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In Memory of Renny

We have had far too much practice in saying our goodbyes lately. Sadly we had to do so yet again. Renny, more formerly known as Renaissance, left this world yesterday. He was 30 years old.


Renny and his mom first met more than 22 years ago. Renny’s mom and her trainer had traveled from Ohio to Virginia to spend a weekend looking at horses for his mom. Renny happened to be the first horse they tried that weekend. Although he was still green and his mom was still a novice rider at that point the ride went well. Over the next couple of days Renny’s mom and her trainer went from barn to barn trying horses. At the end of the weekend, after riding many horses, his mom asked her trainer what his thoughts were. He told her to buy the very first horse they looked at, the chestnut thoroughbred gelding. More than 22 years later they are still a team.

Renny showing off his beautiful jump

Renny made the move from Virginia to Ohio. Renny lived up to everyone’s expectations by being a beautiful jumper and a pretty mover. However he was still young and green and could be quite a handful at times. When the mood struck him he would show off his impressive squeal and buck routine. Renny would always let out a high pitched squeal before launching into some impressive bucks. His mom said he often did this after jumping a jump in beautiful form, and she would find herself no longer on Renny’s back.

Renny and his mom hanging out at a horse show

During his early years of showing Renny’s mom had a great friend named Terri who really clicked with the young and occasionally rowdy Renny. She began showing Renny in the adult hunters at the “A” shows. Terri’s experience and eye for a distance combined with Renny’s beautiful jump and movement made them a real presence in the show ring. They won everywhere in the adult hunters and were Zone 5 champions one year.

A portrait of Renny and two of his “brothers” that hangs above his mom’s fireplace. Renny is in the middle.

As Renny gained experience in the show ring he developed into a wonderful show ring partner for his mom as well. Renny’s mom said eventually Renny got to the point where he made her look like she really knew what she was doing. If she made a mistake on course or was trying to ride to a bad distance, Renny would simply ignore her and focus on his job. As she said, although Renny was a handful when he was young he matured into a graceful schoolmaster.

Murphy, Dutch, Wiz and Renny

Fuzzy Punch and Renny

Dutch, Sam, Murphy and Renny

As Renny gained experience in the show ring he developed into a wonderful show ring partner for his mom as well. Renny’s mom said eventually Renny got to the point where he made her look like she really knew what she was doing. If she made a mistake on course or was trying to ride to a bad distance, Renny would simply ignore her and focus on his job. As she said, although Renny was a handful when he was young he matured into a graceful schoolmaster.

Renny surveying his pasture

Sam and Renny

Fuzzy and Renny going somewhere important

Some of his mom’s fondest memories of Renny come from the way he would announce her presence to everyone at horse shows. Often Renny would ship to the horse shows a day or two ahead of his mom. When Renny would start screaming in his stall everyone would say “his mom is here.” Renny always knew when she had arrived at the horse show even when she had not yet seen him and was nowhere near his stall. But Renny always knew the moment she arrived, and he would start screaming and announcing her presence. He would keep it up until she came to his stall to say hello.

Sebastian and Renny

Murphy, Dutch, Wiz and Renny

Renny making sure all was well in his pasture

Renny was in work up until his retirement with us almost five years ago. He wasn’t jumping anymore but he was still happy to go out on hacks. However, during his last winter with his mom prior to retirement, things were a little harder for him. When he could not go out much due to snow or cold he would stiffen up and was not as comfortable as he had been in the past. She decided it would be best for Renny to move him to a more moderate climate where it would be more comfortable for him to be out and moving around more. After being together for almost 19 years it was a really hard decision for his mom to not be able to see him every day. However after he had given her so much through the years she decided it was time to give back to Renny, and he joined us for retirement.

Dutch and Renny

Renny, Johnny and Africa

Renny and Nemo grooming

Renny had a personality that was custom made for life at our farm. He hated to be alone and he thrived in the presence of other horses. Although he and Sam came to us from different states, they completed the last few hours of their trip to our farm together on the same trailer. Renny always had to have a particular horse that he counted on to be his lifeline. During his early days Sam was Renny’s crutch to lean on. After he had been here a couple of months and had time to thoroughly assess all of the horses in his group, he chose Fuzzy Punch to be his lifeline.

Dutch and Renny dozing

Renny and Dutch

Renny napping

When Fuzzy Punch sadly passed Renny had been counting on him for a year and a half. We always wonder how the horse left behind in a strong friendship will handle losing their special friend. However group living truly has its benefits, and as we’ve always seen with other horses, Renny immediately moved on to another horse. When Fuzzy passed he instantly picked Dutch for his lifeline, and he counted on Dutch for over three years. When Dutch passed recently Renny moved on to his second most favorite horse, Murphy, and made him his number one horse.

Renny and Mick

Renny, Murphy and Dutch doing some early morning grazing

Renny and Fuzzy Punch

Renny was custom made for life at our farm. He was wildly attached to his friends and you separated him from his group at your own risk. When he saw the farrier or the vet, if you groomed him, or if you needed to do anything at all with him, his BFF had to be about an inch away from him. If you tried to simply lead him out of his pasture without his BFF, he would make sure you knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it wasn’t going to work. He would scream and spin and work himself into a foamy lather within minutes. You quickly learned that there was no reasoning with Renny, no explaining that you only needed to do something with him for a minute. It wasn’t going to work. He was only going to scream and spin, and he was never going to stop until he was reunited with his BFF.

Murphy, Renny, Taco and Mick

showing off his pretty trot

Renny and Fuzzy

A couple of years ago the state of Renny’s teeth made it mandatory that he had to come in for awhile each day to eat hay cube mash. Thankfully his BFF had to be on this program as well. It didn’t change the fact that every morning Renny had to consider his options before finally acquiescing. If his BFF hadn’t been on the same program he would have refused to participate, end of discussion.

Renny’s mom never said no to anything we asked of her. In addition to having to come in each day to eat his daily mashes, Renny also lived on a daily previcox pill for the last couple of years for neck arthritis. This had kept him very comfortable for a long time. When he needed a new blanket she sent us a new blanket. Anything we asked for we immediately got. Despite his age, the state of his teeth and his arthritis, Renny was round, shiny and active.

However, in recent weeks Jason and I had begun noticing some some subtle changes in Renny. After two years of not seeing them, we were starting to occasionally see some signs that his neck arthritis was bothering him some despite the previcox. Jason and I had just decided that we needed to talk to Renny’s mom to let her know what we were seeing, and that it was probably going to be time for a proactive decision in the next couple of months. Before we had the chance to have the discussion with his mom, Renny took that decision out of our hands.

Renny was clearly not himself yesterday morning, something had changed with him overnight. He was dull, listless, and had almost no interest in where his friends were. We knew right away that despite the fact that he wasn’t thrashing around in pain something was really wrong. You could set your watch every morning by Renny screaming to his friends as he came in. Yesterday he was quiet.

Instead of waiting for a vet to get to us, Jason immediately hooked up the trailer and took Renny straight to the clinic. After some diagnostics the news wasn’t promising. Renny was going to need extensive treatment for a few days and his odds of a full recovery were not high. Given that his neck arthritis was already a burgeoning problem his vet, his mom and us were in complete agreement that there was only one reasonable option for Renny, and it was to let him go.

For Renny’s sake I am glad that Fuzzy Punch and Dutch preceded him in passing. Renny wouldn’t know what to do without one of his BFFs available to do his thinking for him, It was strange this morning not to hear Renny’s high pitched voice calling to his friends, positive as always that today would be the day that the didn’t go back outside. Hopefully he is now in a place where he can conduct every aspect of his life within millimeters of Fuzzy or Dutch. Anything less would be completely unacceptable to him.

Rest in peace Renny, you are missed by many.

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