Meet Moe, a Hanoverian gelding who joined us for retirement
five years ago. Moe was bred and born in Argentina. They don’t know at exactly
what age he was imported to the U.S., but they do know he competed in dressage
for several years with his first U.S. owner and did very well. His next owner
rode him in the hunters and equitation, but they had multiple horses and Moe
was simply one of many horses in the barn.
Moe and his future mom crossed paths when she was on the
search for her next mount. Moe’s mom had started riding as a child and her
first horse was a small horse named Roger that she showed in short stirrup and
in 11 and Under Equitation classes.
Eventually Moe’s mom outgrew Roger both from a size and ability
perspective. Roger went on to a new young rider to show them the ropes, and Moe’s
mom began searching for her next horse.
Moe and his mom
Moe was actually the first horse his mom tried when she
started her horse search and she loved him from the first ride. She tried more
than a dozen other horses after trying Moe as her trainer felt it was important
to explore all of her options. However, none of the other horses felt as
perfect as Moe, and he and his mom became a team in the fall of 2008.
Moe and his mom
Moe and his mom spent the rest of that fall and winter
getting to know each other. Although  Moe
was never a push button type of ride, he was very forgiving of his new young
rider’s mistakes. The one thing she learned about Moe every early on was that
he didn’t enjoy being ridden on a loose rein. He liked his rider to have some
contact with his mouth and a supportive leg. If she cantered up to a jump and
just threw the reins at him it wasn’t going to happen, and she learned that
winter that she couldn’t throw her contact away and she had to be more than a
passenger on the way to a jump.
Moe and his mom hanging out at home
Moe and his mom started our showing in the hunters and
equitation. When they ended up changing trainers and moving to a new barn she
spent hours and hours focusing on and re-learning the basics. This helped her
learn how to truly ride Moe, and at that point they became a force in the
equitation ring. They won both over fences and on the flat in the equitation
ring.  As their successes in the
equitation ring multiplied, they began also competing in the jumpers to
complement the equitation. They rode the jumper courses as if they were harder
equitation courses, and ended up having some wins and earning a few
championships in the jumper ring as well.
Moe and his mom studying their course at a show
During the off season in the winter Moe would sometimes go
into “beast mode.” He would start a ride very mellow and very quiet, but the
moment he decided his mom had used her leg a bit too strongly he would turn
into a racehorse. At one point Moe seemingly out of the blue decided that
flower boxes with pink flowers were the devil. Moe’s mom ended up making her
own flower boxes, stuffing them with pink flowers, and taking them everywhere.
He stood next to the pink flower boxes in the cross ties, they used them
schooling at home, and they toted them to the warm-up ring at horse shows. One
day, after months of lugging Moe’s pink flower boxes around with him, he decided
pink flower boxes were fine again and never looked twice at another one.
Moe being unbraided by his mom at a horse show
Moe’s stall was was located next to the main cross tie area
at the barn and he was always happy to interact with everyone and beg for
treats. His favorite treats included freezer pops in the summer, soft
peppermints and his absolute favorite, Sonic tater tots. One time his mom’s
trainer was having chicken nuggets for lunch outside Moe’s stall and he kept
begging for one, so she gave him a chicken nugget. Moe loved it, and he wanted
another one.
Moe and his mom
Towards the end of their showing days together Moe and his
mom were competing in the year-end medal finals for her local hunter/jumper
association. When the class started, the in-gate peron asked who wanted to go
first. Moe’s mom and her trainer looked at each other, and her trainer told her
to follow her plan and go for it. Moe and his mom went in first and had the
best course they ever did together. Despite the handicap of going first, when
all of the qualified riders had completed the first round Moe and his mom were
called back on top for the testing of the top four riders. They went last in
the test as they were in first place. The jumped the second course perfectly
and were at the final element of the test, which was three lead changes to be
performed either through the walk or the trot. Their first two changes were
perfect from the trot. Then it was time for the final thing, the third change.
Moe’s mom got nervous and accidentally picked up the same lead again. Moe and
his mom still ended up in third place overall, but she never forgot the feeling
of that perfect first course they rode together.
Moe taking in the sights at a horse show
Shortly after that class Moe began exhibiting some
intermittent lameness. They gave him six months off to rehab. He came back
sound but when they started showing again he didn’t have his usual  joy in the ring anymore. They dropped him
back down to some easier classes and he once again became happy to go in the
ring, but eventually the lameness returned. At that point they decided to
retire Moe rather than continue to push him. He had done everything his mom had
asked of him, and they wanted him to retire while he was still sound and
healthy enough to enjoy his time.
Meo and his mom going for a ride on a snow day
Five years ago we met Moe. I went and picked up Moe myself
as he came from our local area. His family was a little worried about Moe
settling into being part of a family group as Moe had a history of being very
shy and submissive with other horses and something of a loner. Moe was very shy
and submissive for a couple of days, but it was short lived and he quickly
became a happy member of the group we call the Big Boys. He quickly learned to
love running, playing, grooming and being a Big Boy. He also quickly became
very herd bound, and any notions Moe had of being a loner were soon forgotten. Moe doesn’t do anything alone.
Moe and his mom
We are excited to share Moe’s story with you after five years, and we hope you have enjoyed getting to know him as much as we have!
Moe grooming with Levendi
Tony, Homer and Moe
Moe and Homer
Levendi and Moe
Hemi and Moe
Homer and Moe
Levendi and Moe
Moe and Levendi
the first picture I took of Moe five years ago
Moe on the run
Levendi,Homer and Moe
Moe and Grand
Levendi, Tony, Moe, Homer and  Elfin
Moe and Thomas
Moe and Leo
Trigger and Moe
Baby and Moe being wild things
Levendi, Moe and Homer
Homer and Moe
Homer and Moe being silly with their tongues
just another day in retirement
Moe and the other Big Boys found something to stare at
Thomas, Moe and Apollo
Levendi, Moe and Homer
Moe knows how to get dirty; he has the grey horse gene
Moe and Levendi
Trigger and Moe
Levendi, Moe and Trigger
Apollo and Moe
Chance, Levendi, Leo and Moe
Moe (center, at the gate) and friends waiting to be fed
Moe and Grand being wild on a snow day
Moe and Thomas waiting for breakfast
Moe (far left) and friends having a lazy day