I am going to tell the end of this story first , just because.
Chile Poivre (Chips) passed away in January 2007 of heart failure(a blown valve) at the age of 23. He fell ill very quickly and we were lucky in that we found the problem and realized its severity quickly. It was heartbreaking but also surprisingly easy to make the call to let him go. We dispose of our animals when possible by burning them on a brush pile here on the property,and we did the same for Chips. The next August ,after a particularly trying summer which included a misscarriage for me , we found this beautiful tribute to my old friend had grown up in his resting placeThis only happened one year and I have seen no sign of it again.
So to the begining , Chips is the "other foal" pictured in the post about Gloalta Toyoga. He was the second foal she had in the time that I had her. He arrived May 15 1984 and from the minute I saw him he just had something, a sort of presence. Imediately I was told "he will have to be gelded " 'Stallions just get mean" and "Little girls can't handle stallions"
Well, I too was born in May (read Taurus) and am nothing if I am not stubborn(not the greatest reason to keep a stud but it worked out well in the end)So I set out to prove to everyone that they were wrong . And prove it I did ! In his entire life he never, kicked ,struck ,bit, or challenged me and though I did place a stud chain on him for breeding I never had cause to do more than growl "mind your manners"and never took up the slack in the rope.
Chips did have a mind of his own ,and a bit of a sense of humour . At about 3 weeks I was leading him and he threw himself down with his head under his body I had to undo his lead (I thought ) to get him up . For the next month every time I tried to halter him he would drop like a stone, I finally got the best of him and more or less forgot about it until he was 5 and in training for a show barn , they called me one day and said "your horse is having seizures" I said what? "yup every time we tie him up to saddle him the past 3 days he falls down grunts and thrashes around ,we untie him and he gets up and seems fine" So I drove over and as I walked up to the barn I heard Sh** he is at it again ,sure enough there is my beautiful horse thrashing and grunting hanging from his lead rope ! I growled (forgive the language ) STAND UP ASSHOLE!! Busted! he scrambled to his feet with the silliest look on his face. I said to the trainer Nope, it wasn't a seizure and went home.
Chips could dance ,by this I mean he would rear and paw ,snake his head and buck and perform , but only "naked " and in his pasture . He would do this most on those crisp fall mornings that Alberta girls know ,I would call to him "Hey Chips are you gonna dance for me?"And away he would go. Sadly again no digital camera .He was shown at several local shows and made the Super Circuit in Claresholm, Alberta where he did quite well. His Legacy remains here in,Johnnie Handsome,Stryker ,Jazz ,Blue ,Digger,Classy, Wilder,Chance, and last but certainly not least, 5 months after his death and one day after my hospital stay was born "The Phoenix"