A Special Remembrance

A few weeks ago we lost a special horse who made an impact on the barn and everyone in it. Everyone took a few minutes to remember such a special horse with their memories of him-

“Even though I have spent numerous hours at the barn for my daughter, Audrey, I am not a “horse person.” That being said, Stallone easily won me over with his puppy dog, loving, personality. He was such a gentle giant and incredible to watch.” - Renee

“I am so glad I had the opportunity to ride Stallone. He was such an amazing horse and he was so enjoyable to ride and be around. I’m so glad I got to go to my first jumper show on him. Everyone loved him and we will miss him!” - Malia

“My favorite memory of Rocky is when he helped me successfully clear 5 ft. I love this memory because he made it feel so easy. I miss him because he was able to cheer you up and make you so happy so quick.” - Emma

“Our first impression of Stallone was as we were pulling into the barn and saw this petite woman on this huge horse who proceeded to canter around the arena in what can only be described as an Olympic level uphill balanced canter that took our breathe away. Then we were introduced to this gentle giant who left nothing but positive impressions on those who knew him. A true equine ambassador of the highest caliber.” -Lynda & Sharesa

“When I think of Stallone, I think of the horse that I had to stop and say hello to every time because no matter what mood I was in he was always ready to be loved on and hugged and would make me feel so much better. At the last show we went to he was so sweet he would put his head on my shoulder and let me play with his mouth (and pick his nose.) He made the day go by quicker! He was so intelligent and just an all around amazing horse!!!” -Felicity

“My favorite memories of Stallone are watching him and Phin together. I loved how he doted on Phin and brought my little guy under his wing. The moment I saw them both “baby mouth” at each other I knew Phin would be perfectly happy in his new home! Seeing the two of them side by side-the biggest and the smallest horse on the farm-always made me smile. I will forever be grateful to Stallone for being Phin’s first friend since our move to Verden.” -Kristina

“When I think of Rocky I remember him like a big dog, he was so cuddly and sweet and everyone at the barn loved him, even though he was the biggest horse at the barn all he wanted was love and attention.” -Audrey

“The moment you sat on Stallone, you knew you were riding at another level. You could see his talent and grace in every step. He carried me over the biggest fences I’ve ever jumped- a triple combination at 5’11- and made me famous. He never once hesitated. He had enough bravery for both of us. Words cannot describe the gift that Stallone gave me that day.” -Lindsay

“I always thought it was so cute that Stallone was such good friends with Garth, it was kind of like he was protecting him because he was so much older and smaller than the other horses.” -Reece

“My job revolves around caring for Verdens horses. I’m always on the lookout for problems. Cuts, lameness, loose shoes. Rocky had his fair share of cuts and loose shoes but what I keep an eye on moreso is horses that act up. And I deal with a good number of horses that have their own quirks that could turn into problems given the right circumstance. Rocky was one of the few horses that I did not have to worry about. I never had to worry about which other horses can I put Rocky with. Rocky got along with all horses. I never had to keep an eye on Rocky while he was being handled. Rocky was patient with those that worked with him. In a way, my job is all about looking for problems. Rocky was not a problem, and so I took him for granted. I never thought about him, never had too. I could rely on Rocky. Old geldings- put them with Rocky, adjacent mares in paddocks-Rocky can be next to them, baby horses- put them with Rocky. He never lashed out on his handlers. He never mistreated the other horses. Those who were knowledgable enough to ride him over the big fences couldn’t be safer. I’ve been told that out there he’d actually look out for you. You never realize how much you depend on a horse until they pass. I could tell you, in life, we yearn for admirable traits. Things like bravery, reliability, patience, and integrity, to name a few. The few I named Rocky, though being only a horse, seemed to possess in such an unassuming manner that it was easy to overlook. Unless you’ve worked with him that is. Then it was, beyond his great capacities as a show horse which most people saw first, easy to see that he was truly a very special horse. I miss Rocky. His absence is still felt. I imagine it will be for some time.” -Rocque

“Stallone was something different. He could go from jumping Grand Prix, to carrying a beginner around. He was the horse you could close your eyes on and he’d safely take you to the other side of the fence. He helped many riders, including myself, learn the big fences. For as big as he was, he was as gentle as they come. He had a big goofy, clumsy personality. You couldn’t walk past him without saying hello or playing with his big floppy lips. It was a gift being able to work with him. He was breathe taking to watch. Stallone was the real deal. He was gentle, graceful, beautiful, athletic, and so lovable! I’ll forever miss his little whinny every morning during feeding.” - Abby

RIP Stallone. You are forever missed!