Monday, April 25, 2016

Cracker Jack

Twenty years ago I brought this little fellow into the world, I knew the mare I had leased was pregnant only 2 months earlier. What was I going to do with this little colt? Cracker Jack.
         He was orphaned at 6 -7 weeks old and I brought home a young standardbred filly who basically raised him. I sent her off for training and found her a home when he was about 8-9 months old, at which time Maverick came home, a sick, run down 9 yr old Standardbred stallion, but Cracker could chase him away from food even then, they spent the next 14 years together. Cracker Jack was always the winner at the food pile.
        After imprinting him at birth Cracker had basic Natural Horsemanship type training in ground manners, he learned being tied, trailer loading and standing for farrier.
      When he was 3 1/2 years old I took him to a colt starting clinic at Piper Ridge Farm, his education had begun! After that I boarded him for a month or more each year so he wouldn't become home bound. We also continued his training with Parelli weekends, for 2 years. I became unable to ride due to my knees and I didn't want his life to waste away without any form of enrichment, so when he was 12 or so I decided to try to lease him out, first to a trail rider and I checked up on him frequently. One day I saw a wound on his leg and pointed it out to the leasor, a couple days later I went to check on him and found he was very sick with pus running out of a swollen leg and he had a high fever and wasn't moving, the leasor had thrown him in a stall but not called a vet. I called a friend who had a truck and trailer and she helped me go get him, I stayed up all night soaking his leg in betadine and Epsom salts and had the vet out first thing in the morning. Cracker was lucky, he was so close to being permanently lame from the injury, but he recovered fully.
          I then leased him out to a dressage rider, she got him to shows where he proved a good student and ended up moving up a class at each show and pinning  first or second too.
         Unfortunately they never formed a bond and a couple years later  he developed Lyme and lameness, I went to her farm to give him doxy twice a day and saw some improvement but she refused to continue to treat him, he came home, Cracker took his Doxy quite well for 6 weeks and once again had a full recovery.
 The following spring I found , through the friend who helped me rescue him from his first failed lease, another lease, this was a young girl in 4-H , in a horsey family. Wow has it been almost 4 years! Cracker found a girl to love him, and though they had some work to do to become partners, she stuck with him and now I think they are enjoying the rewards.
   I really enjoy seeing the videos and pictures of them together, after so many years of raising , training and protecting him, when I couldn't ride, and wanting him to have a life with more enrichment, I'm glad he has someone who loves him and can enjoy riding and doing things with him.