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Mid-Life Blooming

Mustahevonen Taisto FP70125G

Townend Rheged x Midnightvalley Wild Rose

While many horses at 16 years are starting to wind down, Mustahevonen Taisto (Royce) was about to start a whole new journey. In the summer of 2016, Royce emerged out of a 2yr. holding pattern while his human struggled through a divorce then needing a new home. In his earlier years, he lived his days as a solid trail horse who was trained and tested in search and rescue. Divorce is not only life changing for people, but for their beloved animals as well.

Finally moving on, Royce joined teenager Nora, a beginning budding equestrian who had dreams of jumping and running on beaches. One would think, for a beginner with such big ideas, the best option would be an experienced mount who has a record of doing well with youth. Nora’s family took the route of wisdom by doing a lease/option before making a permanent commitment. During the lease period, Royce proved temperament, personality, and sensibility were fitting. Onward begins the journey of pony club, lessons in horsemanship, and skill building together. We asked Nora a few questions about her life with Royce.

FPC: What is the basic timeline of the work you have done together?

Nora: I leased Royce in 2016 and proceeded to buy him in 2017. We have been doing eventing since 2018 and dressage since 2019.

FPC: What are the most challenging things you do with him?

Nora: We recently moved up to novice level eventing, and cross country day is always a big challenge for us. It takes a lot of work to maintain an appropriate gallop for the full five to six minute course especially with his size and build. Although it is challenging we both love the work, and I smile every time I point him at a jump and feel him latch on, his little ears pointing at our next target.

FPC: What are the most significant accomplishments you have made with him?

Nora: Our biggest accomplishments have been going to eventing shows and clinics and having fun (doing them). In a sport dominated by thoroughbreds and warmbloods I believe it is extremely valuable to support each horse and rider combination regardless of breed and skill level. So many people stop to ask about him whenever we are out in public, and he is always willing to show off for an audience what a non traditional event pony can do!

FPC: Tell us about his best skills, personality and temperament.

Nora: Royce is extremely willing and always tries his heart out at whatever I ask of him. He is also super versatile and enjoys many activities from prancing around the dressage court to following my step dad on his mountain bike for a trot through the woods. Royce can be very skeptical and inquisitive. He likes to thoroughly assess each situation before acting and always has an opinion on the subject. He is very self sufficient and independent but is always down for some good ear scratches. He is a fantastic emotional support pony and has mentored many babies (as well as) anxious sport horses attending their first horse shows. He also does well as being a pasture buddy for his old, half blind (retired) friend Gently.

FPC: What goals do you have set for the future?

Nora: I hope to continue eventing for as long as he stays happy and capable before retiring him as a liberty and trick pony.

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