Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Fun

Since our last lesson, I have taken Hola out to be worked on the longe line several times. He's a pro! He hasn't done any halts and turn in to look at me in confusion, he marches around like a good horse and he will speed up and slow down with my voice. It's funny to realize that a kissing noise really gets him to move more forward rather than clucking. I look forward to showing off our abilities to Betsy on Tuesday.

Now for my weekend adventure...

On Saturday, I had a friend come up to visit. We had gotten to know each other through working together with others to help an aging race horse get off the track. His name is Top Bunk and he earned over $575,000 racing and was, at the time running in $4,000 claimers at the age of 11. With the help of many kind, big hearted people on the internet we were able to raise the money to claim him. One of the people who helped us was a canadian folk singer named Garnet Rogers. Garnet and his wife had long ago bought a former race horse at an auction. Garnet turned that experience of buying an older "used up" race horse at auction into one of his most popular songs - "Small Victory." Here he is playing that song:

A few weeks ago, I saw a poster in town saying he was playing at a nearby art gallery literally three blocks from my home. I contacted my friends and one of them could make it to the show. She came up and spent the day in Traverse City. She met Hola and Toby and took photos of us. We also did a little wine tasting and caught a glimpse of the Schooner Festival.

Then we headed out to the concert. As we walked towards the entrance, we noticed Garnet sitting outside enjoying the summer weather and the view of the tall ships on the bay. We stopped and introduced ourselves as part of the "Top Bunk Crowd." He was genuinely pleased to meet us and happy that Bunkie is enjoying life in a pasture with his buddies. That evening he told the audience about the two of us meeting him just prior to the show and he dedicated the song "Small Victory" to us. It was very cool! He even proceeded to tell the story about Top Bunk and how his wife, Gail, and he helped us out. Then he told everyone about his horses and the mare in the song Small Victory. The mare has since passed but they still have her offspring. Garnet's wife is active with sport horses and takes care of their horses on their farm.

Here are a few shots I took at the concert:

garnet at the InsideOut Gallery

He's doing a pretty good pirate imitation in this one. I guess he was influenced by the tall ships...

pirate imitation

And just for good measure, here's a photo of Top Bunk at his retirement home near Port Huron, MI:

Top Bunk

It was a fantastic concert and I highly recommend going to see Garnet if he is in your area. Now I've got to get back into the grind of work and quit daydreaming about the fun I had this past weekend. :)


  1. What a great post--and at last, a FACE to "Top Bunk." I am so happy to read things like this--and am thrilled to have been part of a TB rescue of my own--the handsome red fellow in my barn. His registered name is Echo Dancer (Eastern Echo x Cherry Lady by Bold Lad) and as my "Huey" is working at being MY dressage horse.

  2. Your Huey is very cute and evidently the same age as Hola! I see your other horse is having some lameness issues. Very disappointing I'm sure but patience is ALWAYS the right thing!!
    Best of luck to you!

  3. I love when they come around. TB's are pretty smart though, so it sounds like he's learning fast.