead lame and covered in so much fungus that you couldn't touch his ankles they were so sore.  

After 30 days

It took about 3 months to get him sound and his weight to where I felt comfortable getting on. 

Finally his beautiful 17hh self.  He was 11 years old here.

After I got him healthy and back into work I decided to have fun in the hunters and took him to a couple local shows.  Though sound his many years on the rated circuit and lack of recent care and maintenance meant he was happiest jumping 2'6 or smaller. 

hack winner

  I kept him about a year.  We was really sweet and one of the easiest horses I had ever ridden but I didn't have a place for him in my program.  He needed to go teach another kid or beginner adult.  When I bought Poppy I had even less time to ride him and what seemed like the perfect situation fell in my lap.  Although I had hoped to sell him and recoup some of the money I had put into him a friend asked if her cousin could have him for their daughter.  They were looking for a free former show horse that was safe and a confidence builder.  It was a good fit so off he went (about 5 hours away).  They had him awhile and eventually the daughter quit riding so their trainer found him a home along the east coast teaching lessons at a well know farm.  That is the last I heard.  I hope he is well and living the life he deserves.


  1. Aw, I can't believe how much better he looks! You did him a great service and I know he's thankful :)

  2. Good on you for bringing him back. He looks like a really nice horse!

    1. Thanks. Sadly someone started a rumor that I sold him for a ton of money. You try and do a good deed...

  3. What a cute guy! He was very lucky to find you when he did.

  4. So tough to see horses in that shape, but I am really glad the owners were up front and found him a new home.

  5. nice job bringing him back to his former glory - you can be proud of what you did for him regardless of any rumors ppl want to start :)

  6. This sounds A LOT like Red's story! Glad you did the right thing for him. He's very lucky, as are all your horses.