It’s amazing to me how as I get older time only goes by faster. Hard to believe that 8 years ago I rode along to go pick up Stampede from the field he had been living in to see if he would be my next horse. He was faded, hairy, and gangly looking and probably happy to leave the quarter horses who had been beating him up. He got right on the trailer and stepped off calmly back at the barn he had grown up in. All I did was lunge him that day since he’d had almost a year off and was only 5, but he listened to everything I said.
Stampede has always been a gentle giant. I know this is almost funny to say, because looking from the outside I’m sure he at times has looked unsafe and insane, but it is how I feel. I know now many of his past and current crazy or angry behaviors stem from his kissing spines. Managing a back problem in a horse is certainly not for the faint of heart. I try to be very careful and considerate about watching for any signs of discomfort when I’m riding and very regimented in his care by doing stretches and other activities to strengthen the muscles around his spine.
Anyways, not to go into the whole Stampede story again, because it is here. Stampede and I have never had an easy journey beyond the start of it. He’s part of my family and I love him even though he’s not what I thought I was getting. He’s a good boy most of the time (except when my parents and husband are watching at horse shows, yikes!) and he will spend the rest of his life with me. Maybe someday before he retires from riding we will get it together and show everyone what we can do well the majority of the time, lol.
So here’s to 8 years with the tallest horse in town! Thank you for not completely falling on your face at the show yesterday Stampede, it was a close call!