Former Pets

I was a brat that could convince my parents of any pet being a good idea. Rabbits, chickens, hamsters, parakeets, horses, dogs, cats... you name it. I've had my fair share of horses, I know, I know. It's sad to say that by 23 years old, I was on my 6th horse. It took being old enough and responsible enough to provide for my own to realize the stupid teenage decisions I made. Proudly, the 6th is here to stay at my own expense. Spyder has his own dedicated page if you want to read about him. I posted mainly just the horses and the two others that have made a big impact on my life.

Reebok - Shetland Pony Gelding - My very first pony was named Reebok because he had 4 white hooves. He was a super small Shetland that I grew up riding western thanks to my Dad who grew up with horses working at Garden State Race Track. Little did he know it would be a hobby for the rest of my life! :) A very expensive hobby... thanks Dad!

My first pony
Brownie - Standardbred Gelding (pacer) - Since I knew what it was like to own a horse and not have one, I did some online searching and found a really nice farm in a neighboring town where I could ride (as a teenager). The woman that owned it, Brenda, would let me ride any of the horses I wanted within reason. My dad would take my sisters and I to go hang out there while I tacked up the horse I picked to ride that day. Brownie became the one I really enjoyed riding, and then I kept going back for him. Brenda let my dad know that we could buy him since I was so wrapped up in him. We kept him at her farm for a while, and then we moved him home to our yard (In which my dad made us all help put up the fence). He was pretty bored by himself so I began to board him at a family friend's house down the street since he would be in company of 4 other horses. He loved it there! He was such a great horse and he taught me the patience of teaching horses from the very start being that he was only started under saddle when I got him. As I got into middle school and friends, Brownie didn't get the attention he deserved and so he went back to Brenda's (my Dad's doing, but the right thing to do from what I understand now... not at the time of being an angry teenager). She found him a great home, and he is the reason I love STB's!

Jamboree - Thoroughbred Mare - Jamboree came from a dealer to a friend's barn which is how I ended up with her. She was very underweight, and she was so bleached from the sun it was a sin to look at her. You could tell that someone didn't take care of her, but she was such a sweet horse despite her past. She was worked lightly until she gained weight on special feed and supplements, and was a lot of fun to ride and take over small jumps. She loved to jump, and I found out more about her past by tracking down her old owner (on the coggins) in FL. They had gotten her all beat up, as well. I was really saddened to know that one of my fellow camp horseback riding instructors had her before the dealer got her (thinking she gave her a good home), and she was just as skinny then. This mare had been through so much. I ended up contacting the people that I gave her a home with, and she has passed of cancer (around 2012). I'm sure she lived her retirement in peace.

Shayne - Appendix Gelding - Shayne was a horse from a private farm around the corner. He was going to keep Jamboree company and be my lesson horse, but that didn't work out. We should have known when we went to get him that he was super stubborn, but I was young, a teenager, and I just "needed" another horse. He was ridden mostly western so tacking him up english and attempting to jump was fun. He was healthy as you can tell, and he ate.... a lot. He made me so angry bossing around the sweetest horse just to get the food all to himself. He went to the perfect 4-H home with a bigger child that was a firm rider since I was too much of a pushover for this pushy horse.

Shayne & Jamboree
Blondie - Quarter Pony Cross - Blondie came from my friend's barn, the same one that Jamboree came from. She was a cute palamino pony, and she was every kid's dream. It wasn't the best idea to get her before going to college, but she was too cute to pass up. She ended up going down by college with me while I was in school which was fun, but she was too green for me. I knew that I got her green, but it got worse as she sat and that was my fault. She wasn't the kind of pony you could have sit for a while and then hop on like it was where you left off. Once I graduated, she was back at my parents which was an hour from where I lived. When I got my first house, I realized that I wouldn't be seeing her, she wasn't being worked, and she wasn't happy being by herself. She went nearby to a farm with tons of kids that just loved her to death. She's now up in Long Island as a show pony!

Maggie- Wire Fox Terrier - I left my beloved pup Maggie for last as she was so much fun for the 14 years she was here. She was such a fun, loving dog that would listen as it suited her, and was always up to no good. She was all energy and no slowing down which meant adventures and surprises were always waiting for us. Chasing the horses and breaking her leg, fighting the cat, beating up ground hogs, falling in irrigation ditches, digging up moles, getting her paw stuck in her collar, getting sprayed by skunks, jumping off the boat to go swimming, not listening, running away when she knew we were packing to leave because she didn't want to go, and the list goes on and on. She was some dog.

Susie - The cat... the reason that I despise cats. She was a fun one from a barn, when she wanted to be, but if not, beware! We picked her because she untied my shoe while playing at the farm where we got her. She would curl up in your lap to take a nap and wake up to lash out and run away. Leaving the marks of a devil, this cat was 19 when she went. It was prior to Maggie, and they two of them were a lot of fun to watch. "Where's the kitty?" That's all you had to say to have Maggie go crazy looking for her. She would chase the cat, the cat would chase her, and they would mind their own for the rest of the day. If Maggie went away for the weekend with us, she would come back, and Susie would rub on Maggie like she missed her, even though she'd be hissing and lashing out at her 5 minutes later. She was cool in that I had her so long, but between her and the other cats I've know, I'm a dog person 100%!

The reason I started this blog.

Spyder (RIP 6.7.16) was my goofy bay standardbred pacer gelding that was born on June 4, 2007 in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. His sire is Western Paradise who is up for stud and seems to produce nice foals, and his mom is Little Red Light whom his breeders and trainers still own and breed in Canada. She's a beautiful mare that had grayed out with her age, but used to be "Red" which is her barn name. Spyder made just over $14,000 racing for 2 years with 33 starts - 4 were first, 4 were second, and 6 were third at the pace during the age of 2 and 3. From his records, it looks like he qualified in June 2009 and raced that year until November before having to qualify again in May of 2010 to race through the season until October. I've come to know a lot about him since then!

From what I could gather in an article and from the internet, he went to the Harrisburg, PA horse sale and sold to the Hanover Shoe Farm (Russell Williams who is the grandson of the original farm manager/owner) for $1,000 in November of 2010. The article I read about the sale called him a "Maritime stakes graduate", but that means little to me. He was hip #1686 and sold as a racehorse. This is where I am guessing they tried him out and realized that he was not good (aka slow) or wasn't happy. Hanover does a lot for SRF, and that's how he ended up with them where he was started under saddle.

I ended up calling the number on the coggins to get ahold of the owner who had no idea where he went after that sale. He consigned him through Northwood Blookstock Agency who was said to have sold him when he wasn't around after the sale. They went to get the trailer to bring him home, but the agency sold him before the owners got back to get him.

After getting in touch with the old owner via phone, he called Hanover Shoe Farm to see why he was not still racing and he let me know he was a good racehorse and should still be doing that. He could not believe that I was riding him. They let him know that the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) had him and so he got in touch them too. It worked out because I ended up getting a CD from them, the owner's e-mail, and a whole history of his life along with pictures of his mom and him while growing up.

Spyder at 1 day old with his mom, Red
I'll blog about his young years and the stories I have been told while posting videos and pictures to go along. You'll get to see his scar from getting hurt and this may have contributed to why no one purchased him through the sale. He's got a HUGE scar from being "the devil" as they called him. I'll end with his name and how they got it. Gray is the owner/trainer's last name so they call their farm "Grayland". When Spider (I changed it to Spyder) was born, he didn't get up right away like most foals do. He had such long legs that were cramped inside of his mother so he couldn't walk right away. His "spider" legs named him Grayland Spider - creative, right?
He was always biting people
Don't worry mom, I've got your fly mask.