Happier Than A Piggle In... Summer

Guys. I mentioned in my recent goal post how happy I am that Pig is doing well. And honestly, I don't know that I was clear enough about that. Because, I'm downright amazed at how well Pig is doing right now.
The happiest old fire horse.
At the moment he feels just as good as he did when I retired him. He's sounder than he has been in the last two years, and just seems to be living his best life. This is the ultimate dream for his retirement, and I'm #blessed to be able to give it to him.

A few things are contributing to his well-being at the moment:
  1. He's turned out with a group that doesn't require him to be in charge, but isn't overly reactive. In other words, his home life is stable. (heh.)
  2. His old man besties are always on hand, from his older pasture mate to his elderly BFF quarter horse friend who lives next door. He always has another horse he gets along with to partner with in his daily actions, and these have been long term relationships for him.
  3. He's in a comfortable place. He loves this farm, and always has. That makes a huge difference. Right now he's barely handled by anyone but myself or his lessor, and the only traffic he sees is the occasional trail rider hacking by, barn staff, or his pasture mate's owners. For a horse who has indicated a clear preference to be handled his people and no one else, this is absolutely ideal. There are enough people around to keep eyes on his safety and well being, but not enough to make him upset.
  4. Speaking of his lessor, he loves her. She spoils him rotten and has a set of excellent hands that he very much approves of handling his reins. I keep telling him to be nice to her so she continues to love on him. Hope he's listening...
  5. Because of his lease, he's actually being ridden a fair amount. This is perfect, since his old bones require regular work to stay lubricated and ready for action. The more exercise he gets, the younger he seems.
  6. His joint supplements are working wonders on his chronic arthritis pain. I put him on Uckele Devils Claw a month ago, and almost immediately saw him respond positively to it. This pleases me because his background of ulcers makes me leery of going back to daily NSAIDs like Equioxx. Devils claw has been shown to not affect stomach ulcers in the same way as NSAID treatments, while still providing fast acting and long term options for pain and inflammatory response management. I just wish I'd started him on this sooner.
Pig and his pasturemate bestie, another older thoroughbred gentleman of distinction.
Speaking of riding, the old man and I have had some serious fun recently. I take him out for a lot of "dog walks" during the week. This usually just consists of a 20-30 minute stroll up and down the hills of the nearby fields, usually at the walk and usually without a saddle.
Just being the best boy.
I can't tell you what a huge value it is to me having this old man around. He's a wonderful balm after a long work day, taking me for joyful canters in the field. He's also invaluable as a teacher. He is never afraid to tell me when I'm in the wrong, which helps me fix my position and ride Bast more effectively.
I love that his ears are always up when we're working. He's just the most curious of creatures.
One surprisingly tool that's making Pig happy? Tiger's tongue! I found one at a local tack store and tried it on Bast, who loved it. I thought I'd try it on Pig to see what his thoughts were. He's super picky about grooming tools, and I was very skeptical. This is a horse who will break his tie and walk away from a brush he feels is too hard, so I knew he'd quickly let me know his preference.
Wot this?
I was floored when he immediately started leaning into my scrapes with the rough Tiger's tongue sponge. He loves it. In fact, he sticks around for grooming with the tigers tongue without being tied, which is honestly a rarity. This horse is so sensitive that I used to have to tie him in the stall to brush him, or he'd circle around me to try to get away. I'm so happy to find something that makes him happy to be loved on, because I do enjoy giving him scratches and love.

All in all, I'm just pleased as hell with this old man right now. I'm doing my damnedest to make sure to keep him this happy as we head into fall and winter.
Gosh I just love him.


  1. I just got a tigers tongue as well and spicy LOVES it. I feel like it should be mandatory in all thoroughbred grooming kits.

    He looks absolutely awesome back 'home'. it's really great to see him doing so well, he looks years younger!

  2. He looks fantastic -- great that he is feeling amazing, too!

  3. All three of mine adore the Tigers Tongue, too. I love that it's only $6 lol

  4. he looks AMAZING!! dare I say it even rotund!! Retirement (semi- or not) agrees with him! YAY PIG!!

  5. Oh, so glad to read this post! Also- maybe I need to look into Devil's Claw and the Tiger Tongue too! (first for Foster, second for both!)

  6. Awww...you've given him the best life. I love it!

  7. Aww a happy pig makes my heart sing!


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