From Endurance to Dressage
I've been boarding at "The Ranch" for more than three years. In all that time, I don't think I've ever introduced you to everyone who lives there. The ranch is privately owned and not a "traditional" boarding facility. The owners have very generously allowed me to board there, but only because they like me.
In the beginning, the horses who lived there all belonged to the ranch owners, but over the past year, things have changed. Besides my boys and me and the ranch owners, there are now three other ladies and their horses who call the ranch home.
You already know Speedy, of course, but I'll start with him anyway. Speedy's a 15 year old Arabian who has done endurance and dressage. I am not sure who is stuck with whom, but we're definitely a pair.
Izzy, frequently referred to as The Big Brown Horse, is an 11 year old RPSI gelding with a lot of Thoroughbred in his pedigree. We "dressage," but this space isn't called Not-So-Speedy Dressage for nothing.
When you come down the ranch's driveway, you'll pass by the arena first. The next thing you'll see is a small grass pasture and these two friends, Archie and Pixie, or as I like to call her, Pixie Pony. Archie is a retired jumper. He's in his late 20s, but he still gets ridden a couple of times a year, usually by beginner riders.
Pixie, his pasture mate, is a sweet older girl, but I am not sure she's ever done much in her life. She was broke to ride, but was just too spooky for the ranch owner's tastes. She's now a companion for Archie. I do have a funny story about her though. A year or so ago, a friend of the ranch owner had a horse who died leaving her other horse alone. The ranch owner offered Pixie up as a new companion. We loaded her up and dropped her off. As the trailer pulled out of sight, Pixie jumped the fence and chased after the ranch owner's truck and trailer. That was the end of any talk of Pixie being placed elsewhere.
As you continue along the driveway, Dollar's pasture is next. I think Dollar is a Fox Trotter, I have asked so many times that I would be embarrassed to ask again. He's nearing 30. He had been a breeding stallion for most of his life, but he's been retired now for many years. I make it a point to give him a handful of grass and a few kind words every day. He and Speedy get along famously, so I let Speedy graze alongside Dollar's fence line. Dollar loves the company. He is a stallion though, so he likes to remind Speedy of that fact every now and then. When Dollar gives a squeal, everyone can hear it.
Speedy and Izzy live in the matching dry pasture behind Dollar. To the left of them is where Speedy used to live with Willy, and later Rocky. There is a row of four amply-sized pens, each of which empties out into a large dirt pasture. This is where Rocky still lives. He belongs to an employee of the ranch owners; to make the explanation less complicated, they're consultants. Rocky is a Quarter Horse who is either 15 or 16 yers old. His owner trail rides and does barrels.
Living in the same row as Rocky is the ranch owner's current riding horse, All In, or Alli for short. I think she's also a Fox Trotter, and she's around 10 - 12 years old. She's been at the ranch less than a year, but she's quite a lovely lady. She is also really funny. She's the queen of side eye, mare glare, and let me put you in your place facial expressions. I think Speedy's a little afraid of her, which she likes just fine, thank you very much.
To the right of Rocky and Alli live Lucky the mule and Cami the TB. Lucky doesn't have much use for humans, but she is quite happy living with her TB girl friend. You can always tell when Cami is being worked or ridden because Lucky lets the whole world hear her braying. I actually quite like having a mule around as both of my boys see nothing weird about them when they see they see other mules at shows.
I don't exactly know how old Lucky is, but she's no spring chicken. I believe she was used as a pack mule. Now, she serves as a companion to whomever needs one. That's Cami right now.
Cami is a Thoroughbred mare who is around 12 years old. While owned by the ranch owner, she's currently being ridden by a woman whose own horse is struggling with soundness issues. Cami is a very personable and loving girl. She's also a nice mover.
All of which brings us right back to Speedy. Or close anyway. Living right in front of Speedy is our newest friend, Baloo the pony. Baloo is a 6 year old Welsh-Azteca cross that stands just over 13 hands. He's much smaller and finer than I would have expected from such a pairing, but he's adorable. He's very nicely put together with a super sweet personality. The other day, something spooked Izzy which got Speedy all in a tizzy which then sent Baloo sprinting around his field. Hilarious. Baloo was purchased just a few weeks ago by a woman whose older horse recently passed. She's very much a beginner rider, but so far, she's really enjoying her new mount.
We definitely have an eclectic mix at the ranch from ponies to mares to geldings to stallions to mules. We have show horses, retired horses, and trail horses. The thing I most like about boarding at the ranch is that all of the horses get to be horses. It's a very relaxed and happy place to be.
What's it like in your neck of the woods?
2/5/2020 07:17:14 am
10 out of 10 would boop all of those noses!! So cute!
2/5/2020 09:39:39 am
It sounds like you have a really fascinating place! I love being surrounded by other disciplines and breeds. While I like having the place to myself, I sometimes wish there were others around to ride with or just share a love of horses. :0)
2/5/2020 11:31:58 am
Love all those cute faces! I own my own property, and my horses live out 24/7 except in the recent snow, where they're being brought in at night. I would love to board though and have a real place to ride all year round. Washington weather is not fun as a horseback rider :(
2/5/2020 11:42:34 am
While MANY people in my area do keep their horses at home, I think most live somewhere where they can still ride, or they have an arena of some sort. Most riders here are trail riders so they just head out the gate onto the canals or river trails.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: