Mr Beau Windswept, and believe me, he was named correctly, he is definitely a Mr.
Beaux is a 2002 model Standardbred of the trotting variety. Beaux raced in the North East til he was 9 years old, when he was retired sound after 124 starts and close to $200k in purse money. Beaux took retirement pretty hard in the beginning and it took about a year or so for him to realize “retired” isn’t a bad status in life.
I saw a video of a kinda hot, racey horse that was very unsure of that whole saddle thing on a Standardbred rehoming page and the thought “I have to have him”was the first thing that popped in my head. There is not a logical reason for me to just fall in love off of an unflattering video, but an inner voice said “he’s the one”.
I had plans, big plans, I’m thinking a nice sized horse, a big go button, I had visions of eventing, dressage, and a nice jumper. The old adage “Man plans God laughs” was pretty spot on because as much as I would love to say Beaux stepped off that trailer and we instantly were successful would not describe what actually happened. Beaux was still in “race mode” even after a few months off the track, and was a mess under saddle. He pulled my arms out, he hated the saddle, any leg contact set you shooting 5 steps forward, yet in the barn and doing ground work, he was big personality horse, who loved scratches, was easy to work with. I just kept having the feeling that I was missing a big key to him. Just as it seemed we were starting to make progress, a big health scare with my husband and horses had to take a “time out” where for the next 4 mos Beaux spent relaxing in a huge field, and Dr Green Grass did him a lot of good. He came back out of shape, but in a better attitude.
The next year was a roller coaster year, life gave us a lot of good and bad moments and just when it seemed we could finally start getting some consistent riding and training happening, the “Boarding Situation” happened. I was living in New Orleans where horse boarding was very difficult, you had cheap and sketchy or expensive and full of drama. We ended up in a bad boarding situation and Beaux got really bad ulcers and lost a lot of weight. Beaux was moved to (finally!) a nice place where he could hang out with his pony sidekick Prissy, in a large shady paddock with endless hay and a nice area to ride in. Beaux’s ulcers were treated, he put on weight, and then it rained. for a whole month it rained nearly daily and the “Summer of the Abscess” finally turned into the Fall and Winter of Beaux’s Discontent as he was now getting some riding and ground work happening and progress was made.
Beaux has come to terms that riding is happening, and he has shown that he prefers to chew up the miles in a good comfortable rack then then the arena, and he is not into jumping so best made plans went out the window. It was only natural to start looking at Limited Distance/Endurance as a potential sport as Beaux has the right attitude for the sport.
Beaux and Prissy are now in Davie FL where we are starting our journey into Distance Riding, and this blog will document our journey together. Beaux may be a complicated horse, but the best horses aren’t easy horses and Beaux has already taught me so much about myself and myself as a rider. I am looking very forward to the next phase of our journey together and looking very forward to becoming a better partner to my partner.