A group of wonderful volunteers goes to the Finger Lakes Racetrack regularly during the season to talk to trainers and get information on horses they'd like to sell. Those horses are listed online, you can contact the trainer if you're interested.
River Mountain Rd caught my eye but was out of my price range.... which is to say, he had a price. My barn owner was looking for horses to get as resale projects. I looked through the horses listed and sent her my thoughts. This was one of them: "River Mountain Rd, HELLO HANDSOME! What a beefcake with that shoulder and that ass and that face!"
He's 11 years old and the definition of a war horse. River has raced 90 times and won over $400,000. He was exactly what I would want if I was going to buy (another) horse. Thankfully, his price made it impossible. I already own two horses, why on earth would I get another one? The day after Thanksgiving, my barn owner called to say River's price was reduced, he was now free. Crap! Crapcrapcrap!
I called his trainer Saturday, he was still available. By the time we got to the track Sunday morning, trailers in tow, I knew that if River was there and sound he would be coming home with me. I met River and his trainer and asked to see him jog. It only took a couple steps for me to know I wanted him. I gave his trainer my contact information, signed that I wouldn't let him go for meat, and took him home.
River has been home for 2 days and is loving life. For now he's in a paddock attached to a stall; soon he'll switch to 24/7 turnout with a run in and friends. He needs a good bit of weight, but now that he's settling in he's eating well. He already loves being out and did not appreciate being shut in his stall this evening so I could groom him!
But it's okay, to catch him all you have to do is crinkle a peppermint wrapper.
He'd rather stay outside, but he'll come in for food.
You might not have picked up on this, but River rather likes peppermints.
After a long time on the track, he's enjoying his new life. Also, mud. He likes mud.
Eventually River will be my lower-level, little-bit-of-everything English riding horse. For now, he's on vacation. Sometime early next year we'll start riding. Until then we'll get to know each other and get him fattened up.