He may be 22 years old, and the fences may be half the height he jumped in his prime, but Flexible is the same fiery jumper he always has been. But don’t take our word for it—Rich Fellers posted a video on Facebook of him popping over some small fences at his stable in Oregon City, Oregon. Fellers announced the retirement of his 2012 Rolex FEI World Cup Finals (the Netherlands)-winning partner and 2012 London Olympic Games mount in April of last year.
“He feels pretty much the same as he always has,” Fellers said with a laugh. “He didn’t forget anything.”
Fellers rides the stallion when he’s not away showing, and his assistant Kimber Evers flats him while Fellers is gone, but today Fellers wanted to have a little fun with his old buddy.
“I woke up extra early to fit in a ride on him because I didn’t want to throw off everyone’s schedules for the rest of the day,” Fellers said. “I knew he really, really wanted to jump, so this was our first little school, and we’ll do another before we head to Thunderbird [Canada].”
Flexible has a stall with an attached paddock overlooking Fellers’ arena. He goes out in a larger field and walks on the EuroXcizer to keep him entertained, but watching the horse trailers pull out of the farm without him is still hard.
“We had to shut him in his stall the first time we left without him,” Fellers said. “He was acting like he was going to jump out of the paddock to come with. But he’s a smart horse—he’s always been really smart—he’s gotten a lot better about it.”
Fellers plans to continue playing over fences with Flexible when he has time, and Evers will keep him going in between.
“She loves riding him; she constantly talks about how lucky she is,” Fellers said. “I tell her to learn from him and the feeling he gives you; try to get all your horses to feel like Flexible.”