Things are extremely busy for me right now. Fandango is leaving today for my parents farm, where he will stay for a couple of nights before his big surgery. Fandango is a chryptorchid. It is not clear yet whether his testicle did not fully descend or whether a small piece was left. However after blood tests it was confirmed there was something tucked away that was causing his behaviour. Fandango is going in for full abdominal surgery to remove the left over bits on Thursday. There is a great overview of the surgery here;
I have owned Fandango for almost a year now. Last winter I was working at a local riding school on weekends for some extra cash. The barn owner had me riding his horses since my horse wasn't in the city, and he needed the help. One afternoon the horse I normally rode was deemed to be ready for the riding school again, and most of the horses had been worked that day. I asked who I should ride and the barn manager pointed at Fandango and said "this horse needs TONNES of help, he's all over the place, you should try him tonight". Fair enough, I always thought Fandango was Mr. Perfect little school pony because his stall was covered in ribbons and all the kids loved him. It never really occurred to me that I had never seen anyone ride him.
I gave him a brush, tacked him up and headed to the arena. Once on board I went for a little walk around to get the feel of him. Have you ever been the first person to ride a horse? I mean the FIRST time the horse is backed? Where it feels like their feet are attached in weird places and they walk like they were just born? That's how Fandango was. He was like a drunk trying to walk the sobriety line. How weird I thought. He was also lazy, and I mean LAZY. I was pony club booting him and tickling him with the whip to get him to move. Whatever I thought, let's see how the rest of this goes.
I picked up a trot and was bounced out of the saddle. I was really surprised at his spring, but again his legs were like tentacles and felt all over the place. I was seriously wondering how this horse even got around on his own. We trotted by the arena door and *ZIP* we spun around and were heading right into it. Ah ha, now I see why you aren't used in the riding school. He continued with that every time we passed the door at anything stronger than a walk. Every time I would halt him, turn him around, and continue on. Overall, I was not impressed at all in his training (or lack thereof), but he was bratty, and a pony so I figured I could enjoy some time with him.
The day after our first ride I was standing outside his stall, outside. I saw these two little beady eyes staring at me through the bars. He was staring at me! Any time I came in the pony barn there would be Fandango, staring through his stall at me. He very quickly became my favorite. I started riding him frequently, just trying to get the basic concept of forward and straight. However, you have to kind of understand this riding school to get this, but when you start riding a horse there that no one pays attention to normally, everyone all of a sudden wants to ride him. A few other girls who boarded there then started telling me they were riding him here and there, and I saw how their interest in him was peaking. I was getting nervous, because after falling in love with him I was plotting a way to make this pony mine.
I already have a nice eventer, I'm broke as it is, yet I had to have him.
One of the girls at the barn told me she was going to try and find a way to buy him. I was so angry, no one ever paid attention to Fandango until I started riding him. It was so unfair, I took the initiative to talk to the barn owner. He and I were good friends as I did so much riding for him. I told I wanted Fandango and we needed to make a deal. I had an Appaloosa gelding I evented successfully to Training level who was being used as a schoolie at another barn at the moment who would be perfect for the riding school. W advised me if I didn't take Fandango he would be sent to the auction as he wasn't sell able with such a lack of training and bad attitude. I knew what would happen if Fandango went there. W and I agreed on a trade, even though he was getting the better deal, I just had no use for Bobby and since he loves kids, I knew he would be happy there.
Fandango was moved to my parents farm, and my Appy Bobby came to riding school in April of 2008. The first few days were great with Fandango there, but things took a turn for the VERY BAD on the third day, he was showing signs of aggression and intense stallion behaviour. He attacked my dads older gelding and left huge gashes all over his back. He jumped the fence and was brooding the mares. My mother was not impressed, I was given a few days to sort something out. I found a place for Fandango that was a small private horse farm where there were only geldings. Him and Archie moved there for the summer and his stallion tendencies disappeared quickly.
I spent the summer hacking and taking care of my boys. This facility was self care so I spent the majority of my time there. There was no arena, and it rained almost every day last summer, so sadly the hacking was the best I could hope for. However, the hacking did seem to do him good. He developed nice muscles and his balance was improving. I decided if I was going to go forward with him I needed to be sure about his behavior. Was it purely mental? Or was there an underlying source? I had the vet out for Archie as he ripped his should open and needed 20 staples. I asked her if she had a minute, if she wouldn't mind doing a blood test on Fandango. It was ironic because she went on for about 20 minutes how it's most likely behavioural and the blood test would probably be a waste of money and time but if I really wanted it she would do. Well I wanted it!! I knew there was something up with his horse, I just wanted to know WHAT. A couple days later the vet called with the results....