April 13, 2023

In Which Disco Goes to...Canada

There I was, sitting across from my therapist (a delightful woman who says "fuck" just enough to make me feel like I can tell her anything), trying to explain what riding usually does for my mental health and why I hadn't ridden in who knows how long.

"It sounds like horses have become a job for you. Is there any way you could reduce that workload and rediscover the joy you had in them?"

Joy - 2021

I ran through the flip book in my head. There really weren't any options. It's not like full care board just exists around here these days, with boarding barns folding in droves and the nearest "English barn" a commute that I don't have time for away.

"I don't think so," I said. "I think I'm kind of stuck."

Two days later, I got a message from Lisa. "Hey, do you remember Maude? I introduced you to her at the Canadian Royal in 2019. She messaged me to ask if she could lease one of my stallions for a couple years for her breeding program, and I said I couldn't split my two up and leave them without a buddy, but I immediately thought of Disco. What do you think about that? Take your time."

I didn't - take my time, that is. I replied so fast I think Lisa was shocked. It immediately felt right. Maude is a young breeder about my age with an incredible eye for movement and mind for bloodlines. She's an experienced stallion owner that regularly rides, drives (she has a sleigh!) and shows her stock, and she keeps her horses at home in a brand new, gorgeous little barn she and her husband built last year. And to top it all off, she was actually second in line for Disco had I not spoken for him two years ago this month.

Disco's stall ready and waiting for him across the border

So to recap - Maude gets to enhance her breeding program with the best Welsh Cob bloodlines in North America, I get my horse workload and financial expenditures reduced substantially, Disco will get excellent handling, care and training, and she will show him all over Canada. Everybody wins. Even the co-op wins, since we will save about 10 minutes per shift not having to walk two horses up and down the driveway to the far pasture every shift, or mess with the one field that doesn't have an auto-waterer anymore.

The six weeks since we made that decision have been a blur of contract writing, vet appointments, finding a shipper willing to go from Indiana to Ontario (not many, it turns out) and USDA paperwork. But we finally did it, and later today I'm driving Disco to Lexington for an overnight at a gorgeous stud farm before he'll get on the bus to Canada early tomorrow morning.

It was, of course, bittersweet. But now I get to start planning a trip to Canada to visit him. And now I get to ride my horse.


  1. Kudos for making what sounds like a hard, but absolutely right, decision <3

  2. This sounds like it will benefit both you and Disco, what excellent timing too.

  3. How awesome will it be to see all those cute little Disco babies?!

  4. That is fantastic news - a win-win for everyone involved! I'm trying to open myself up to possibilities as well since my daughter is heading off to college this fall. I have three dressage ponies, but nowhere near the time to ride them all. And care for them. But by actively thinking about it and "putting it out there," I know the right solution will present itself. Just like with Disco. He's going to be an international superstar!

  5. It does sound like a win-win situation. I am thrilled that Disco is coming to Canada. Perhaps one day, I may own one of Disco's kids!

  6. I did wonder - I saw a reference to him online that didn't make sense lol. Sounds like a win win for everyone, but of course now I am going to be wishing for a Disco foal ;)

  7. Wow, that sounds like it is going to be so exciting to see what all Disco accomplishes in that perfect place for him! I sincerely hope that you get to ride more and get back to enjoying horses more again.

  8. I finally got back to this post to make a comment. This sounds like a total win-win situation and I'm glad that it all worked out! It'll be fun to watch Disco continue to grow but also nice that you'll have some pressure taken off so that you can continue to enjoy Connor!