October 26, 2023

Encore's Life Lately

Mr. Encore...I am so damn proud of this horse and his transformation my heart could burst. I actually can't believe how dramatically his personality has changed after two months on ulcer treatment and a teeth float, plus some time, a consistent routine, and a job he understands and likes.

We finally found a bit he likes, and unfortunately it's my Herm Sprenger single jointed nathe that was recalled because it can snap in half, buuuuuut since I won't be using it for too long with him and he adores it, I'm rolling that dice for now

Encore with his owner, who is a REEEEEEALLY good farrier.

It has been such an honor and a privilege to be a part of this horse's story. To see the anxiety wrinkles leave his eyes. To watch him go from so jumpy and anxious I had to tiptoe around him, to being able to handle him like a normal horse, throwing things around while tacking him up and not thinking about spooking him.

He strongly prefers mane pulling to scissors. Who knew? Literally fell asleep for mane pulling but gets shuffly and big eyed at the sound of the scissors.

He's now solidly walk/trot under saddle, reaches for the bit when I bridle him (I had to chase him around the wash rack and corner him to bridle him the first month I had him) and can steer well enough that we can ride with another horse in the ring (anyone that has started a baby can understand that milestone!). 

Spending time at me and Leah's baby tying station (better known as The Wall of Knowledge, Patience and Wisdom) after his ride while I'm riding Connor. He has to be hard tied (with a twine safety of course) because he knows how to untie quick release knots, go figure #cobthings


He's finding activities he enjoys. He absolutely loves ground poles and loved free jumping so much, he went around and around the jump chute, the right direction and the wrong direction, over and over, without any encouragement from me and Mary. No fear in his eyes, just a glowing excitement and honestly pride.

He even went to a show. I opted to take him instead of Connor to our annual Welsh show and truly had no idea what kind of horse I'd get. I expected him to be jumpy and anxious in a new place, and had no idea if he would get on my strange trailer at 6am in the dark. I'm fairly positive it was also his first experience with a ramp, too.

BLESS my barn owners for putting these ridiculously bright flood lights over the parking area. They're so bright we get complaints from neighbors if we leave them on all the time, so we only use them when we need them, but when we need them they are GLORIOUS.

I did not anticipate that he would march right onto the trailer, stand quietly on the trailer for 20 minutes while I found his stall, settle into show stabling without a peep, calmly eat hay all day without screaming once, and trot in-hand like a damn professional in the show ring. But he did all of that, and boy was I proud. You'd have thought he horse showed every weekend, and in some respects he put my own horse to shame with his good behavior, lol.

Full siblings Castleberrys Encore (left, age 5, gelding) and Castleberrys Electra (right, age 6, mare) (Castleberrys Ffafr ap Culhwch x Rhosyr Ebony by Gwenllan Brenin Mon)


On top of all of that, his ability to learn things forever the first time I introduce them leaves me with my jaw on the ground at times. Especially coming from Connor, who had to learn something, sleep on it, learn it again, and then would slowly internalize it over time, the fact that I can teach a new concept to Encore and it's just immediately, permanently installed that very day is truly mind-boggling.

So, he's not officially for sale yet, but he's also not NOT for sale if anyone knows anyone that is looking. He is kind, sweet, snuggly but respectful of your space, always takes care of his person, constantly asks his human for guidance, knows where his body parts are and how to move them, and learns SO quickly. He's sensitive and reactive in a fun way, but never stupid, and will take a pro or a confident ammy in a program very far someday.


  1. aw yay Encore!! so many big milestones!! i think that's my favorite part of the baby horse process, getting to try all these new things and then seeing how they react. sounds like he's enjoying the process too!!

  2. His full sister is Electra?!?! No wonder I like him so much, when I went out to the mare herd I immediately gravitated to her. She's lovely, as is he.

  3. He sounds like a great horse. I’m so glad you treated him for ulcers

  4. I have zero experience with cobs and can't shop right now, but if I were shopping I would be 100% interested in Encore. What a cool guy. You are doing a fantastic job with him.

  5. You're doing such a great job with him! He sounds like a dreamy dude. I can't imagine he'll stick around long once he's officially for sale.