“I’m sorry I missed your call but I’m probably out riding Gus right now.” I didn’t get it exactly right but that is the voice mail message that Gus’ owner had on her phone. Every horse wishes they were adored that much! Gus is a Hanoverian gelding who found his way into a family of horse lovers a few years ago. Gus had been showing in the adult amateur hunters with a gentleman who was 6’4″, and I thought his current owners summed it up perfectly when they said Gus was probably psyched when he realized he was now owned and loved by a 90 pound girl!
Gus was bought as the “first horse after a pony” horse and he did his job extremely well. Gus isn’t a small guy and he has a big stride, so it would have been quite a transition going from a pony to Gus. However Gus is one of the sweetest and most affectionate horses you would ever want to meet, and he took great care of his new rider while she adjusted to riding a horse. I’m told that riding Gus was like sitting on a big couch, and that his canter especially was very comfortable and like riding a big rocking horse.
I love the big smile on his mom’s face
Gus and his mom enjoying some time in the snow together
When they went to try Gus there was a big storm brewing and it was perfect weather for any horse to have an excuse for shenanigans. However Gus never put a foot wrong as they tried him. When they brought him home they thought they had truly found the ultimate horse. Not only was he beautifully trained, he had great gaits, a nice jump and a wonderful personality. In addition to that he is one of those horses that only poops in one place in the stall and keeps everything neat and tidy. Perfection in a horse! However the next day they realized he did have one tiny little flaw, he IS a gray and he does have the gray horse gene that commands them to sleep on a manure pile and roll in any dirt and/or mud available.
Gus and his mom
I pretty much had the exact same experience with Gus. His manners were just impeccable the first day and he was so affectionate and friendly and wonderful to work with. And when he pooped he just piled the manure up in the same spot in his stall so cleaning his stall was a breeze. I was like “wow, this horse is perfect!” Then I came out the next morning and saw the big green stain right in the middle of his stomach. He was so snowy white and that green stain was driving me nuts so I scrubbed it out when he came in from turnout. The next morning – big green stain on his rump. So he’s almost perfect except for that pesky gray horse gene.
Gus showing off his nice big manure stain
Gus and his mom showed in the modified junior hunters and were preparing to move up when he sustained an injury. His owners were meticulous with his treatment and rehab but it was easy to re-aggravate the injured area. Instead of pushing him to continue working they made the decision to retire him.
Speaking of showing Gus is used to traveling in style. The barn he was purchased from always shipped their horses on an air-ride semi trailer. The first time they took him to a show they shipped him on a four horse slant load trailer. They said Gus was stomping and pawing and throwing his weight around. When they got to their destination and unloaded him Gus had a very indignant look that said “I travel first class or not at all!”
Gus says “you want me to ride around in that??” Just kidding, that is Gus checking things out on his first day with us.
On to some other fun facts about Gus. He is a treat hound and some of his favorites were Lucky Charms, Canadian Mints and black licorice. I’ve also shared a Kashi granola bar with him (honey, flax and almond) and he thoroughly enjoyed that as well. Gus is extremely social with other horses and loves to groom, play, run and do anything social. He isn’t a bossy horse but he’s not a pushover either. When I was a kid I had a Peanuts pillow case and it showed all of the characters from the Peanuts cartoons and said “Happiness is being one of the gang.” I think that describes Gus pretty well.
Gus being part of the gang and napping with Chimano
Chimano and Gus being frisky
Gus had a seamless transition into the retired life. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know Gus the last few months, and we hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit more about him!