7 years ago the Batthorse joined the family!
He officially stopped being Batman and became Batt, Batty, Batts, or Batiste if we’re being fancy (or in New Bolton…), or the Batthorse.
His story is a simple one. I’ve known him forever. He came to my old barn (not the one in the background of the picture but the barn at the Phelps School which is no more) as a “5 year old.” Year later we learned he was likely a 2 year old.
His owner chose to donate him to the lesson program because he was too much horse for her and she was going to get hurt. He was quiet, but green broke and she was a dead beginner and learning to steer and post and trot and well ride. So, she started taking lesson on our draft horse that had 2 speeds (slow and slower) and we took Batman. I rode him, he was green as hell (can say I loved him, we barely got over jumps… see the theme? as he’d slam on brakes, duck out, or over jump… It was…not fun. But despite being green and wiggly, his gates were awesome and he was quiet. But, my instructor and I weren’t sure he’d stay.
But, the next day he ripped off 3/4 of his hind hoof and earned 9+ months of stall rest. And then coming off stall rest he was leased by a barn kid wanting a project. Then he entered the program with some “training.” Though still stopped at everything. Poles, crossrails, etc. But, he was forgotten about.
He eventually became the MOST AMAZING walk/trot horse EVER. He could trot for days without spooking or getting too fast or ducking to the inside. Eventually he learned to teach people to canter. He got better with poles and crossrails with advanced riders if he could look at things.
I worked with him a lot when I started teaching and developed a great friendship with one of my closest friend’s Sandra over this horse. She started riding him (and riding with me when the instructors she rode with left our barn) after college and fell in love with him. Now, though all his issues and colics and drama, we both still adore him, even when we want to murder him… But, we figured him out.
At one point she tried to buy him only to be presented with some outrageous figure. When I moved Subi and was looking for a second horse, I tried to buy him, no response. So, I bought Hayley (I loved that mare and miss her dearly, but she was a financial train wreck–though Batty hasn’t been THAT much better with his New Bolton stay).
A year later, 7 years ago today, I was eating breakfast and drinking tea with my mom when I got a text from my trainer. I had JUST finished working for her that past weekend and the ties were cut or were being cut or something. The text simply said, “I’m getting rid of Batman.”
I read the text to my mom. Her reaction? We need to get him. Whether I keep him, Sandra keeps him. That could be figured out later. “Text her back and ask how much.” This was followed by a reasonable price (I’m pretty sure he’d have been sent to someone who would have sent him to auction so that she could have kept her hands clean.) followed by “Buy him!”
As a result, it’s my mother’s fault I had 3 horses. It’s all my mother’s fault. A fact she is very proud of…
It wasn’t the right time for Sandra to take on ownership and then I was too emotionally invested. We ended up with a partial lease situation that works.
7 years later he’s still with us. He’s had some stupid impaction colics which drive me insane including one long stay at New Bolton with round the clock fluids… He’s had lots of trailering issues (including that day I officially took on ownership and he decided he wasn’t leaving the property… or when he wouldn’t leave New Bolton). But, he’s overall a pretty happy grumpy chestnut.
Happy 7 Year Anniversary to the Batthorse! Here’s to 7 More!