Monday, July 12, 2010

Time Spent with a Noble Friend-- The Story of Louie

In our ongoing series of stories submitted by our The Second Race friends; we are presenting another story of retired race horse, Alpha Assembly aka Louie.

Alpha Assembly aka Louie “Louis H”
Foaled March 18, 1992 by Noble Assembly out of Alpha t Beata
Jan 98-I had an ex racer named Quiet Explosion aka Expo, I had just recently sold him to a lesson barn and was in the market for a new prospect to train and sell to a show home. And there was Louie registered name Alpha Assembly. Dark Bay, white star, white left fore and white right hind and roany left hind leg! 6 yrs old, about 15.3 Hh kind of skinny but more racing fit. Had run 3 races as 3 yr old. Even had Calvin Borel as his jockey in his first race but in ’98 that didn’t mean a lot to me! I was told be ready to post when you get on him…and sure enough he took off trotting as soon as I swung that right leg over. My trainer had me school him for awhile. Typical race horse, showed promise though. And just for the heck of it I decided to pop him over a small wall…he jumped it like he had done it all his life! So I bought the small bay pony. Little did I know that horse would steal my heart!
We worked and worked, got to where he wouldn’t trot off when you mounted. He was so smart and advanced very quickly. We did well at our fist hunter shows but he just didn’t seem to like it. One day we were having a lesson and were schooling over a 2’6” vertical with stride placement poles on either side. 9ft away from the jump. Louie decided to take the whole thing as one jump. My trainer told me if he does that again we are making him a jumper. Well he jumped the whole thing once more. We have never looked back.

Louie and I took the jumper circuit by storm. Quickly moving up from puddle jumpers up to high child and junior a/o jumpers and higher. He loved his job and proved it by jumping the jumps out in his pasture when he was turned out. Nothing was ever too high, too wide, or too scary. He jumped everything. If I asked he jumped it. I believe he would have tried to jump the moon, if I had asked him too. Louie was my show horse thru high school and after. I was no longer looking to sell this wonderful horse. We could do everything! Whether it was jumping, cutting or just trail riding. In 2001 I decided to move to New York and took Louie with me. I spent 6 months as a working student for Peter Leone and got to school Louie for the grand prix ring. My little Texas bred retired race horse was out jumping many warmbloods! He excelled there, but Texas kept calling me and him home.
Not too long after we returned to Texas I got married and jumping kind of became a thing of the past. I still rode Louie everyday but now he was used as a ranch horse. He could cut with some of the best cutters out there! But he wasn’t as happy as what he was when he was jumping. He wanted to jump more than once every other week! So in the winter of 2003 I decided to sell my boy but with many stipulations to who could buy him! In April of 2004, Michele Moore, a young promising rider from OK came to look at him. I sold him for much less than what he was worth! BUT she promised to always keep in touch, that he would never be sold and that when he retired he would come home to me to live out his retirement. I became Michele’s trainer and Louie and I took Michele to the grand prix ring by that fall. They were very successful. A year later he came up lame, and Michele and I made the decision to retire him. He returned to Texas in the fall of 2006 and has had a wonderful retirement. While he was living at the Frye Ranch he got to be turned out with numerous pasture mates and had the run of 130 acres. But that proved to be a down fall. He needed to be on a smaller place where he didn’t feel the need to try and keep up with the herd, and discipline the youngsters. So I decided to take him to my parent’s place where the 2 of us grew up. When he returned to their house he ran right back in his stall that had been his for 5 years, even though he hadn’t been there in 2 1/2 yrs. He was sound again! He ran and kicked up his hills like a young horse again. He was home! He has had nearly 3 yrs there! We are back together, Michele tells me “He loves you so” I don’t regret selling him; he gave me my best friend, Michele. Louie has changed my life so very very much. I owe that horse my life.

As I’m writing this I have had to make the most dreaded decision a horse owner can make. I have made the decision to put my best friend of 12 yrs down. He is hurting, he can no longer run or play. My grandson of secretariat will soon go to be with God. My heart is already breaking but I know it’s the best thing I can do for him. He has had a forever home and has been spoiled these past few years. He is the love of my life. And I have found another OTTB named Missn Suesann “Susie” She reminds me a lot of Louie. Bay, white star about 15.3Hh….I hope to be in for another wonderful ride!
It’s been over 12 years since I looked at that star and diagonal whites and what a ride it’s been!!!

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