When Stan came back into my life for good last July, I knew I had to recreate a few of the images 10 years later. The poses and POV of the photographer are not exactly identical, but I am happier they aren't. I love how they turned out.
It's something special to be able to recreate some of our original photos together nearly 10 years later to the day. If we're lucky, we'll get to repeat these photos once more in 2027.
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A short update on all things Stan: While I'm not riding him as many days per week as I'd like just yet, we are riding in a "regular work" kind of way for the past month-ish. I don't know for certain if his intermittent lameness in May was just sore feet or abscesses (the lameness was mild and there was never any swelling or heat on any of his legs and he was just as big of a dick to his herdmates as usual so I was confident nothing was amiss), but I can say with certainty that it hasn't reoccurred since Dan shod him earlier in April. In fact, once shod, Stan rocketed into his workouts with me like nothing was ever wrong (more support for my sore feet/abscess hypothesis).
Last Monday, I put the big guy through his toughest workout yet with 6 trot laps around our big field (3 laps ≅ 1 mile), 4 canter/hand gallop laps, 4 sprints up the STEEP part of the hill (so steep I basically have to stand up/lay on his neck), and 2 sprints up the not-as-steep part of the hill. All in all, the workout totaled 5 miles and averaged 8.9 mph over 37 minutes. Pretty intense HIIT workout after a nice, steady warm up! Stan was blowing pretty hard at the end, but he still had pep in his step and a glimmer in his eye.
I was a bit surprised that when I went to the barn the next day to ride Griffin that Stan not only nickered at me in the field but trotted up to me to say "hi" and receive his peppermint. (I give all 3 horses a peppermint when I am in the field even though I usually only take one out to mess with. Q and Stan will nicker and watch me, infrequently walking to meet me; Grif always finds me to say hi and then follows me to the barn even if he isn't haltered.) Stan's behavior reflects a horse that really seems to enjoy having a regular job again. I love that he is seeking me out more and has become more affectionate in the time I spend with him both in and out of the saddle. I'm really excited to ride him more often each week as we prepare for a 30 miler this summer.