Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Trails

I have always loved horses.  As long as I can remember, I have wanted to ride, brush, cuddle with any horse I came in contact with.  It's a desire & dream that was never realized until I was an adult.  

I started riding consistently about four years ago.  First by volunteering at a stable for public trail rides, then at a local "horse club" where we got together to ride, and then fellowship, study a chapter of the Bible, and pray.  The last three years, I've been taking weekly lessons and enjoying as much riding time as I can.

This year, there were a pair of horses being fostered for the winter at the barn where I ride.  Two off-track thoroughbreds, Max & C.

Max with my girl, KK.
Isn't he cute with that heart on his face?
Me & C in a lesson last fall.  He looks like he's tooth-smiling - cracks me up!
Here's C's race record... he won over $150,000 in his career!
I really enjoyed riding C last fall and fell in love with him. He was very charming, turning on the puppy face whenever I came in the barn.  He was happy to see me whenever I arrived.
The Puppy Face - irresistible!
This mutual relationship was evident to us here, as well as the owners of the camp where he came from (who at the time still owned him).  Long-story-short...  C was offered to me in the spring and I took him.  I got my first horse!
He fell asleep in the cross-ties.
He loves being groomed.
So I spent the rest of the spring and summer riding him 2-3 times a week outside of my lessons.  The kids got to ride too.  Below are pics of KK riding him one afternoon.

Grooming time...
Oh, that sweet face!
As I took ownership of this horse, we also decided he needed a better name. We thought to shorten his full name (Canaletto) to something, but nothing really stuck. Then one day, I said, "We should call him Fancy Clancy!" My daughter didn't think he was very fancy. Clancy stuck though (=

Enjoying an afternoon ride
About 6 weeks ago Clancy got sick - his temp was over 103 deg. and had pulse points in all four feet which put him at risk for founder. After an expensive Saturday Vet call, we discovered he had some sort of upper respiratory infection.  He didn't eat for 4 days except when I would hand feed him.  He didn't even want to crib (he is a fierce cribber!).  He's been on the mend since then, but hasn't been quite the same. 

In the mean time, we received his paperwork from the camp.  Turns out, after his racing career, he was adopted out as a pasture buddy for Max, only to be used for light trail riding.  He has hock & stifle lameness (joints in the back legs).  This explains a lot.  He has become very grumpy, and is rubbing his hocks until there are open wounds.  It became evident that after his illness, he just wasn't up for any more riding.  After much prayer, thought, tears, and gathering the consensus from all parties (me, my riding instructor, the camp people, the original adopters, and the racehorse rescue that adopted him out: CANTER) we decided that the most humane thing to do for him would be to euthanize him.

So, that's where I am tonight...  remembering the short time I had with this sweet horse who endured a 9 year racing career, being a trail horse at a camp, and then a lesson horse.  Tomorrow he goes to horsey-heaven, but for tonight he's still MY horse.

I'm going to miss you, Clancy.  Happy Trails...


  1. So sorry, Michelle! Prayers to you and the family.

  2. I will be praying for you on this hard day!

    1. Thank you... And thanks for the hug yesterday.

  3. So sad for you. My prayers will be with you today.

    1. Happy Trails to you , until we meet again, Happy trails to you , keep smiling until then, I am whistling and clicking my fingers Michelle, the word says, The Lord loves animals and people the same, I am thinking if He does, we will all be together, I cannot scripturally back that up, that there are animals in heaven except the horses. In the beginning of Revelations. Oh thinking about you and the children. Caleb's wife Patricia had a son,he named him Caleb.We left on the 29th and little Clawson man was born on the 3rd!Hip hip Hurray

    2. Thank you Becky. I appreciate your prayers. Congrats on the new grand baby (=