Monday, February 6, 2012

A New Phase

As y'all are aware, the pony mare is on 30 days of stall rest. I'm not even pulling her out to trot and check soundness because the point is for her to do absolutely nothing so she can actually heal. It could hardly be at a worse time for us--we're in the middle of the most concentrated lesson access we have ever had and she's not sound. Some of you mentioned that it's winter time, but where I'm poor and don't really show, the "season" is irrelevant for the most part.

Anyways. I was and am catch riding where I can, but since the weather has been lovely, most people are riding their own horses.

One of Stephanie's clients has her own place in addition to keeping her show/training horses with us. She is rehabbing poor Zymon (of broken patella and EN fame) at her house. Saturday, she mentioned that she has an old, experienced eventer just sitting around and would be happy to bring him out for me to ride and take Izzy back to her place to hang for a bit. Because I am ridiculous, I told her I would think about it.


I called her and said I would do it as long as the horse didn't buck excessively, rear, or bolt uncontrollably.

Meet Cuna. (Koo-nah. Koo-nah.) He's a 19 year old OTTB gelding who doubles as a novice level packer and would like to be an eq horse. He's spent the past few summers leased out to teenagers and packing them around. This winter, he was just hanging out in the field.

Don't let his fuzzy face deceive you--this boy is taller than Izzy and way more bony. No warmblood meatiness here.

His owner got on first and rode him around. This was his first time back under saddle in three months. She trailered him to a new place, saddled up in a strange barn, took him to an arena he'd never seen before, and just hopped on.

And he was fine. A little looky, never spooked, not silly. They walked, trotted, and cantered both ways and even hopped over a couple of little crossrails. It wasn't high quality work by any means--the old man needs some time to recondition and loosen up--but he was sane and sound.

Here they are, going around and doing a tiny jump. Cuna was a trooper about the whole thing. I hopped on after his owner to see how I liked him. Answer: the only thing he could have done for me not to like him at that point was pitch me headlong into the ground with no warning. Instead, he merrily went along, walk, trot, canter, and tiny jump (OMG I JUMPED SOMETHING!!!!) and was a good boy.
I thanked his owner profusely, then took Mr. Cuna back to the barn and shaved off all his hair and pulled his mane. Awww. Isn't he cute?

He was super to work around. Very quiet, very much a been-there-done-that kind of guy.

Izzy kept giving me the evil eye. I think mareface had a slight inkling something was up and this wasn't just another clip job for a client.

We made the switch. I packed up Izzy's stuff and ugard and she was off to her month long stay at what I told her was essentially a day spa. She'll have her own box stall at night and a little run to hang out in during the day.

In the mean time, Cuna's hanging out with me. I miss seeing Izzy's face in her stall in the morning, but Cuna is plenty cute in his own way. I'm taking advantage of my time with him to learn to ride and jump better than before, so when I get Izzy back, I'll be more the rider she needs.

Not gonna lie--I am having little fantasies about keeping them traded for the summer. Cuna could pack me around BN and N while Izzy learned the show ropes with a much more experienced rider. There are a ton of reasons why that won't work out, but it's a fun idea.


  1. Awesome news! Have fun with Cuna!

  2. Dude! Congratulations for recognizing a good opportunity and for following up on it! He looks so cute after your clip job, and he just looks like a relaxing, fun mount.

  3. Very cool! I always liked the look of Cuna -- you'll have a great time with him!!

  4. ahhhh the OTTB cuteness! I would say one of the things I like about OTTBs in general is that they tend to be very good in strange situations, curious, but not stupid. What a fantastic opportunity for you! Perhaps not seeing Izzy giving you the evil eye every day will make you more focused on the task at hand:)

    ps. he looks super cute with no hair!

  5. WOOOOHOOOO! I'm going to issue you a little warning about chestnut geldings -- they steal your heart and never give it back. I will also warn you about mad, crazy OTTB love. They've seen so much crap, especially this campaigner, that they just take it all on stride and give you their hardest, sweetest try. Yeah, look, I've already been converted in 5 months. I lied, I really was converted in about a week. Hee hee hee....

  6. What a great opportunity! Sounds like an ideal situation for you, Cuna and Izzy. Fate seems to have smiled on you all this time.

    Looking forward to some really fun posts.

  7. That is SO EXCITING! It is a perfect solution for the problem at hand. Izzy gets a little vacation and you get to play with a really cool pony. Plus Cuna is ADORABLE.

  8. Well, you know what I think about Thoroughbreds ;) This is great news for you! You will learn so much, and gain so much confidence that will go back to Izzy when she comes back from her lay up time. I am looking forward to hearing more from your adventures with Cuna! I will be getting a chestnut tb gelding this weekend. I'm picking him up from the track on Saturday. We will both be riding chestnut tb geldings, yippy!!! And their names both start with the letter C. *awwww moment*(Cuna will be the better mount I'm sure!!!)

  9. That's awesome! He reminds me of my 20 year old OTTB gelding, Roz. It's hard to beat the horses that "have been there, done that." :)

  10. What an awesome situation!! He is such a gorgeous boy! Your gonna have great fun with him.

  11. Chestnut! Thoroughbred! GELDING! It doesn't get any better!

  12. That is so fantastic!! What a great solution to a frustrating problem. How far away is Izzy? Can you still go see her? I know you'll miss her, but it sounds like she'll be fine. I can't wait to see more photos and video of Cuna. :D

  13. What a good guy! I know you love your mare as much as I love mine -but terrific opportunity to learn from a been there done that boy. Have fun with him!

  14. Awesome! How cool and exciting and perfect!!!

  15. What an awesome opportunity! Sounds like a great deal for both you and Izzy. And who knows, maybe we will convert you to "team gelding"....


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