A Great Ride, and the Old Boys Arrive

May 11, 2014 | Horses

Yesterday in the late afternoon, my husband and I arrived at the farm during a downpour. We drove straight into the indoor arena, where we set up some cavaletti exercises for the horses (rails on the ground, little freestanding gates). It’s days like this when you’re really glad to have the barn and indoor connected—no rain gear necessary.

I rode frisky little Firefly, whose main concern was the open arena doors: the one to the barn (only mildly scary) and the one to the outside (a red-alert-level situation, involving geese, a feed delivery truck, chirping birds, and Emily with a baby carriage). He contained himself pretty well—he only once spun and tried to run the other way—and by the end was purring around at a soft canter, stepping over the gates and letting me adjust his stride. My husband rode big, gawky Ray Ray, who behaved admirably.

The rain stopped, and we walked the horses outside, up the driveway to the farmhouse, then back through the meadows. We were all happy to be in the fresh air.

Today our retired horses arrived, including the one and only Grappa. He caused trouble on the horse van, pounding and pawing so badly that the driver didn’t want to maneuver down the lane with him onboard. We unloaded the four horses in the upper stable yard, by the old hay barn. Grappa bounded off the truck and tugged the lead shank all the way to his stall. He rushed to the window and put his head out. (Lots to see back there: stream and turnout paddocks, meadows on the hill, birds chirping, groundhogs, foxes, deer.) The other three horses were fresh, too: my husband’s wide-eyed old jumper Kondor, our sweet, long-maned Otter, and the famous and arrogant Glasgow, one of the best Grand Prix horses of all time.

Glasgow bullies the other horses, so for now, he still gets turned out alone. The other three share a pasture. After they all settled in, we put them outside for their first turnout on the new farm—a sunny afternoon, lush grass sloping to the pond. They were in heaven.

A bittersweet day without Hurricane; he’d have so loved this. I miss him all the time and especially now, this moment I’ve dreamed of for so long, my old boys finally home.

Grappa, Otter and Kondor enjoying their first graze at the new farm

Grappa, Otter and Kondor enjoying their first graze at the new farm


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