Homer is an Irish Sport Horse who was bred and born in Galloway, Ireland at an internationally known breeding and sales barn. He was born in 1993 and he was bred to be a jumper. Once he was started under saddle it became apparent that he was a beautiful jumper, a beautiful mover, and too slow to be competitive in the jump-offs.
Homer showing with one of his trainers in a professional divison
Homer and his mom showing together; I love her big smile
When Homer was seven he was imported to the United States. The trainer that imported him took him to Florida for a season and taught him how to be a how hunter. When the trainer returned to her farm in Pennsylvania after the Florida circuit she gave one of her students, a young junior rider, the opportunity to start riding him.That young rider was only eleven years old at the time and was in the process of transitioning off of ponies and on to horses.
Homer on his first day of retirement with us; he still had a lot of gray in his mane and tail and on his legs
Homer with his BFF and twin in retirement, Moe
Trigger, Homer and Moe
Homer was good to his young charge, and after a few months of riding him her family decided to purchase Homer for her. That day was 17 years ago, and Homer had found his forever home. Homer was in many ways the perfect horse for a young rider moving up from a pony. His mom said he would jump any fence you pointed him at, there were never any worries about getting to the other side. She said that riding Homer felt like sitting on a couch and that his canter was very smooth and rhythmical and a dream to sit. On the other hand his trot was very bouncy, so sitting Homer’s trot was something you had to really work at.
Moe and Homer
life is hard
Homer leading the Big Boys through the pasture
While Homer really took care of his rider over jumps, he was trickier on the ground. As his mom said, Homer has always had a snarky side to him on the ground. If she wasn’t paying attention Homer would bite her arm or bite her tack. I remember before he came that Homer’s family described him perfectly to me when they said to pay attention around him because he could be a sneaky biter, and that’s exactly what he is. If you turn your back on him when he feels like you should be doing something for him, Homer will sneak in a quick nip. When you whirl around to glare at him he’s often standing there with an innocent look with his ears forward saying, “it wasn’t me it was him.” Other times his expression is saying, “if you had put my feedbag on before his I wouldn’t have nipped at you. Remember that next time.”
Trigger and Homer
Apollo, Thomas, Homer and Moe
Revy, Homer and Moe
Homer and his young mom started off showing in the short stirrup division together. Since Homer had quite a bit of jumping and showing experience already he gave his mom a lot of confidence over fences. Over their years together his mom slowly worked her way up over bigger fences with Homer. She said one year when they were showing at Devon she and Homer were in the schooling ring in the pouring rain in sloppy footing, warming up for their class. Homer decided to give the oxer an extra big jump. He jumped his mom loose, she went flying, and eventually landed in a puddle. She was on deck to be next in the ring so she had to immediately get back on and attempt to wipe some of the grit off of her while going over her course one last time with her trainer. Despite their less than perfect warm up, they went in the show ring and laid down a nice trip.
Thomas and Homer
Cisco and Homer
At another show her younger sister, who was eight at the time, decided she really wanted to show. Their mom decided to put her on Homer and she ent in the mini stirrup division. Her sister was so little on Homer she couldn’t get him to trot. Eventually they were allowed to go in the ring to cluck and help her get Homer moving and they made it around the ring in the cross rail class.
Homer (Thomas and Apollo behind him)
Homer, Levendi and Baby
Moe and Homer
One class that his mom has particularly fond memories of was not an important class at all, but she and Homer had one of their best trips ever. She said it was just an open card schooling class at a rated show, where horses could enter the class all day long to use as a warm up round. She and Homer went in to do their warm up round and she said it felt like one of the best trips she had ever ridden. At the end of the day when she went to the show office to check on the results, they had one the class, essentially beating every horse and rider combination that had gone in that ring that day. Homer’s favorite treat was clementine oranges (and he would always burp after eating one), so he earned lots of clementines that day.
Homer and Cisco playing
Homer and Elfin
Homer on a foggy morning
Homer and Moe
After a few years of showing together Homer started to stop and rear one day after certain events had transpired with their trainer. Once the behavior started happening, it continued to get worse despite their doing all the right things to stop it. In the beginning it was sporadic, but over time the rearing kept getting worse and more frequent. Homer never did it when jumping, he would still jump any fence he was pointed at, but would rear out of the blue when doing flatwork.
Homer grazing on a pretty morning
Revy and Homer
Baby, Homer and Thomas on a snow day
Homer and Apollo
In their last year of showing together Homer and his mom went to Devon together one last time. Homer was really good and won some good ribbons in his class. He and his mom ended up qualifying for the big working foxhunter class in the Dixon Oval. Homer went in the ring and gave it his all, and he and his mom won the class. When she was walking out of the ring on Homer after their big win together, she looked at her mom and said it was time to retire him. Homer had come through for her one more time despite the escalating problems with the rearing, so they decided it was time for Homer to have a life of leisure.
Homer, Moe and Levendi
Homer and Moe
Homer and friends waiting to be fed
I’m almost embararased to say this as I’m just now writing his blog post, but Homer traveled to our farm from Pennsylvania in June 2007 to retire. To say this blog post is long overdue would be an understatement.
a picture from my parent’s farm when the Big Boys had a pond to play in; Levendi, Apollo and Homer
Homer and Moe making silly faces
nap time with Thomas, Levendi and Baby
Homer and Levendi
Homer was everything his family told us he would be. He was a beautiful horse, a beautiful mover, very friendly, and a sneaky biter. Homer was one of the founding members of the group we affectionately call the Big Boys, and he has been loving his life as a Big Boy for eleven years.
Homer and Trigger playing
Levendi, Moe and Homer
Thomas and Homer
Homer, Trigger, Ritchie and Levendi
We have given Homer several nicknames through the years so he probably never knows what his name of the day will be at any time. In addition to calling him Homer he is also affectionately known as Homey, Homefry and Homeboy. He loves being a Big Boy and likes to play, groom, roll, and best of all, eat. He also likes to get his way and can often be seen bossing around his roommates. He has spent the last several years being BFFs with Moe which makes life interesting as they can pass for twins in many ways.
Trigger and Homer playing
Homer, Moe and Levendi
Convey and Homer playing
Homer in the lead
Homer has led a charmed life from Ireland to the United States, and has been lucky to be a part of his family for seventeen years and counting. We hope you have enjoyed meeting Homer!