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Clyde | More Lessons Learned

I was super excited to have him in the city near our house. At first, everything was going amazingly.

Clyde got along with the other horses. We had our first-ever group trail ride. It was more than 4 hours long and started in the city and ended up near our farm and back. Most of it was riding along the road. It was more of an urban trail ride. He did so well, especially in traffic. The one who was spearheading the trail was on a stallion. I think there were a few other stallions but they were well behaved like Hidalgo that you wouldn't have known. However, the stallion leading the trail ride and Clyde definitely had noticeable tension between them.

I forced Clyde to the mid-back of the line which he HATED. I mean he didn't do anything crazy I just had to have constant pressure to keep him in place. After 4 hours of that at the end of it, all my arms and legs were dead. We crossed the river near our farm which was cool as some of the horses it was their first time and Clyde and I got to help lead and be an example to the other horses and riders that: No, the river is not that deep. You will be ok. No river monsters here.

We took a break to snack and the rider leading the trail ride was showing us some tricks. He showed us his horse could rear on command. I thought that was very cool until Clyde reared up. We were a good distance from them but he was copying the other stallion. I mean we looked awesome and it was actually fun but I told him to stop the 2nd time he felt like he was going to try it and he did.

In the following days, I started to practice barrel racing with him. He did not like it at all. He would do it but it just felt all sorts of wrong. I did have another more experienced rider get on him to test him out to see if it was a "me" problem. Clyde ended up bucking a bit on him which was not like Clyde. Clyde enjoyed racing and trail riding. Anything fast with sharp turns. No. I was disappointed but I knew that it was not fair to force him and thought about maybe he just is not the right horse for what I wanted to do. I was thinking about selling him and looking for a horse that was a better fit and taking my time this time around.

I decided to take things slower and do things he enjoyed in the meantime. However, I noticed Clyde was losing weight. He was also getting very aggressive to other horses and to some people at the stables. I thought this was very odd. I use to buy his food and leave it there but I noticed it was disappearing rather quickly. I think at this time I had my first summer vacation since I was a 3rd year nursing student. I decided to feed him myself all summer but he was not gaining his weight back and just seemed overall unhappy. One time I was riding with a friend and we were racing and as we were about to pass them he bit her thigh. I had to yank his reins and smack him on the face and he let go. She was bruised pretty bad and I couldn't believe he did that. After that, I was afraid to go near other horses even if they were geldings.

I complained about his food and weight and turns out some stable aids were fired for mistreating some horses. He was also not supposed to be ridden without my permission since we were paying board but I heard from some locals that was not the case. Another thing that happened was the group of riders I used to ride with had moved on or gone on to other hobbies and we lost contact so I decided to bring Clyde home and figure out what was wrong with his weight and change in his behavior.

I was able to find a new big animal vet clinic. I can not tell you how excited I was to find out about them. Their stock was limited but I was so glad to be able to get any amount of supplements and tools along with medications that were really hard to find. They had 3 dewormers syringes in stock (very hard to get at that time). I bought all 3 and dewormed all of my horses. Frisky and Hidalgo had a normal amount of worms. Clyde however had a ton of worms. He also had so many ticks. I believe he got this at the stables being around so many horses. I finally got all that under control and he started to gain weight again and was back putting weight on. He was also a LOT happier. I also started to teach myself how to do hoof care and barefoot trimming and he was great to learn on as he was willing and his feet didn't need much work. However, I still needed to find someone to care for him when I was not at the farm.

It was easy to find him a new home since he was a bigger horse and very pretty. I had a relative who needed a horse to ride once in a while to one of his farms that had no vehicle access. I thought perfect he loves that. I would not be able to see him as much as he would be farther away like Frisky. It was really really hard to let go as I really liked him. He was a good horse but ultimately I knew we would both be happier. I would still be able to see him on occasions. I spent some quality time with him at the farm before my relative came and got him.

Clyde taught me a lot and he was a really good horse.

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