Lighty is a big, grey Holsteiner gelding who joined us for retirement in the fall of 2011.  In more formal situations he goes by the name Casa Blanca, and he is by the famous Holsteiner stallion Cassini I.  Lighty and his mom became a partnership in January 2007.
Lighty showing his winning form at a horse show
Lighty’s mom is also the owner of Renny, another of our retirees, and even though they are not actually related to each other we often refer to Lighty and Renny as brothers.  It goes without saying that their mom has a great eye for picking horses.  Their mom went on the search for a new horse as Renny was getting older and starting to slow down.  Although she was still riding Renny she was no longer showing him and she decided it was time to find a new partner for the show ring.    
Lighty checking out his winnings
Lighty showing off one of his many ribbons
Lighty’s mom is one of those lucky people that typically does not have to embark on a long and frustrating search for a new riding partner.  As she said for whatever reason her horses tend to find her very quickly and there is never much of a “looking around” process.  In January 2007 she traveled to Florida, tried Lighty, and ended up purchasing him and bringing him home to Michigan.  Ironically she almost did not try Lighty because of his name.  Lighty, his barn name, is actually short for Lightening.  Since his mom was looking for a laid back, easy going horse she assumed the name Lightening was reflective of his personality and that he was not at all what she was looking for.  Apparently his name Lightening was something of a joke as he turned out to be a very quiet, slow and laid back horse.
Lighty hanging out at a horse show
His mom does not know a lot about Lighty’s history prior to her owning him.  He was nine when she purchased him and he had been shipped to Florida from southern California to be sold.  His owner in California had aged out of the juniors and was off to college which led to Lighty being for sale.  Apparently Lighty spent the majority of his life in the warm California sun as he did not quite know what to make of the Michigan winter when he arrived in January of 2007.  When he first arrived there was no snow on the ground, but a few days after he had shipped to his new home it snowed.  When he was being led out to the pasture after the snowfall he put the brakes on and refused to go out!  Apparently Lighty had never seen snow, and it took quite a bit of convincing to get him to put his feet in the cold, wet white stuff.

More wonderful horse show pictures of Lighty. My favorite part of these posts is seeing pictures of the horses before we knew them. Not necessarily horse show pictures, some of our residents never went to a show, but just pictures of them in their “prior life.”  The ironic part is if I was asked to produce pictures of my own horses I would be hard pressed to produce them. They are all either shoved in a box that I can’t find, or were lost in a computer crash, etc.  

Lighty’s other protest to the winter weather was the constant trashing and removal of his blankets.  Apparently he had not had to spend a lot of time in blankets before his arrival in Michigan and he let everyone know that he did not like wearing them.  Since he was body clipped when he arrived in Michigan from Florida he realized after awhile that life was better with a blanket on.

Lighty showing off the goofy side of his personality
Lighty did a lot of winning in the show ring.  A good friend of his mom showed him quite a bit in the adult amateur hunters to help prepare him for his mom.   Lighty’s big, rolling canter combined with his striking grey coat made him a very striking presence in the show ring and he brought home a lot of ribbons.  He had a huge stride and could almost walk down the lines, and he always went around with his ears pricked forward and wearing a happy expression. He really enjoyed being a show horse.  
 Lighty enjoying retirement

grazing with his friend Chili

hanging out in the woods with his friend Johnny
being goofy with Johnny

Although Lighty was a laid back guy and always looked like an easy ride, as with any horse he did require a certain amount of skill to ride him.  He was so laid back that he required a lot of leg, and his mom said you always had to watch his left sided drift.  His mom said his canter was very, very comfortable and easy to sit which made him a lot of fun to ride when combined with his cooperative personality.  One thing Lighty did not approve of was puddles in the show ring.  Although like all grey horses he loved to roll in mud and get as dirty as possible he definitely objected to being ridden through puddles.  If there was a puddle in the ring Lighty would make his own bending line to the next fence, and his mom said there was little you could do about it.  As laid back as he was about everything else you really couldn’t complain about his objection to puddles!

I think Lighty probably doesn’t miss the show ring, his retired life is pretty nice

napping with Alex and Darby
playing with B-Rad
Lighty won many championships in the Adult Hunters at the “A” shows with his mom’s friend riding.  At his last horse show at Horse Shows by the Bay in Traverse City he won every over fences class. He was Grand Adult Hunter Champion out of all the sections at that show.  Although his mom did not know it at the time that turned out to be his last horse show. Lighty went out on top.

Johnny and Lighty on the run

Africa and Lighty

Lighty and friends having a relaxing day

The year Lighty was retired he began having an occasional small trip.  He was tested and treated aggressively for EPM and also had his neck and back worked on.  He was back in work and going well until one day when his trainer was schooling him over some fences.  Lighty jumped an oxer in beautiful form, but when he landed his front legs buckled and he fell halfway down on the landing side of the jump.  Luckily neither Lighty or his trainer were hurt.  There were more vet visits and various treatments and Lighty seemed to get better again.  However when he was started back to work at the canter he had another tripping incident and his mom knew it was time to retire him.  None of the many treatments had worked and of course she did not want Lighty or anyone else getting hurt.  He was 13 when he retired and traveled to our farm to join his “brother” Renny who was already retired with us.  
Lighty and Alex having a good roll

Lighty looking stunning as he gallops across the pasture
Lighty has been retired with us for a year and a half now. His transition into retirement was very seamless.  Some new arrivals need a lot of help as they need to learn how to interact with other horses and how to be a horse. Lighty was not one of those horses.  When Lighty arrived he walked off the trailer like he owned the place, and nothing much has changed since that day!  As you can see from his retirement pictures Lighty has made the most of retirement and thoroughly enjoys spending his days doing whatever he wants whenever he wants.  
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Lighty a little bit better!