Thursday, October 13, 2011

Adventures with Stan

My adventures with Stanley began in 2006, and I can’t believe how gangly he was back then!!

He started as just a “potential” project.  A horse they had gotten out of pity, I believe.  A “temporary” horse until something better came along.  A horse that hadn’t spent much time out of a stall/field setting.  A horse who didn’t understand how to go above a trot with a rider on his back.  An obnoxious cribber who always wore his collar. 

And then we met.  *cue fireworks and dreamy love music*


We dabbled in a little bit of everything, mostly just getting out into the big world so he could experience everything and not be a giant pansy any more.  Slowly he learned how fun riding could be.  And we slowly started to bond – before I even realized what was happening.  

And so Sonya decided we should enter a local show.  I practiced up on my posting (which I didn’t know how to do prior) technique for ring work, Stan learned better English and western headsets and how his gaits should be – though he never could slow enough for a western jog.  And come late July, we showed.

Ah ,the cribber collar; his mane took 3 hours for me to do, UGH!  But he does look snazzy.
I LOVE this photo, he looks so trim and athletic.  Note his rear right that he tangled in barbed wire (wtf? the fencing for his whole field is electric wire...freak accident, seriously) the week of the show.
Not an enjoyable experience for either of us.  But a learning experience nonetheless, and an experience I’m thankful to have had!

Wish I'd had brown chaps...
Pow-wow out of the 90 degree heat; obv. I was sick of stirrups haha.
Sweet boy fell asleep with his head in my lap; he was so exhausted from the heat.

We ended up winning English high-point!  Something that made Stan a little less temporary.

I still have those tennis shoes somewhere...I've had them since 4th grade! 

Shortly after the show Sonya decided Stan would undergo surgery for his cribbing issue.  That knocked him out of commission for a week or so.  But it was successful and he was no longer a cribber, and thereby, even less temporary.

We were soon back out on the trails gallivanting and having a jolly good time of it. 

Like I said, I'm a self-taught jumper.
Built this hump of a jump in the woods to tool around on.

By the spring of 2007 Sonya had talked me into training for our club’s first sponsored endurance race that would be held in August.  I didn’t even know what endurance racing was.  But she printed off two training schedules and at the beginning of March we started training.  Riding five days a week for 1 – 3 hours each time until August 7th      

Bad to the bone...right?
Running is funz!
He wouldn't look at the camera.
He still has his little cheek spot.

The endurance race was amazing.  He loved it.  I loved it.  And despite our greenness toward the sport we nearly won it (he trotted out lame at the last vet check because snotty people didn’t let me know until after the fact that I could have put a shoe on him first, SIGH).  The little horse that used to be so slow was now a boogier, on the trail at any rate!  His time of 4 hours and 15-ish minutes for a 30-mile limited distance race made him irreplaceable in the eyes of his owners.  He was now a permanent resident.

About to start lap two
Creek crossing

He loves the trail so much more than ring work.  The only thing that perks his ears with ring work is jumping.  We schooled around on a few verticals that were set up on the ring near his barn a few times.  He really loved it.  I was so surprised.  We tooled around doing other random things in the months and years that followed the endurance race.  His ownership situation got a little rocky which led to me seeing him less.  But we try to get out and about when we can.

Pointy butt & The CLAW.  Their nicknames.

He’s still my favorite horse ever.  Even if he has tried to (and succeeded ONCE) eject me a time or two.

2008: The only time he hucked me off; my idiot fault for riding him in one of his fields.
I got back on; wish I had a good shot of my other side, SO much muddier!
The very next day, he tried it again w/ me bareback; photo 3 is the best for height. lol

I love my Appendix QH, because as far as I'm concerned - or a lot of people who know our relationship, he is mine and I am his.  No matter who pays his bills and has his papers.  A paper trail is nothing compared to the bond we share.


**All photos from 2006 - 2008, hard to believe!
*** I will be in New Jersey for the next 5 days.  I'll try to update with a photo or two if I find some time so y'all can see what awesomeness I'm getting into.  I'm SO excited!  


  1. Have fun in Jersey! I've never been, but we watch a lot of Boardwalk Empire on HBO and I want to go to Atlantic City. ;) And I loved the story of you and Stan. Very sweet. Also, weird that 2006 was SO long ago!

  2. Just popped by to say thanks for following my blog. I'm curious about what you said about surgery for Stan's cribbing. Never heard of a surgery for that; any idea what the surgery did?