In March 2010, the hubby looked over at me on the couch and asked when I was going to find him a haflinger. I paused for all of 20 seconds before jumping online for a very quick search which landed on a small add for a 10 year old Haflinger gelding. We drove down to meet him and two things were immediately evident: he was neither 10 years old nor a Haffy. It didn't matter though, the hubby was smitten and there was no way we weren't going home with him.
Pete has been the perfect hubby horse. From day one, his personality just meshed super well with Dusty. He has a can do attitude for all things under saddle and has taken Dusty on countless trail miles, swimming in the river, over stadium fences and along a cross country course. I've never seen him say no to any challenge.
On Dustys end of the relationship, he has come at Pete with a great sense of humor which has allowed Pete to blossom. When Pete decided he had no spine and was therefore incapable of bending, Dusty just laughed as they cantered sideways into a tree.
When Pete froze in his tracks at the sight of a small butterfly and watched in amazement as it fluttered around for 5 minutes, Dusty chuckled and gave him a pat. I'm not sure anyone else could have brought Pete out of his shell like Dusty did.
Pete even went on an endurance ride with us. He thoroughly enjoyed the first 13 miles, but decided that was about enough for the day. He did manage to complete is last place though.
Dusty rode Pete typically twice a week up until Wyatt was born and then it was once a week. Slowly over time it has continued to decrease. Prior to moving him home he hadn't had any work at all for 6 months and only a few rides total in a year.
He didn't seem to mind though as he ballooned up to whale size and enjoyed playing in the field. Pasture life suits him well. He gets along with everyone and if he can convince his friends to go galloping around and bucking he will. Unfortunately Gem isn't one to waste energy and rarely gets kicked up into a frenzy.
The goal has always been to get him back into work once he was brought home. He is 26 by best guess, but still frisky and perfectly sound. He has always loved exploring the trails and getting to stretch his legs. We actually felt pretty bad about his mostly retired status all these years and figured he would be happy to get back into the swing of things.
Our first trail ride in June he was more than happy to get caught and waltzed onto the trailer. He had an enjoyable ride going at a pace he was comfortable with and we walked when he needed a break.
The next time out he was harder to catch, but still loaded just fine and while he seemed putzy on trail he moved without hesitation.
Well apparently Pete is calling enough enough and has declared that he much preferred his retirement status. Ever since his third, and now sadly final, ride back out of retirement he has made it perfectly loud and clear that he is unhappy. He is impossible to catch now and won't even let me halter him to spray him with fly spray.
He always enjoyed scratches with his dinner and now he is giving me the hairy eye and making sure he stands just far enough out of reach that he can leave if a halter comes into view.
I had him checked to make sure he is still pain free and healthy and he is. I mean I can watch him gallop full title around the pasture throwing in fun bucks and rears for fun. He isn't sore. He doesn't have ulcers.
He wants his retirement back. Honestly at 26 he deserves his retirement back. We brought him out thinking he would be happier with a job but that is blatantly not true. So, Pete is now fully retired with no plans to bring him out again. His tack has been removed from the trailer and put into storage in the garage. I'm a little sad to tell you the truth.
Pete has a forever home with us though and he will be enjoying his retirement playing in the field.