Celebrating My First Year with “Bubba”

OTTB Lynn's Vision opens his eyes to a more exciting life after racing

OTTB Lynn’s Vision opens his eyes to a more exciting life after racing

A year ago today, I stood in the driveway at Bits & Bytes Farm and fell in love with a small, plain brown race horse. Lynn’s Vision aka Bubba – perfection. He was that first day and a year later, perfection is only topped off with whip cream and a cherry on top. I love Bubba and every minute getting to know this little character.

Bubba is a prize. He never shies, spooks, scoots, bucks (when you’re riding) or rears. He will go anywhere you ask – across the creek, over a large sheet of plastic, between narrow spaces. He stands perfectly still while I mount and waits to move when I say go. He’s been like this since our first ride – the day after his last race. Anything I ask of him, on the ground or riding, I hear him say “ok, that’s cool”!

He has a beautiful long mane and forelock and I refuse to have them pulled. I know it’s unseemly for a Thoroughbred, but Bubs and I don’t care. He stretches like a cat in the cross ties – so deeply, his chest is only a foot or two off the ground. Elizabeth taught him to bow in about 10 seconds. He is careful to not step on the barn cats and dogs. He will do ANYTHING for a carrot. He’s extremely smart in a quiet way – which is his way and his nature.

Melanie will draw your pet's portrait - you name the price you can pay.

Melanie will draw your pet’s portrait – you name the price you can pay. Melanie wants your pet’s special story to appear on her Web site: petportraitsatyourprice.wordpress.com

Melanie is quite talented as an artist. She helps update this Web site and she has three Web sites of her own: www.melanieeberhardt.com
eberhardtworking.wordpress.com and the newest Web site: petportraitsatyourprice.wordpress.com

Bubs does have his issues. He’s very sensitive to someone being mean or abrupt with him – horse or people. He will pout something awful. He has crushes on a handful of horses at Bits & Bytes Farm, but others don’t even warrant a glance. He is a committed cribber and doesn’t mind wearing a collar which only mitigates his determination. When he gets a little anxious riding, he will chew on his bit – if they had horse bubble gum, he’d never be without.

One time, someone else tried to ride him and Bubs would have none of it. He had a tantrum, backing, spinning, ears pinned, hateful glares while they tried to mount. It was a startling contrast to my experience – but the guy has lines in the sand that are not to be crossed! While that behavior was dreadful, I appreciate that he has an opinion. To me it means he’s thinking about stuff and that’s the kind of horse I want for my riding partner.

He’s been a super patient teacher as I learn to ride better and with softer hands. And he makes progress with every work out as he transitions from a forward race horse to a settled sport horse. His riding protests are minimal and less and less frequent. And in those moments where we’re soft, bending and trotting – he floats across the ring so lightly, I can’t feel his feet hit the ground. It’s like riding a cloud.

And I love being part of Bits & Bytes Farm. Elizabeth and Barry have been invaluable advisers. I’ve had horses at home for 20 years but never been in a barn with friends. I learn something every single time I’m at the barn. And Bubba loves a hubbub. The busier the weekend activities, the happier he is to be in the center of it all.

We’ve just started lessons and in the coming year we will continue working on our dressage moves (and learning to jump small obstacles). Hopefully by Spring we’ll be ready for our first schooling show and our first score! I think Bubs has a great deal of potential and we have plenty of time to build on our relationship and skills every time we’re together.

If I made a list of attributes for the perfect horse, Bubba would check off every item. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have this small, plain brown horse – He is the bright spot in my life!

Melanie Eberhardt