Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sarah and Bay

The sporthorse regionals for region 5 had been in May. The sporthorse regionals for region 4 would be in August, and Karen didn't plan to stay for a shot at another regional title. She and Bay had, however, qualified for youth nationals in July and she could take him there, but there were a couple of problems. School would be starting for Karen back in Germany. In order to go to youth nationals she would have to let her mom go home without her and she would have to start school late. She had already done youth nationals the year before and had come home with a Reserve Champion title. She had to consider that showing at that level is expensive too. She wasn't sure what to do, and then one day an opportunity arose that changed everything. Karen had ridden PV's lesson horse Annie at youth nationals the year before. They had been working together for quite some time, but Annie had gotten old and didn't want to work that hard anymore. Still, she and Karen had formed an intense bond. Actually, Karen's entire family had come to truly love Annie. Now she was about to be retired and the barn owner offered her to Karen. From that moment forward there was no more talk about going to youth nationals. If a choice was to be made it would be to take Annie back to Germany to live out her days with Karen and her family.

Bay's show season was over. Karen continued to ride him until her departure. She has come back twice for visits and always goes to see and ride Bay while she is here. I know he remembers her by the way he acts with her. Remember, he is a tough nut to crack and doesn't take to just anybody. First you have to earn his respect and Karen had done that. Throughout the show season of 2008, while Karen was showing Bay, there was one young woman at the barn who seemed to always be around. She was good friends with Karen and she liked Baythoven. Her name was Sarah. We had a conversation with Sarah and her mother about Sarah riding Baythoven. We decided that we would wait to have her try him out until after Karen had gone back to Germany.

It was in late July when the DH and I decided to make a change in our barn situation. We decided to move the horses to a new barn and trainer. We had promised Sarah that she could try Bay, so we went ahead and allowed her to ride him to see how it went. We told her that we were going to be moving the horses in September and gave her the option to pass on trying him out, but she decided to go ahead.

Things were different for our horses in the new barn. At the old one they had lived in a stall with a run. At the new barn they were only stalled at night or in extreme inclement weather. The rest of the time they were out to pasture with other horses. They lived in herds of 3-5 horses. Our boys were turned out together into their own pasture to acclimate. They shared a fence line with the two geldings they were to be turned in with. Bay had been out to pasture before, but as far as I knew Boo had always lived in a stall. It was a beautiful sight to watch them discover that they were turned out free with one another. They stayed that way for about a week, maybe two. Then they were turned in with the other geldings. Bay was the youngest and Boo the second oldest. This situation worked for about a month. Unfortunately both horses sustained injuries in the pasture, Bay to his knee and Boo to his hock. Of course we didn't see what happened, but we figured they had been kicked or kicked one another. The barn owner watched them closely and determined that she would move Bay to another pasture as he seemed to want to play and the older horses just found him irritating. Over time everyone settled in to their respective pastures and both of our horses are happier today than I have ever seen them.

It took Sarah about 2 months, maybe a little more, to make the decision to follow Baythoven to his new barn and his new trainer. Their adventure was about to begin.


  1. I love how Annie's retirement worked about. She will be loved and appreciated by Karen. Bay and Boo new accommodations sound great and being able to run around will keep them young! I love to watch the horses run around and kick up their heels.

  2. This sounds so fantastic!
    It is difficult sometimes...with them being who they are and jostling for position...injuies happen.
    But the pure JOY of seeing them and riding them after they have begun to let down and move around like horses should, in the open pastures...PRICELESS!
    Glad for everyone!