Grace has been here for two weeks now, and we’re starting to get into a groove. I’ve been able to keep riding her regularly despite the fact that she sprung a shoe two days after she got them put on and stepped on the clip in the process. Which, the farrier was convinced it would abscess so he wanted to wait to put the shoe back on, but I had flushed the spot immediately and kept it clean and wrapped in Animalintex, so it was fine and we didn’t have a problem. I ended up riding her in a boot for almost a week before he came and put the shoe back on, and she was ok with that too. She seems good about just kind of rolling along with whatever.
I jumped her for the first time last Wednesday… just a handful of jumps because she still had the boot on, but Hillary and I had planned a trip to Pine Hill to XC school on Saturday so I was like “uhhh, I should probably jump her before that”. She’s got a very lemme-at-em type of approach to jumping, you can tell she loves it and she gives you the feeling like she’d happily jump anything you pointed her at. It makes her pretty fun. Sometimes she’s a little less keen to listen to your input about striding, but really she’s quite straightforward and honest to jump. I can 100% see why she was such a good event horse for an amateur, it’s the kind of horse you feel like will always get you to the other side and enjoys the job.
She’s also settled into the farm routine really well now. She’s quite a low drama horse (especially compared to a certain bay gelding we all know and love) and easy to deal with in the barn, aside from the fact that she refuses to poop out in her run like the other horses and poops exclusively in her stall.
She’s funny though, Grace snorts a lot, at a lot of things. Like… snort snort snort snort all the time. If you didn’t know her you’d think that a blow up was imminent, but despite all the snorting she’s only ever spooked maybe one time. She’s just snorty AF, that’s her way of saying “oh that’s interesting!”, which has become pretty entertaining to me. But we’ve already done farrier x 2, vet, trailering x 2, and body clipping, and she’s been extremely easy for everything. She snorts her way through all of it but she never even so much as flinches, just stands like a rock. It’s really amusing once you figure out that her snorts do not mean what normal horse snorts mean.
On Saturday when we headed out to Pine Hill a cold front had blown through overnight. The temp was actively dropping, the wind was howling… it was gross. But, ya know, Grace is Irish. Not phased one bit.
I didn’t do a whole lot with her at Pine Hill because she’s still just coming back into work and doesn’t have much fitness yet, so I didn’t want to make her sore. Plus I’d only jumped her once before, so it was kind of a learn-as-you-go type of thing. I could tell from the first little log I hopped over that I was indeed on a cross country horse and she was in Game On mode. We hopped over some of the stuff on the Novice course and she was very bold about all of it. A little bit looky about the bushes we had to canter past when we got back in the trees (to be fair, with the wind they were making all kinds of noise) but still jumped everything I pointed her at with no second thoughts.
She’s also really gotten onboard with the amount of cookies that are doled out around here. I definitely give all the horses way too many, but whatever. They’re cute. She tried Henry’s Oatmeal Creme Pie cereal and liked it, so I of course had to try a real OCP. She was a fan. I think she likes the German Horse Muffins (or the Beet Treat version) the most, but so far she’s eaten everything I’ve offered. Not a surprise, she didn’t get this stout by accident.
I’m enjoying having something different to ride and new things to work on, and having a chestnut around here has really grown on me. I’ve always been quite adamant that I’m a bay girl through and through, don’t really like chestnuts, definitely don’t want a gray or a pinto, yadda yadda yadda. I mean, part of the appeal of Mighty Magic is that he doesn’t have a red gene and therefore cannot produce a chestnut foal. Same with Diarado and a few of my other favorite stallions. Bay is my jam and always has been, it’s pretty and it’s easy. But… there’s something about the fiery red-orange that really grows on you. Especially the way it looks in the sun this time of year.
Am I becoming a convert? I dunno about that, but I’m finding the red ones to be more and more appealing. Or at least I no longer have the automatic “wish it was brown” reaction to seeing a nicely put-together chestnut. I mean… I stopped dead in my tracks at this mare in one of the OTTB groups yesterday. If it was 6 months from now, this one would already be in a trailer on her way home to me, chestnut or not. I’d strongly consider sawing off my right arm, and I don’t say that very often. She looks like a TB version of Grace.
Am I convert? I dunno. Grace is starting to convince me though…