Cody: The blue-eyed horse that could…

…refuse to retire!

Cody, my blue-eyed 17-year old paint gelding is returning to me tomorrow, graciously delivered by St. Francis Horse Rescue & Retirement Home in Rosholt, WI, for a hot lunch.

Did I hear Mary Hetzel, president of this well managed rescue, utter a sigh of relief and a remark such as ‘good riddance’? Surely not. (ehem) Mary loves Cody and has fond memories of his earlier days at St. Francis, when he was a rescue horse, surrendered by his former owner due to bucking problems and always well behaved on the pasture.

Cody the blue eyed paint horse
Cody at St Francis in 2005

In 2007, looking for a horse for me to ride on pleasure trail rides, I had found Cody on Simultaneously I had found Bell Valley Yank, a tall dark bay Standardbred, through ASAP, a Standardbred rescue. I adopted Yank, but – after several visits to Saint Francis just to ‘look’I adopted Cody as well, feeling he was essentially a good guy, whose bucking issues with former owner and following adopters were pain related.

Cody with Nicole
Cody with riding student Nicole in 2007

Fast forward 2.5 years later: Cody was – thanks to Masterson Method™ bodywork and gymnasticizing – soon fit enough to be used as a lesson horse and served as a trail horse for a dear barn buddy, who needed to be re-infected with the horse bug. His physical maintenance involved in keeping him sound enough as a riding horse, however, was time consuming, and I decided to retire him this year, giving him the opportunity to fully devote himself to the ‘care’ (or micro management) of his all mare herd.

When rehab horse Yogi (formerly Jimmy Dean, see my blog ‘The Jimmy Dean Story’) ran out of options and got stuck with me, I thought it a good idea to return Cody to St. Francis for retirement.

Cody – as evidence will tell – did not agree with this assessment. Misbehaving at St. Francis from day one (I will spare you the gruesome details), he has not calmed down enough to be maintainable in a retirement facility with mostly geriatric horses.

For the sake of sanity (Mary and Bill Hetzel’s), health and wellbeing (the other ‘retirees’, who are embracing their retirement and would like to be allowed in the run in shelter every now and then…) and putting things back in order (in Cody’s mind that is: at home with mom and with a job), Cody is returning home tomorrow.

paint horse in pasture
Cody at 'Oak Mountain' in 2008

Yes, it looks like he’s the bad guy here. But face it: If you had any spunk left inside of you, would you agree to move into an ‘old folks home’, no matter how luxurious or how well taken care of you’d be? The energy level would probably not be a good match for you.

Same thing with ‘Ole Blue-Eyes’ Cody. That much calmitude and serenity just didn’t feel right to him. He’s just not ready for retirement quite yet…

Now it’s time to start the next chapter in this guys life. Anyone know of a part time job opening for a spunky old paint gelding, who still needs to ‘get his groove on’?

Please call us, since we can’t call you.


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