Full on Feral

Rio is slowly making the transition from show horse to backyard pony. Pretty sure he doesn’t hate it either. He had a recheck with the vet the other week, and together we firmed up plans for his future. I decided to keep him at my barn through December so he could continue getting wrapped for a bit longer, although they will be weaning him off them over the next month. He will be on 24/7 pasture next month and therefore not getting wrapped unless absolutely necessary. After 2 weeks of stall rest and hand walking he is also back on regular turnout and loving it.

Living the life in the biggest paddock

I come to see him often, but my visits revolve around grooming, giving an unreasonable amount of treats, and hand grazing. With his winter coat coming back in and no plans to clip him again, grooming takes SUBSTANTIALLY longer. I’ll admit, it’s been years since I’ve regularly groomed a horse with a winter coat and it’s tough! I am really missing the horse vac I had at an old barn these days.

Last week I asked the farrier to pull his shoes. With a substantial amount of time off in his future, I figured I might as well give his little tootsies a break. I am very lucky that my parents’ property has very nice footing (sandy loam) with no gravel or rocky surfaces. I’m still getting used to this new feral version of Rio, but it makes my heart happy to see him enjoying life as a horse. I am excited to see how he adjusts to being turned out with my old retired gelding and our family friend’s mare. As far as I know, he has never been turned out with a mare. Who thinks he will fall for her? He hasn’t been turned out with other horses in a couple of years. He has always been very social though, so I know he will love it.

I’m getting excited about being able to make all the choices about his care as well. Don’t get me wrong, my barn is AMAZING. The care is top notch. But, sometimes I get a wild hair and want to try a new supplement, or change something about his routine, and that can be hard to do at any boarding barn without causing your barn manager to hate you LOL. With him moving home, I feel a renewed sense of freedom when it comes to Rio’s care. I already went on SmartPak and switched up his supplements just for fun. I have also been researching grain. Now that he isn’t in full training he probably doesn’t need to same feed regimen he has been on.

I have been continuing to take the occasional jump lesson on a lesson horse at my barn, which has been a nice way to maintain a sense of normalcy. I’ll probably have a tiny break down when I have to move my trunk out, but I am trying to mentally prepare myself. That may sound silly, but having my trunk at the barn translates to a sense of belonging there for me. It’s a little space that is mine, where I can store my stuff. In preparation for this “loss” I took advantage of the Triple Crown Custom black Friday sale and for 30% off a large custom gear bag in my barn colors. That way I’ll having something to lug my stuff back and forth with.

Dalton from Kelly Wilson on Vimeo.

In other super fun news, I am going to start riding my BFF’s dreamboat of a gelding some. His name is Dalton. He used to do 1.20ish jumpers with my friend, and I am super excited about the opportunity to ride such a special boy. He is a VERY different ride from Rio, but I am absolutely loving him. His canter is to die for, and he is incredibly educated. Low quality video but high quality boi!

Anyway, sorry for the lack of media lately. I’ll drag the hubby out to a lesson eventually so I can introduce some of the best lesson ponies ever to you guys.

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  1. Glad all is going well in Rio land!! I am glad you can ride still and hope Rio loves it at your parents (heck I would live there hahaha)

    Feral horses are great (Unless you need to groom them hahahah)

  2. It’s so interesting how differently things are done in different parts of the world! I’m from New Zealand and my show horse lives in a paddock 24/7 and I definitely wouldn’t class him as feral haha. Rio will love it!

  3. Sounds like you’re making the best of a tough situation, but I bet Rio will be quite happy with his new little herd and having your mom doting on him!
    Are you going to play around in the jumpers a bit? =)

  4. These changes are so emotional, I totally get it! I’m glad you have a wonderful place for Rio to rest and rehab though. And I’m SUPER glad you’re still getting to ride. It’s wonderful your barn has some nice lesson horses to jump, and even more so that you get to ride that gorgeous jumper! He looks super fun!

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