Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Let me tell you now about Remington. I was going to tell you about Chip, but then I'd also have to tell you about Remington, so I might as well just talk about him first. I would put up a picture, but we only have one blurry picture that I have to get scanned in. I will try to do that and then edit this post to add it.

Remington had the same exact start as my crazy mare Sassie. She wasn't related to him, but they were like brother and sister. They came from the same farm, both registered paints although he was a solid paint, owned by the same putz and we got him the same way we got her. There was a huge difference between the two for some unknown reason. I don't know if it was the simple fact that he was a gelding and she was a mare or what. First off he was way taller. Sassie is only like 14.2 tippy toed. Remington was a good 15 hands easily despite also being just stuck in the stall. He was super calm. You could do anything to him and he could not be bothered to care. He was super lazy. If you tried to lunge him, he would walk. The entire time. You could not do anything to get him to pick up the pace. We all know that was so not the case with Sassie.

Now I will say this. When we inherited these two horses, we were not horse savvy at all. We just knew we loved them to pieces and wanted them to have a good life and we wanted to enjoy them. Sure I knew how to ride. I had taken English lessons, even jumping and won some ribbons at my first and only event, but that definitely did not qualify us to OWN these magnificent creatures. My husband's experience was also limited in the fact that yeah, he too had rode on numerous occasions and even had owned a horse. But that was really only a partnership and he was the financing part. He totally got screwed over in it and we never really had to care for the horse. So yeah. I will admit we knew nothing about the day to day ownership of horses. But really, how hard could that be when we were already doing better than the previous owner by just cleaning the stall and talking to them? If we knew then what we know now, and yes hind sight is always 20/20, we would have just gotten on and rode that bugger.

Unlike my girl who would fly off the handle at a simple touch, you could do anything with Remington. We were told right off the bat that they were not trained. At all. And by looking at Sassie, you could tell that 100%. Looking at Remington though, you could not. My dad, who's going to be turning 70, came out to see them one time. He is a little nutty about certain stuff, takes too many risks for his age. Although he looks to be about 50, and he's in really good shape, I'm sure his body begs to differ that he is NOT 50 after his rough farming and military life, and then raising 5 kids. He was walking Remington while we were cleaning stalls and we come out to see my dad standing on a bench with one leg almost on Remington's back. He had not signed any type of liability waiver, and he was trying to get on our unbroke horse, unhelmeted, so we come running out yelling at him "what are you doing?? Are you CRAZY??? He's not broke to ride!!! He's NEVER had a person on his back!!! What do you think he's going to do to you????" so he of course just put his leg down and got off the bench. He said to us, "he's going to have to learn sometime, why not just let me do it." I didn't want him to DIE, that's why!! lol So no no no, I take Remington back and put him in his stall. If I had known then what I know now, I would have let him go ahead and try.

I think we were overly cautious with him. Which maybe not a bad thing since we were newbies, but it means we missed out on so much with him. We had Remington for about 2 1/2 to 3 years. It seemed like we had only had him for like 6 months. On super bowl Sunday 2006, he had to be put down. The day before, we went out to clean stalls and he was laying down in his stall. Not totally unusual, but when we got him up and moved him to another stall to clean his, he laid right back down almost immediately. We knew that was odd and we got him up again. I stood in his stall with him and his head hung so low he could have been resting his nose on the ground. The funny thing was, he was still trying to eat. Not as much as he usually did, but he was still trying. One of the other boarders that has a TB that easily colics was trying to help and was telling us to listen to his stomach (didn't really know what to listen for, but do now) and take his temp (don't have a thermometer, but do now) and what other signs to look for. We tried calling the barn owners, which was a family, and finally someone at the FIFTH number that we called said they would come out. The first four just kept telling us who else to call besides them. (and that is one reason we are no longer there). The guy came out, said yep, he's probably colicing. Walk him around, he'll be ok. After about 3 hours of walking him and it getting really late and having a baby and a toddler to take home, we called him back and asked what do we do now? He said to put him in with the mare (yes, put him in an approximately 10x12 stall over night with my crazy ass mare, sure sounds good) and he would check on them throughout the night. We said ok and if anything at all changed or happened, just call and one of us would be right back out there. Well, apparently after about 2 hours my mare had gotten herself so worked up, he took Remington out and put him back in his own stall and just let him be the rest of the night. My hubby went back out first thing early the next morning and he was of course laying down. He got him out and tried walking him in the indoor arena. After about 3 hours of walking him, the barn owners finally decided to suggest calling the vet because if my husband even stopped walking for a minute or two, Remington would try to lay down. What does that all tell you? Yeah. So the vet comes out, does an examination and says basically that yeah, it's a severely twisted gut and you can try to take him to Ohio State, which is the closes facility that would be able to do anything, but that he doubted he would even be able to make the 3 hour trip. Not only that, but (he so kindly decided to point out) what is the horse worth? Sure you love him, he's registered, but he's grade, you don't show him and he's not even broke to ride. Unfortunately what he was saying was true and he said the kindest thing we could do was put him down. Of course hubby says yes and THEN calls me. Obviously I would not have disagreed with that decision, but I would have at least liked to have said my goodbyes, which none of us did. I did not know when he called me that they were doing it right then and there, so I call my neighbor to watch the boys and I make it out there in like 10 minutes (it's about 1/2 hour away) only to pull in and see my hubby coming out of the riding center with just Remington's halter in his hands. I pull up, start bawling and he tells me they are getting the backhoe to bury him at the back of the property so I speed off and go home. We knew that was technically illegal, but the tiger guy wasn't answering and they had to do something. I thank them for that.

So that is the story of Remington. It isn't very long, in terms of time. We didn't get to do much. He was my husband's favorite horse ever and even though we never got to do anything with him, or even get any good pictures, he was a great guy. As I said, if we only knew then what we know now, things may have been different. Shoulda, coulda, woulda, right?

Have a good hump day :)

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