Yesterday morning we headed off in a caravan to pick up Joey from Sarah. I hadn’t seen him yet, just the pictures and was a little apprehensive. I mean, another horse, another big mouth to feed, another responsibility and what if he just sucks? Caroline and I were doing this together but hadn’t really discussed the details. One bad visit to the vet and we would be over our head in trouble.
We got to Sarah’s first and had a chance to go scope out the big guy. I saw him gazing at us calmly from over his stall gate. His soft brown eyes took everything in. He seemed to say, “I don’t know what I am going to do today but I will do it willfully and to the best of my abilities”.
Caroline showed up moments later and we got ready to load him in the trailer. To make Joey happier and calmer on his way to his new home we had brought Ellie Mae, the rescued Mustang Pony, who is extremely laid-back and accepting of anything Caroline asks of her. Go back to the start of the blog for a picture of her in trailer surrounded with hay. That would have flipped most horses out.
But we needn’t have bothered with the Ellie Mae babysitter as Joey was sensible, unflappable and took everything in stride. He walked easily up to the trailer and stood quietly as we secured the ramp and headed home. It means a lot to me that he loads in the trailer easily, stands quietly, and accepts new places well. This will go a long way when it is time to go to horse shows and travel.
Later in the day, Caroline reported that Joey went out with Ellie and pony Mimi. He seemed thrilled to be out and there was no running or rough-housing that often accompanies a new horse being introduced into the pasture. After his time with the girls, Caroline bathed him and cut his mane back to hunter/jumper length. He looked pretty cute with his new-do!
Now, we will start the process of strengthening, building his endurance and getting him back to being a working horse. Caroline will have the bulk of this for now but Lauren will help out when she can. Soon, he will be strong enough and have gained enough weight to start working over some poles. After that we will start him over low fences. No doubt a trip to Dev’s will be on the agenda.
He will certainly (if it goes like I think it will) be a poster child for another OTTB make-over prize. Check out www.ottbdesigns.com and www.afterthefinishline.org more inspiring stories on these great thoroughbreds and their lives after the race track.
Later Ally had made a wonderful dinner and we all watched Union Rags win theBelmont triumphantly for his deserving owner, Phyllis Wyeth. She actually sold that horse as a yearling and paid three times as much money to buy him back. She believed in him and it paid off royally for her. Nice race!
Last thing-this horse’s registered name is RV Smokin Joe. We need a show name for him-thinking he will be a jumper. Caroline and I have Irish Midnight and Irish Moonlight. So, what are some suggestions for this one? Maybe Irish Smoke? Just an Irish Joe? Joe Irish? Let me know your ideas-and as always-thanks for riding along!