A cold, wet rainy day with no riding. Perfect time to introduce you to Barry, the grey Arabian pictured above.
When my mom bought Sherman, we had to stop leasing an Arabian mare named Gazelle. We continued to ride and care for her, but soon we found out the owner had sold her. My friend and I were heartbroken. We cleaned her up and planned to ride her in a show before she left for her new home. Unfortunately, they came early and we did not get our goodbye ride. At 12yrs old, losing Gazelle was tough, so when mom started taking care of another grey Arab, I was not interested.
|Gazelle, 7yr old Arabian mare|
Over the next 8 months we worked at finding Barry's right lead, harnessing his energy into productive movement and deciding the direction we would go. I had to figure out whether I was going to follow the hunter or go into eventing. Eventing seemed to fit us to a "T." Barry and I used hunter shows to get jumping mileage. We normally drew a crowd because people wanted to see how fast we finished our round. Finally after the months of training and building a partnership, we were ready for a Combined Training show away from home. The pony who had had no right lead, no speed control and the infamous Arab head spin only months before came home with the first place prize. It was only the beginning of a successful relationship.
|Barry and I picture for the Base Event book|
Everything was going great and then Barry's owner told mom she needed to sell him. I had flashbacks of Gazelle. His owner asked for 1500. My dad the negotiator came back with 1350. We were on pins and needles. Our instructor said not to lose him for 250, but in the end a promise that we would be his last owners swung the deal our way. A pony his size could be constantly outgrown and sold over and over again. So peace of mind won the day. At 13 I had my own pony.
Over the next year my parents made payments until finally he was ours. We thought he was 14 or 15yrs old. My parents surprised me with the information that Barry was the same age as me, 14yrs old and actually he was only 12 days younger. No wonder we got along so well, we are both Gemini.
|Trail ride with mom and Sherman and friends|
Considering I wanted nothing to do with Barry when he came, the bond we made was soul deep. He knew when I was sad and would rest his head on my chest. I knew when he was sick and stayed with him through that nasty cold that set back our training.
|Barry and Hansi,warmblood first time at new farm|
When I went to college, I choose to commute so that I would be near Barry. During my Sophomore year we moved the horses to our current barn. It was amazing to see how youthful Barry became once he had grass and turn out. He nearly reverted to the crazy pony we had in the beginning. His training progressed in leaps and bounds. We both came to appreciate Dressage and its nuances.
|19yr old Barry|
When he was 22yr old we noticed some moments of lameness. We could tell it was in the hind end, but not whether it was high or low. We brought out our holistic vet, Joyce Harman to get her opinion. She also saw the lameness and recommended having an ultrasound and xray done. Our conventional vet found that Barry had damaged his suspensory tendon and his sesmoidal.
For a horse his age, that was a career ender. On the plus side, his xrays looked like a horse half his age. Great advertisement for Corta Flex. Nearly a year of stall rest, then limited turn out and I finally was able to walk him around. He would never be completely sound, but he was happy. Retirement was not his favorite, but he still had me so that made up for it.
Barry settled in as a companion pony to an older horse and helped managed the other horses too. Our next challenge we had was Melanomas. Barry always had them on his tail, sheath, and mouth. We rode him in a hackamore or a bozel to avoid the ones in his mouth. Unfortunately, the ones on his tail started changing and growing. We had some success with a product called Nublada's Cure, but not enough. At 26yrs old he developed a tumor that grew from grape sized to grape fruit size in about six months. The melanomas were awful. Messy and itchy. We started to come to the barn and find his tail bloody and sometimes, This is really gross, infested with maggots. Peroxide, a bug spray, rubber gloves and desitin became our friends.
|Barry and Larry, Peggy's husband|
I did not realize that would be the last time I would see him alive.
|Barry always drank soda from a cup :)|
|home horse trial|
I was alone when I went out to the field to say good bye. Barry was gone after almost 14 yrs together not even a month before his 27th birthday. The bond I had with him, I wish everyone could experience.
|His western look|
Peggy and I talked as we walked to where he was buried. We don't think it was a coincidence that he died the day after we learned he could lose his tail. Luckily we did not lose DaVinci too as he was in the same field.
|1st place dressage test for First timers event|
So many people asked me when I would get a "real" horse. Well Barry was the "perfect" horse for me. Barry gave me jumping, dressage and games. We trail rode and barrel raced. I will probably never have what I had with him again, but I am a better rider for what he gave me.
|He had to wear a muzzle too|
|Home horse trial|