Remmy is a Dutch Warmblood gelding who joined us for retirement last fall. Remmy was born in Holland in 1998. Remmy is beautifully bred with wonderful jumper bloodlines including Voltaire, Furioso II and Cor De La Bryere. Despite all the jumper blood in his pedigree Remmy always hated jumping, even walking over poles on the ground, and he found his niche as a dressage horse.
Remmy has a very unique marking on his left side. I asked if it was a scar or if he was born with it, and he was born with it.
braided for a show
Remmy spent his first few years in Holland before being imported to Ohio by a dressage trainer in 2004. Around the same time Remmy was imported his mom began searching for a new horse. She had another horse that her niece was currently riding. Rather than have both of them trying to share a horse she decided to get another horse for her to ride. She had never had an easy time sitting the trot on her other horse and she wanted to continue her dressage education. She didn’t necessarily want to go to shows, but she wanted to progress beyond training level, so an extensive horse search began to find the perfect horse for her to progress on.
Remmy and his mom
Remmy’s mom and her trainer searched all over the country for months looking for the perfect horse, including making trips to both coasts. After coming up empty-handed in their horse search they began planning a trip to Europe to look at horses there. A few days before the plane tickets were to be purchased, her trainer (who was Bergie’s mom) called and said she wanted them to look at horse that was in their state, Ohio, only about 40 miles away. It was there that they found Remmy.
Remmy on the right (doing some of his famous rope twirling) and his “brother” Baner on the left
Remmy and his mom on the right. his brother Baner and his mom’s trainer (also Bergie’s mom) on the left
The trainer who had imported him had suffered a very bad fall from another horse a few months before they went to see Remmy. When they went to try him Remmy was very underweight and out of shape. When Remmy’s mom rode him for the first time her trainer said that Remmy was “the one” because his mom had a huge smile on her face as she sat his trot. Remmy’s life underwent a huge upgrade the day his mom bought him in 2005. In addition to being very underweight, when his mom had his teeth floated shortly after bringing him home her dentist told her it looked like his teeth had never been floated. He was also kept very isolated from other horses at his former barn, always ridden and turnout out alone. Given how social Remmy is this would have been incredibly hard on him. Thankfully Remmy found himself with a wonderful new home and he and his mom began their journey together.
What Remmy looked like when his mom first bought him, underweight and a little bit sad. Here he is with his mom’s niece, happy to be getting some much-needed attention.
As she did the first time she rode him, Remmy’s mom found riding Remmy to be pure joy. His trot was was smooth and wonderful to sit. His canter was very uphill and his mom said it took her a few months to learn to ride it effectively, but once she did she loved it. She learned how to ride a First Level dressage test in preparation for her debut at that level at a show. When they were at the show they had a perfect warm-up. However, as she was riding around the dressage arena waiting for the judge to ring the bell, Remmy spotted some horses off in the distance. He decided he would rather be with those horses than doing their dressage test at the arena.
Remmy in the show ring with his mom’s trainer riding
Remmy began passaging his way around the arena and showing off his FEI level moves as they were waiting to start their First Level test. His mom managed to get him back into a working trot but she said she was a bit off balance as they entered the ring and trotted down the centerline. Thus, when Remmy put his head down, squealed and bucked, she came off and landed in a mud puddle, coating her brand new derby and show coat in mud. It was quite an entrance!
Remmy showing with one of his mom’s friends
Since Remmy had a tendency to become unpredictable at shows his mom never felt comfortable showing him after that. However they continued to train at home and her riding continued to progress. Riding Remmy she learned to sit the trot, leg yield, shoulder in, and the start of half pass at the trot. She enjoyed watching her trainer and one of her trainer’s other students show Remmy. Eventually she was able to feel comfortable getting on Remmy and schooling him at a show although not actually showing him. She was sad that it didn’t work out for Remmy to be her show horse, but they still managed to have a lot of fun together and she learned a lot from riding him.
Remmy showing with his mom’s friend Sara
Remmy was also quite the character when not being ridden. He is an expert rope twirler and loved to grab a leadrope with his mouth and twirl it around and around in circles. Once when they were at a show Remmy’s mom didn’t bring his nylon lead because she had purchased a fancy, braided leather one. Remmy soon became extremely unhappy because every time he went to twirl his leadrope it wouldn’t twirl. Remmy was so beside himself that his mom had to borrow a nylon lead for Remmy to use for the rest of the show. Once he could twirl his leadrope again he was his usual happy self again.
Remmy saying “give me the leadrope mom, I need to twirl it!”
Remmy and his mom at a show
In 2010 Remmy began to stumble and his left lead canter got very stiff. It was initially thought his hocks and stifles might be bothering him so they were injected. The injections helped but weren’t enough. In 2011 his mom took him to Ohio State to get his neck radiographed as it was suspected he might have some neck arthritis. His mom knew something was wrong when her vet asked her to come talk to the radiologist about what they found. Remmy had subluxations at C6 and C7 in his neck, it looked like his spine had a “V” in it. Thankfully a follow-up myelogram showed only slight compression of his spine. After having three vets review his records they all agreed that Remmy would be fine to continue being ridden.
Remmy and his mom enjoying what turned out to be their last ride together
Everything hummed along nicely for a couple of years. Then, in 2013, Remmy had a suspensory strain. After several months of lay-up and rehab Remmy was back in full work in the spring of 2014. However he still didn’t feel right behind. After another trip to Ohio State it was determined that the best decisionn for Remmy was to be retired.
Hesse and Remmy in one of their first turnouts together. They became instant best friends and still are today.
Remmy made the trip to our farm from Ohio last October. Remmy’s mom knew that he would have no issues adjusting to retirement because he was so social with her other horse and any other horse he had the opportunity to interact with. She said that Remmy used to spend hours looking out the window of his stall. He would always come to greet his mom when she came in the barn, but the moment she left Remmy was back at his window looking out again. His arrival happened to coincide with that of another arrival, Hesse. Remmy and Hesse became instant friends with each other and they remain best friends to this day.
Remmy did, indeed, have a seamless adjustment to retirement. He loves it so much that the hardest part about living with Remmy is when he decides he doesn’t want to be caught. He loves being with his friends and lets you know that he has no interest at all in being separated from them. Once he’s sure he has made it clear he doesn’t wish to be caught Remmy ususally gives up the chase and walks over for a cookie. Once Remmy is caught he has the most perfect manners of any horse we have ever met, and he will still happily demonstrate his expert leadrope twirling skills from time to time.
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Remmy as much as we have!
Remmy on the run with friends Hesse and Duesy
Remmy and Merlin napping with Fabrizzio and Walden hanging out
Remmy saying to Lucky, “play with me!”
Remy and Hesse being wild
Duesy, Hesse, Remmy and Merlin
Remmy galloping through the pasture with Lightning, Lucky and Hesse
Hesse and Remmy posing under the sunrise
grooming with his friend Hesse
Remmy surveying his retirement kingdom
Remmy, Hesse, Walden, Fabrizzio and Merlin
Remmy, Walden and Fabrizzio
Hesse and Remmy