I’ve arbitrarily decided that it’s senior horse week! Below you’ll find a little be about the twelve Miniature Horses over the age of 20 who I’m lucky enough to look after every day! I have such a soft spot for the old folks – please tell me about your senior horses as well, I’d love to meet them!
Robin, 30, who we raised, was shown a bit, but was a great broodmare, raising 16 foals, among them world champions, exported to Europe, CDE winners and one equine artist 😉 She has Cushings but is currently doing well with a very high level of care she insists is always up to her exacting standards.
Knight Rider, 29, was a wheeler in my Grandad’s eight horse hitch for 15+ years. In recent years he has been helping me learn to drive four as a fire breathing leader! Knight Rider has Cushings, recently had a flare up of laminitis (his first) but recovered super quickly, thank goodness!
Quix Draw, 27, belongs to friends and we are proud to be his retirement home. He was a champion in halter, driving (single pleasure and team hitch with his beautiful daughter!), jumping, obstacle in his day, and sired beautifully moving foals. He has Cushings that is now well controlled and we all have our fingers crossed that we might see one more Quix Draw baby in the spring!
Pride, 26, was a driving champion in his younger days. He came home to us last fall, and his Cushings was out of control, as well as his laminitis, despite the best efforts of his humans, but with medication and very frequent farrier care he is doing amazing – he looks like a different horse than he did a year ago, and I even drove him this summer!
Zac, 26, was my brothers all around show horse, has won the Lord Sterling Cup for Utility Team Hitch more than any other horse (in two different teams driven by my mom) and was shown from the time he was four months old until he was 23 when he said “no thank you, I’m done with that” but he still enjoyed parades and other short outings, and loves to drive in team with his buddy Knight Rider at home. He has Cushings as well but is doing well on medication.
Spooky, 25, was so called because when Grandad got him as a young horse you couldn’t touch him with your hand, only my Grandma could catch him for most of his life, and while Grandad drove him around home in his hitch (and he did very well) he never did any parades given his nervous nature. He needed some extra TLC a couple winters ago, and has discovered that senior feed and spoiling are worth the human interaction in his old age, and now comes when he’s called and asks nicely for a cookie.
Fergie, 24, came home this spring! She was the last foal of our foundation broodmare, Martin’s Bunny, and always a special favourite of mine. She has spent many years as a broodmare with some friends of ours, and we jumped at the chance to bring her home to retire with us – it’s lovely to see her every day, and she LOVES her treats. She’s in great health for her age, you’d never guess she’s in her mid 20s.
Paco, 24, sired some foals for us as a youngster before being gelded and doing a long stint in the point team of Grandad’s eight horse hitch. He loves kids, the younger the better, and his blanket and senior feed in the winter, and he’s been helping us with our multiple hitch skills lately! A little bitty fluff of a horse, he can FLOAT like no one else – except maybe his kids Finnegan and Gypsy.
Pending, 23, was a show horse in his younger days, then was in my Grandad’s hitch for many years, and now belongs to my friends and works as a therapy horse and plays with jumps with his friend Ethan! Like Paco, Pending does best with some extra blanketing and feeding in the winter, but otherwise is healthy, though he’s made it very clear that his driving career is OVER thank you very much.
Duke, 22, is my mom’s show horse though he’s been a first show horse for many people over the years. He’s done well in most everything, as well as being Zac’s long term hitch partner, and this summer we threw him into driving in a four horse hitch after years of pairs, and he stepped up like he’d been doing it his whole life. Duke shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon!
Dusty, 21, has been here just over a year. She belonged to a friend who had to retire from horse care, so Dusty moved here. She is a very nice driving horse, smiles for a cookie, and only has one eye, though it doesn’t seem to slow her down. Dusty was diagnosed with Cushings this summer and is doing fabulous now that she’s on medication.
Finnegan, 20, is the most important horse, just ask him, and really, we don’t disagree much. Anything we are doing, whether horse shows or parades or jumping or driving, Finnegan is our go-to. He drives single, pair, tandem and four, and helps us get young horses comfortable driving in teams. He absolutely loved his 20th birthday party this past St Patrick’s Day!