Devon + Mogul
I found my “barn family” at age 12 and worked there for lessons and spare cash until I graduated from college (the second time). I met Mogul there when I was 15 and he was 12. Mogul came to the barn as a new lesson horse. His previous owner was friends with the barn owner’s ex-husband, which landed him at our barn. Mogul had raced from 2 years old until he was 8. He was a true warhorse with 51 starts and about $473,000 in earnings. When he retired, my barn owner’s ex-husband and his friends used him as a hunt horse for about 4 years, until he eventually landed at my barn.
The lesson program would get a lot of “retiree” racehorses and give them a second career, however, in Mogul’s case, it was his third. He was so much fun to ride…even though he had no idea why he was no longer supposed to just go as fast as he could. I was the third person to ride him at our barn, but the first to ask to do it again. To this day he is the smartest horse I’ve ever known. After a month he had adjusted to his new job and behaved like a seasoned pro. The advanced riders rode him in their lessons, and I begged to ride him in all of mine. After just a year in the program he carted a scared middle school girl around a course with flying lead changes (which he never did for the advanced riders). He just seemed to know that she needed a little help. By then, I knew this was my horse.
Mogul would make you work for every jump in your lesson, but was as honest as the day is long. And at shows, he just loved to perform. He was perfect. When he’d have his moments and misbehave my trainer would always tell me “You ride him. He’s never bad for you, you have his number.” It was more than that though, we just clicked.
He was always my first stop when I’d come home from college, no matter how late it was. My parent would joke that seeing him was more important than seeing them. I used to ask my trainer if I could buy him or at least buy another horse for the program to replace him and then take him as my own. My trainer never agreed to it, but a year and half ago I got the best phone call of my life.
My friend had taken over as assistant trainer and lesson program manager. She called to tell me Mogul was retiring from the program at 26 years old. She asked if I wanted him. I responded that she asked the wrong question and that she should have asked when I could take him! I had waited 13 years for him to be mine.
So, in October of 2016 he came up NJ to semi retire with me. He goes out for the occasional trail ride but for the most part is Just happy to run around in his field and demand treats and face rubs. I don’t know what I did to deserve him, but he picked me, and he’s been around half my life while I’ve been around for him for more than half of his.
What #RightHorse means to me
For me, the meaning of the #RightHorse is so hard to put into words. Personally, it’s my heart horse or one that picks me. I think it’s different for everyone though and my veterinary background says that it also means it’s the most suitable for the person and their situation. I’ve seen too many horses discarded or written off because they weren’t suitable for the rider or the purpose they were picked for.