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Easter Rebellion finds his calling

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  • Easter Rebellion finds his calling

    I have to gush a bit if you all don't mind, but first a little background.

    I rescued an Irish Draught stallion 2 years ago, from a field of knee-high barbed wire in southern Iowa where he was turned out with another stallion. He was covered in rain rot and had feet that hadn't seen a farrier in over 3 years, never mind a vet.

    He was the first foal of my much loved foundation mare Bonnie, bred before I owned her. Bonnie has now crossed the bridge. Easter had fallen on rough times after a divorce left his owner without the means to care for her many horses. The first time I met him (a year previously) he was standing in a stall knee-deep in manure - and when he looked at me with his mother's soulful eyes I knew I had to get him out of there. It took a year, and I paid way too much money for him, but I brought him home the following December.

    Still intact at age 11, he would cower if you raised your voice or moved too fast, he quaked in fear when I tried to pick up a foot, and his flea-bitten coat bore the marks of less than compassionate handling. He was afraid of men. But he allowed me to approach and catch him after a couple of weeks and I slowly started the process of earning his trust. He shared a fence line with my other horses and briefly shared his paddock with his pregnant half-sister until I had to rescue him because she was keeping him so intimidated he wouldn't come up to drink (mares!). I decided that since he was still intact, I would attempt to get him inspected for breeding approval so that his dam would have a stallion son. Alas, he was not liked by the inspectors that year, and despite recommendations from several knowledgeable breeders to have him inspected again, I decided to geld him last December so that he could lead a more social life.

    Eventually he came to trust me enough to let me ride him off the farm, trailer over to a friend's indoor arena, and ride out with other horses. For a green, 13 year old, recently gelded stallion, with a history of neglect and abuse, he has proven to have an incredibly generous character.

    Fast forward to today - his first day hunting. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day here in Iowa. Perfect scenting conditions after the rain we had yesterday (the hounds found after only 3 minutes!).

    Needless to say I wasn't sure how Easter would react to the sights and sounds and horses and hounds very close. But it turns out I shouldn't have doubted him - he was absolutely brilliant - and it brings tears to my eyes to think about how far this horse has come in the last 2 years. When our huntsman Ken gathered the hounds and we set off for the first covert, it was like all of the primal hunting instincts of Easter's Irish ancestors came to life and he just knew why we were there. He watched the hounds working and listened for them when they were out of sight. He stood patiently at the checks and observed the proceedings with a quiet confidence...as if he had finally come home.

    I am so grateful for the opportunity to help this little horse find his place in the world - and I am happy to report that it is in the hunt field
    Ainninn House Stud
    Irish Draughts and Connemaras
    Co. Westmeath, Ireland

  • #2
    Keep on gushin'!!!

    Gush away !! You deserve it!! What a heartwarming story. Puhlease get it published somewhere besides here. Send it to the COTH! Your story should be shared.

    Everytime I hunted my meat auction horse I felt like he'd arrived too! Now I'm hunting my Canadian PMU rescues and I wonder what thier breeders would say if they knew! woooohoooo Here's to us!!! Those who hunt horses who've come from meager beginnings!


    • #3
      Aww, what a nice story! Gotta love those hunting draft crosses! My first hunt horse is Where's Waldo was a free ex-police horse who sat 400 lbs overweight in a pasture for 6 years. After his 3rd hunt, he was loving first flight and when I got promoted to whip, he made an effortless transition. My current boy we found in the want-ad-digest as a "good trail horse" and he is fast becoming a fantastic boy (appaloosa/belgian cross--he's unique looking for sure). No fantsy-pants horsies for me
      It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.


      • #4
        Such a great story! It brought tears to my eyes to read it.

        Of course he was absolutely brilliant during the hunt-- He's an Irish Draught! I've totally fallen in love with the breed. I can't wait until my little one grows up so I can ride him!


        • #5
          Congrats on the hard work and great outcome with your rescue. Here is hoping this is the beginning of many wonderful seasons hunting him!


          • #6
            What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing


            • #7
              I weighed down the whoopie wagon at that hunt, and since Easter was the only gray in attendance he was easy to spot. What fun to see him head off with his new crowd, ears pricked and a little prance in his step, and then later see him hanging at a check in the woods, resting, one leg cocked, listening for the hounds, waiting for whatever came next. He looked like he was home. : - )


              • Original Poster

                Thanks everyone! Here's a pic (thanks SandyUHC!) - the hounds are working the limestone cliff above us.


                I just love my little speckled horse
                Last edited by Waterwitch; Oct. 27, 2008, 12:09 PM. Reason: added picture link
                Ainninn House Stud
                Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                Co. Westmeath, Ireland


                • #9
                  BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I also know how rewarding it is to rescue/rehab a horse, and then take him out in the hunt field. There is nothing more fun than riding a horse that loves his job.

                  He's quite handsome, too! And I'm glad that you made the decision to geld him so he could have a more well-rounded life.

                  He's serious eye candy! I don't envy you keeping him clean, though. I might be facing that this season myself. My trimmer said that Thomas (my $1.00 rescue horse I bought at Rolex) could probably go hilltopping with his hoof boots on. I do want to get the chiro to do some acupuncture on his shoulders, but I think he'd be ready to go with some conditioning. And he's 18 hh, so any cleaning tips will be appreciated!

                  Barbara www.customstockties.com
                  Tulsa-QH; Schnickelfritz-Holsteiner; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH/TB; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten


                  • #10
                    Fantastic story. Bless you!
                    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by Rt66Kix View Post
                      He's serious eye candy! I don't envy you keeping him clean, though. I might be facing that this season myself. My trimmer said that Thomas (my $1.00 rescue horse I bought at Rolex) could probably go hilltopping with his hoof boots on. I do want to get the chiro to do some acupuncture on his shoulders, but I think he'd be ready to go with some conditioning. And he's 18 hh, so any cleaning tips will be appreciated!
                      Aw, thanks Rt66Kix! I remember the story of your guy - what a lucky boy to have found you.

                      Easter is not easy to keep clean because he does enjoy his rolling and particularly delights in grinding dirt and mud into his mane. I tried one of those sleazy hoods, but my guys are out 24-7 year round so that wasn't all that successful and he looked so darn miserable in it. So I am of the get up at the butt crack of dawn to get the horse clean variety. I do find that feeding flax helps the stains brush off easier.

                      Please, please post back about Thomas...would love to hear how things go!
                      Ainninn House Stud
                      Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                      Co. Westmeath, Ireland


                      • #12
                        Me weanie!

                        Lime stone CLIFFS!!! I don't wanna hunt near no cliffs!!!

                        And getting up at dawn!??!!! Ya know, grey horse owners aren't that special....the rest of us have to hide those dusty handprints/brush strokes on our bays & blacks too!!! And the muddy chestnuts! And OMG the manure stains really add up on a paint too!!! And getting up in the dark, stumbling around in the dark & cold, getting totally dirty and trying to down a mug o coffee AND pull on cold, stiff boots!!???? PRICELESS

                        BTW, your child looks fit....and a cutie. You guys look terrific together.....I hate you....I hope you fall off!!! And your stock is so poofie! I like poofie!!!


                        • #13
                          He's simply super!

                          Wow, I looked at his picture and he's marvelous, what a fine fellow!

                          I'm hunting a friend's 5-yr-old PMU baby out of Canada, half draft/half paint, Puzzle, and she's transformed by the experience. From timid little kid of the barn to MIGHTY HUNT MARE, she's figuring it all out. Saturday will be her 5th outing (twice out cubbing, three hunts) and I think she'll be a Real Horse pretty soon. Hooray for the beefy beasts!
                          Nancy W. Ambrosiano
                          Barn slave to Special Edition ("Stretch") and Kipper ("Tiny, evil Shetland")
                          "No good deed goes unpunished."