My horse Babinda washed out of the US Park Police program (he could not 'handle' being full-time in a stall, and stabling on the Mall.) So he's come back to me.
I hoped to slip him back into my lesson program, but his bad ankles have at last caught up with him, I'm afraid.
I think he should be on a more, rather than less, retirement situation.
That said, he is a fully 'made' trail horse and is completely and utterly capable of another dozen years of leadline lessons and glorified leadline lessons, and even therapeutic riding lessons. If someone wanted to use him as an occassional trail horse (gentle trails, with a bit of bute before and after, I'd say) I think he'd be just fine.
He's an easy keeper, and on that light (or zero) workload could go with just front shoes or barefoot. He's quiet and easy, classy to handle.
The trouble with me keeping him and using him as described above is that, if I use him for a lesson, I'm 'not' using one of my other horses - so it's Peter robbing Paul to pay the piper (or some other mixed metaphor.)
Reminder: Babinda is a 13 year old thoroughbred gelding, plain bay. 16.1 hands high. Handsome, classy, royally bred (still holds a course record at Saratoga -- 1 3/8ths on the turf!!)
His photo is on my website - he's the plain bay out for a day's hunting (in front of a big white house with a man on him.) He hilltopped 2 seasons, lightly, and was good. I don't think he's quite up to that again (soundness-wise) but, trust me, this horse is BOMBPROOF, both through being in my kiddie program and being with the park police. Before the lack of turnout caught up to him, he was doing regular cops patrols downtown Washington DC and was great!!
Teeth, shots, shoes, etc. all up to date.
I signed on for 'lifetime responsibility' so would take first refusal if someone borrows him for a certain situation then your needs change. Don't think I won't take him right back if needed.
I can see him being a (horse) babysitter, a lawnmower (perhaps with some goats or whatnot), a leadline horse+companion, an occassional trail horse+leadline+companion, therapeutic, lawn ornament. Be creative.
Again, Babinda has a lot to teach someone about horses and love if anyone knows of a situation for him. Contact me directly.
Betsy Parker
Hunter's Rest
Flint Hill, Virginia
(540) 364-2929
www.huntersrest.net
betsyp@crosslink.net