Sunday, January 19, 2014

One of my favorites is gone....

Not long after I started this blog, I posted about my justifications for getting River.  One of them was that every horse I've really cared about had an "i" as the first vowel in their name.  Riley was euthanized recently.  Way back when, "my" four horses were stalled in a row--Honey, Baby, Big Man, and Beautiful.  Honey is the Old Man, Baby is my dearly departed Wilson, Beautiful is The Mare, and Riley was Big Man.

He was something like 16.3-17hh and a BEAST.  He had soundness issues thanks to a bone chip in his ankle... it was removed and screws put in his pastern.  He was usually fine, but every once in a while he was a bit off.

I started riding him when his normal rider went to college.  Oh my gosh.  One of the most fun horses I ever rode.  One of the first times I rode him, I asked him to trot a circle.  He bucked and took off.  I just laughed.

He was smart and quirky.  He had a gift for giving a rider as much trouble as they could handle.  You were pretty much guaranteed a safe first ride.  After that, though, he had you figured out and the fun could begin.

My favorite was the day we were trotting around the indoor and he went nuts bucking.  I was able to stay on and get him stopped.  We stood in the middle while the other person in the ring finished up.  We went back out and he started bucking again.  He started slowing down when I was half off and I thought I was going to stay on.  He very deliberately bucked again, just enough to get me off.  I think I almost landed on my feet, just with a little too much momentum, so I ended up on my butt.  He stood quietly, I got back on, and he behaved perfectly.  He made his point very very clearly:  "You stay on because I allow it.  If I want you off, you will be off."  He never did it again.

Another time we were taking a lesson outside.  As we were standing in the shade with the other riders waiting for the instructor, he decided he wanted to roll.  He got down to his knees before I got him back up.  Doofus.

He was so much fun to ride.  He made me feel like such a good rider.

I'd only been riding him for a year or so when he developed lymphangitis.  He got better and worse and better and worse, but unfortunately never got back to real work.  Last summer he was given to a lovely couple, along with another horse, to serve as pasture pets and light trail riding horses.  He was in heaven there until he had to be euthanized.

I don't think I mentioned it before, but part of the reason I was so drawn to River was because he reminded me a lot of Riley.  I don't have any conformation pictures of Riley, so you'll have to take my word for it... but they're both big, blingy, doofy geldings with big shoulders and nice butts.

A few pictures.....

I only have a couple pictures of me riding him....

Yes, I made him wear pink.  My goal was to emasculate him with pink so he'd be less inclined to be naughty.

Here are a few pictures of my friend, Riley's original and best rider, on him:


He was gorgeous..

Rest in piece, Riley-Man, Big Man, my Big Beastly Pony..  You made a huge impact on my life.  You won't be forgotten.