Well Known Horse Loved By All - Clyde Sleepy Hollow
Have you ever owned a horse that everywhere you went, everyone recognized? No, he's not a famous race horse. Nor has he been in the movies or the Grand Prix. This is your plain old grade horse, unpapered and unregistered. He is CLYDE. Clyde (his barn name) is a 14.1 hand, buckskin pony that everyone, young and old, love. At shows he is known as "Clyde Sleepy Hollow" and the name fits him to a tee. Let's start from the beginning.
My son and daughter grew up on our horse farm in Eastern Pennsylvania. They came up to the barn with me daily to take care of the horses since they were born. (My son, my firstborn, actually rode before he was born. Maybe that's why he has a passion for horses as wll as his first daughter.) In their younger years, I ponied them on my horse, Chanty. They had a blast! Upon my son and daughter reaching the age of 6 or 7, I was bugged about getting a pony. Not wanting to have the chore of another horse to take care of, being the oldest, my son had to take care of my horse for 1 year (feeding, grooming, etc.), no matter what. The only exceptions being: 1) school or after school activity or 2) illness. (My daughter went through the same routine when she was the same age.) Needless to say, they both completed the task because they were serious about getting a pony. Now came the time to find that "special" pony.
When I shop for a horse, I never take any money with me on my first visit. I always figure it will take time to find the right horse I am looking for. Not so with Clyde. I found out by word of mouth about a good pony for sale on a private farm that the kids had outgrown. When I saw Clyde, he was just standing there, without a care in the world. He didn't flinch when he was ridden. Here was a dead quiet horse that kids would be able to learn on and get confidence on him. (Hence, the show name "Clyde Sleepy Hollow.) I knew that if I didn't at least put a deposit down on him, he would be gone. The only money I had on me was my grocery money, so, guess where that money went. Certainly not on groceries.
Once Clyde was brought to his new home on our horse property, he settled right in. He was put into the field with my horse, Chanty. Now, Chanty was the top horse of the herd at the time. So, here's Clyde, just munching away, minding his own business and Chanty comes trotting up to him, figuring he will put this newcomer into his place. Boy, was he wrong! Clyde just turned around and stared at him with his ears flat back and Chanty, at that point backed off as if to say "OK, your the leader now". That went a lot easier than anyone would have figured. No fighting.
Clyde was the type of horse that the only thing that interested him was food. He was happiest when he was eating. Anytime a child rode him and they weren't paying attention to him, he decided to take off to, you guessed it, the nearest source of food. I never had to worry about him running off into the next county or having him spook. He never had a worry in the world.
I started giving riding lessons to beginners and every child loved him. His stall was always decorated with drawings that the children made. Even though he ran off to eat while they rode him, they still loved him. Even the adults loved Clyde. He was the same at shows as he was at home. Just stood there without a worry in the world. Nothing bothering him. Except for once. This was after I had sold him to a family with a daughter learning to ride and take care of horses. He was brought over to a pasture with alpacas in it. Clyde got so wide eyed, that he fought the handler to get away. The handler just finally let go and Clyde took off as far from the alpaca's as possible. He didn't want anything to do with them.
I sold Clyde when he was about 20 years old and my kids had outgrown him. All that came to look at him like him, but were worried about him passing on within a short time. If you know Clyde, you will agree that he will live for a looooonnnngggg time. Someone finally decided to buy him for her daughter, figuring that by the time her daughter outgrew him, it would be his time to go. WRONG. At 27 he was still looking good and going strong. He even did low level jumps and his usual tricks. He really didn't look his age.
Clyde fully retired at 32. When I last heard about him several years ago, he still looked good. He was mostly in the pasture and, once in a while, ponied the grandchildren around the property. He had a very good home and well taken care of. I don't know if Clyde is still alive, but I am sure if he is, he is well into his forties. Everyone that has come in contact with Clyde during his lifetime, miss him. He is the best pony any one could ask for. It would be hard to find another like him. There are so many stories I could tell you about him. Maybe in one of my future postings I will tell you more.
Brigita McKelvie is a REALTOR® (Pennsylvania License #RS297130) with Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, specializing in rural and horse properties and farms in Eastern Pennsylvania. She has an e-Pro® (Certified Internet Expert) certification and a GRI (Graduate, REALTOR® Institute) designation.
Brigita McKelvie, REALTOR
Pennsylvania License #RS297130
Rural and Horse Properties and Farms
Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, Ltd.
The Premier Equine and Country Real Estate firm serving Eastern Pennsylvania from back yard operations to world class equestrian facilities.
Use a REALTOR with "horse sense" that doesn't horse around when it comes to horse properties.