Lucy, my oldest niece, finally had time to come up to the ranch this summer and she, her sister, cousin and I spent a week riding every day. Often, the three girls would leave me behind and take off galloping the miles away. And guess who Lucy rode? Doc! He is a perfect match for her. He loves running through the miles as much as she does and he is blossoming with this attention and bond. He is everything I had hoped he would be!!!
Doc is settling in after his difficult start at the ranch. He is a dear, but clearly needs to have a relationship with someone here before he will be happy. He is very nervous about anything that changes and spooks much more than the Rockies I am use to. But I can see that the calmness and steadiness that caught my attention at the start is still in there. He is just going to need to get use to his surroundings and build a relationship with some of the humans here. I believe that once he does this, he will calm down into the steady, experienced horse I met in Kentucky.
Doc did well on the trip home but had a very hard introduction to the ranch. Visionaire, the other horse we adopted at the same time as Doc, whom he had bonded with wonderfully and was sharing a pasture with, died a few days after we got home. She spooked and ran through a fence, breaking a leg beyond repair. Visionaire was at the barn, across the yard from Doc's pasture. Just after the damage was done, but before the adrenalin had worn off and she realized how badly hurt she was, she raced through the yard, running right to Doc, who stood calling to her at the edge of their pasture. Once she reached him she stopped, tucked her head under his and began to shake. Doc stood over her as we reached her and did everything we could to help her. He stood there as the vet looked her over and told us she needed to be put down. He stood over her as we gave her the shot that ended her life. He was still standing over her body two hours later, when we returned to burry her. I'm sorry, Doc, that you have lost your friend like this. I promise you will find another horse here to bond with and love. And thank you for looking after our dear girl in her last moments.
Hickory Dickory Doc - His name is Old Hickory but we wanted to de-emphasize his age and give him a name that evoked the experienced, benevolent presence we felt he would add to The Ranch. After an extensive, month-long process getting approved by The Kentucky Equine Adoption Center, we arrived Nicholasville, Kentucky ready to meet some young riding horses who could make their home at the ranch. Then they brought out Doc - 20 years old and not really what I had in mind. But he was saddled and there so I got on him. And instantly changed my mind. This horse is awesome!
I felt like I could fly on him. Like he would eat up the ground and run, run, run, without ever making me feel out of control. His training and manners were so good he just felt solid and safe, even while he flew around the arena in a totally smooth gait and beautiful canter. And I could tell he had more speed than that in him for someone wanting to really fly.
We couldn't be more pleased with Doc. He is huge and beautiful and regal. I feel like he will be a wonderful, calming presence to the horses around him and a great partner on the trail for anyone lucky enough to ride him.