This is Jove. Isn’t he gorgeous?
I have always been a horse lover and took lessons when I was younger. Then I stopped riding for a long time in my late teens and early twenties. A couple of years ago, my husband bought me riding lessons at a local stable, because he knew how much I longed to be with horses again. That of course sent me headlong into the path of the horse again.
I realized that my passion had always been horses and I wanted to find a way to recreate my life around them. I learned equine sports massage and Reiki in 2009 and have been doing that work since then. Around the same time that all that was happening, I was given a former 3-day eventer and OTTB (that’s an off the track thoroughbred, for those non-horsey friends out there) gelding by a friend of a friend of the family. I have spent the better part of my time since he came into my life bringing him back into alignment, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Over time, I also became more and more clear about the type of relationship and riding I wanted to do with him. I thought I wanted to do Hunter/Jumpers (since that’s the type of riding that was done at the stable I was taking lessons at when I first met Jove), then dressage, then eventing, then “natural dressage”… now I think it’s actually not necessarily one discipline, but a combination of different concepts and methodologies that fit best for Jove and me.
Jove’s history is a familiar story in the horse world. He was bred and born in Florida and trained to be a racehorse. After 23 (unsuccessful) starts from years two through four of his life, he was sold to an eventing barn. This is where his history gets kind of foggy, since the barn that he evented with for 5 years went out of business. I have been trying to get information from the USEA to see if they can clarify what his career looked like, but that has thus far been unsuccessful.
So after the mystery 3-day eventing career, Jove was sent to Savannah, where he was basically in early retirement (ridden on trails once or twice a year). In 2009, his Savannah owners offered him to me because they felt he wasn’t happy just sitting around in a pasture with two older geldings. I brought him to Asheville in April of that year. He was kind of a mess when he stepped off the trailer… he was underweight and seemed disconnected, stressed out and unhappy. He also had feet and skin problems.
Fast forward two years and Jove is thriving at the Biltmore Equestrian Center, where he lives outside 24/7 with his gelding pals in a gorgeous grassy pasture. We have access to miles and miles of trails, as well as an outdoor arena, outdoor “playground,” an indoor arena, several round pens, and… did I mention the trails? 🙂
Life is good. Jove is an incredible teacher and this blog will feature stories about him, about me and about the people we work with, too. I hope you enjoy!