More on Metro, OTTBs, Ex-Racehorses, Rescues

Panimetro, Metro, was my rescued OTTB ex-racehorse. He was a fine boy. He loved people. So easy to care for – he was so gentle. He was great to bathe from his racehorse training. He knew he had to stand still and not fuss. Easy for the farrier and for me to pick his feet up. Metro had naturally beautiful thoroughbred breeding. He was so smart.

Panimetro Corriendo, Metro, was my rescue OTTB ex-racehorse. He was a fine boy. He loved people. So easy to care for; he was so gentle.
Panimetro, Metro, was my rescue OTTB ex-racehorse. He was a fine boy. He loved people. So easy to care for; he was so gentle.

An off-track Thoroughbred, OTTB, is a horse that was bred and trained to be a racehorse and is now not an active racehorse. Many OTTBs are registered with The Jockey Club. The Jockey Club is the breed registry for Thoroughbred horses in North America. Many OTTBs are used for Dressage and Three-day Eventing (my fav).

During “Metro’s” last race, he had a horrible accident where he suffered four major fractures in his left front ankle, an injury similar to the one suffered by the famous racehorse, Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner that was euthanized due to complications in the healing of his leg.

Remembering Panimetro

Luckily, he was able to heal and make the trip from the Virgin Islands to Miami, then Jacksonville, Florida via Habitat for Horses equine horse rescue. Metro came to the US in 2009. He and 3 other ex-racehorses came to my neighbor, Chris Dunn.

Panimetro Racing
Panimetro Pasando Racing

At the time, she had North Florida Horse Rescue, working in association with Habitat for Horses, to help place rescue horses with their forever homes or for fostering. When I saw Metro at her place, I kinda fell in love with him.

Panimetro aka Metro eating hay when he first got to the Dunn's place. I fell in love with him.
Panimetro aka Metro eating hay when he first got to the Dunn’s place. I fell in love with him.

I was so sad when Barbaro was hurt and had to be euthanized, that I felt this strong affinity with Metro. I agreed to take him as his forever home owner. Sadly, he had to be euthanized in 2011 when his leg finally gave out. I cried a river for a week.

Barbaro (middle) walking to the track at the Fair Hill Training Center in May 2006, a week after winning the Kentucky Derby
By Alexbrown (talk) (Uploads) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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I never was able to ride Metro. I had just had a shoulder replacement in 2008, so no riding horses until it was healed. Rocki was quiet next to Metro, who was more excitable. I couldn’t take a chance on messing up the shoulder surgery trying to ride Metro and I didn’t have him long enough until I felt the shoulder was well enough… bummer.

Look at him run! Panimetro Corriendo aka Metro
Look at him run! Panimetro aka Metro

OTTBs, Racehorses

I’ve always liked to watch the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont – the Run for the Roses, and later in the year, The Breeders Cup. When I got Metro, I started following more International races like The Grand National aka The National, the most valuable jump race in Europe. The National is a three-day event with almost all associated races being steeplechases or hurdles.

Steeplechase racing at Deauville  Hippodrome de Deauville - Clairefontaine
Steeplechase racing at Deauville
By Hippodrome de Deauville – Clairefontaine

Remember the National Velvet movie with Elizabeth Taylor? The girl in the film, Velvet Brown, is played by Elizabeth Taylor. She wins a spirited gelding in a raffle and decides to train him for the Grand National steeplechase.

Velvet names the horse she won The Pie because his previous owner called the troublesome gelding a pirate. Velvet ends up riding The Pie in the race when she decided the jockey she hired wasn’t good enough. Watch the movie or read about it at Wikipedia.

Of course, National Velvet was one of my favorite movies (100% ‘Fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and books! Is this not true horse girl energy?

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Go to Links to Some Articles I Have Written for Clients about Horse Racing — Includes Other Paid Racing Posts

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Arenas, Barns, and Pastures in North/Central Florida

I have been gathering quite a few pictures I have taken of different riding arenas, horse barns, and pastures in my area of North/Central Florida. Keep checking back here. I will be updating this regularly with new stuff. I show a lot of horse barn and pasture layouts with beautiful trees.

My neighbors Chris and Dale Dunn’s beautiful pasture.

I’m going to start with a funny comparison between my weedy pasture and my neighbors Chris and Dale Dunn’s gorgeous pasture. They also have equines to eat the grass. I must mow my pasture… leaving my very back pasture to grow the weeds that become flowers.

back pasture at Teri's place
Teri’s pasture with all of the weeds that exist in North/Central Florida. This is before mowing. It looks better after I mow it 🙂

My Pasture vs. the Dunns’ Gorgeous Pasture in North/Central Florida

Below is a slideshow showing my pasture next to my neighbors’ pasture and how nice their pasture is next to mine, lol. Cute pictures of her equines, 2 minis, a donkey and a pinto. My dog, Emma, is also in a couple pictures. I have a lot of pictures I’ll post in the Animals category.

  • Emma at fence next to my neighbor's pasture
  • Teri's overflow pond in the front pasture.
  • My barn that we built when we moved in 2008. It was built to withstand 150mps winds.
  • Here's Jack! The Dunn's guard donkey.
  • Dunn's guard donkey, Jack's ears.
  • Tucker, one of the Dunn's mini's
  • The Dunn's two mini's at the fence.
  • My dog, Emma, standing next to my neighbor's, the Dunns.
  • Teri's front pasture. I used to have a small Dressage arena here. It was cool in the afternoon, but it also rained almost every afternoon in August-September in our area.

World Equestrian Center Arena in Ocala, Florida

The next gorgeous facility’s arena, barns, and pastures is at Everglades Equestrian in Miccanopy, Florida. This place is just 20 minutes from the World Equestrian Center in Ocala. It’s where my trainer, Kathy Daly, boards some of the horses in training (3-4, currently) that she has. I got these pictures when I took a trip there to watch her ride and take pictures. Most of these pictures came from my iPhone 13 – amazed at the quality! I’m taking my mirror-shutter camera next time. I had lost it in my house, lol.

  • Entrance to WEC. Statue of WWII Hero Staff Sergeant Reckless.
  • Left side of arena at World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida
  • Right side of arena at World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida
  • My trainer, Kathy Daly of KD Equine Dressage, standing in front of and looking up at a decorative Christmas deer at the WEC.

Everglades Equestrian Center in Miccanopy, Florida

The gorgeous, upscale Everglades Equestrian Center located in Miccanopy, FL which is between Gainesville and Ocala, Florida. These are pictures I took with my iPhone 13 and I’m amazed at the quality.

  • Kathy Daly 'working' her horse up the hill to one of the barns at Everglade Equestrian Center.
  • Mirror at the corner of the arena at Everglade Equestrian Center.
  • Dogs playing in the road going up to the barn at Everglade Equestrian Center.
  • A horse out in the pasture at Everglade Equestrian Center.
  • Pasture at Everglade Equestrian Center with a pinto in it.
  • Another view of the pasture at Everglade Equestrian Center with a pinto in it.
  • Kathy Daly of KDEquine Training, on one of the horses she has in training at Everglade Equestrian Center.
  • View of pastures and roads from other side of the arena at Everglades Equestrian Center.
  • A horse looking out in the pasture at Everglade Equestrian Center.
  • View of the road coming in to Everglades Equestrian Center.

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Death from Colic – My Tribute to Rocki

Death from colic is one of the greatest fears of a horse owner. This happened to my mare, Glenord’s Rocket Dancer aka Rocki, in October 2020. This is a short tribute to Rocki.

My horse was my COVID relief, until she died. I wasn’t ready for this yet.

I wanted to do the USDF Century Ride where the combination of her age and mine would equal 100. We needed just another year.

I keep thinking, “Well, I don’t have to get up and feed anymore.” It doesn’t help.

I’m mowing her front pasture and thinking about what to say in this tribute. I stop in the shade every so often and type on my phone.

Mowing, I still see places where her poop is. I try to mow it away but it still makes an indelible mark in my world. Just try not to clench my teeth as I mow. I don’t have many tears left now.

Geez, there’s a lot of stuff to write…
My Last Photo of 28yo Rocki - She is wet from a bath a couple days before she died. It was a really hot day in Florida.
My Last Photo of 28yo Rocki. She is wet from a bath a couple days before her death from colic. It was a really hot day in Florida.

I had Rocki for almost 26 of her 28 years in September 2020. Of all the horses I had in my life, she was the best. She was my baby. She was named ‘Baby’ when I got her at 2 1/2. I wanted to rename her and give her a registered American Warmblood name and it needed to be close to sounding like Baby. I came up with the name Glenord’s Rocket Dancer after her sire, a registered Clydesdale, Clan Butter Glenord’s Glened, and a registered racing Appaloosa/TB, Rocket To Antares.

Her barn name was Rocki. Sounds close to the sound of the word, Baby, right? Rocki. Baby. Rocki Baby.

This crossing between Appaloosa TB and Clydesdale gave her a beautiful head and small TB mouth. Her body looked like a huge Appy/QH cross making her gorgeous for horse shows.

Death from colic was Rocki’s prognosis. I’m afraid she suffered for 3 days. My veterinarian thought it was a twisted long colon, and surgery wouldn’t have helped. Besides, she was too old for good recovery. I was too old to give her the care.

It started on a Saturday evening (never happens during a work day, but the weekend, amiright?). The on-call veterinarian came out and did the typical oil/water rinse and shots for pain (Banamine). She never really got better. I was out with her most of the night. The next morning she was lying in the pasture, wet from sweating. More Banamine, hosing, magnets, TTouch, everything I could think of. By Monday morning, I had already called my regular vet to have her put down. I called my neighbors, Chris and Dale Dunn, for assistance. They organized another neighbor to bring his huge tractor to dig a hole in my back pasture to bury Rocki there.

Rocki is buried along with 2 dogs and another horse, Metro, which I will tell you about here.

Rocki First Level I Second Place
Rocki First Level

Teri riding Rocki in Dressage Equitation
Rocki Dressage Equitation

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Building a Log Cabin, Pool, and Workshop by Hand

Do you want to build a log cabin, pool, and workshop by hand? You should have talked to my father, Roger Mussells. He built our log cabin house by hand. He also built our huge workshop that later became Rocki and Khan’s home. My father was in construction and had an AA in building design (he had the nicest writing).

Our log cabin was built from the pine trees he felled on our 30 acres. My father devised a hand-made log hauler or “skidder“. It was a 4×4 timber on two iron wheels attached to an iron base. It had an an attached chain on his makeshift skidder for him to pull the logs up one by one to where he was building. He used geometry and trigonometry to hoist the logs up. My mother, Faith Mussells, went to Chicago Art Institute for two years, so she sketched the blueprints for the house.

My Quarter Horse ex-racehorse, Sunny, in front of my house I grew up in Jacksonville, FL
My Quarter Horse ex-racehorse, Sunny, in front of my house I grew up in in Jacksonville, FL

He built the log cabin part of the house starting when I was a baby around 1950. It was about 1000 square feet. It had a 20×20 living room, one bathroom, a utility room, crawl-space attic, and big kitchen. We all slept in one end of the living room until a few months later when he added on a large cement based porch with scoring on the cement floor with big ceilings and hand-hewn beams. He screened the porch in so my brother and I could sleep there in the summer. He added on another 1000 sq. ft. in the late 1950s.

Inside a log cabin build. This is a picture of our living room after we had left. It is showing the logs and cement filling painted white. Shows the old-fashioned solid, hand turning Florida windows, wooden floors and visible hand-hewn logs/braces on ceiling.
Inside a log cabin build. This is a picture of our living room after we had left. It is showing the logs and cement filling painted white. Shows the old-fashioned solid, hand turning Florida windows, wooden floor,s and visible hand-hewn logs/braces on ceiling.

Of course it had a large fireplace — this was our heat in the beginning until he installed an oil heater on the porch, feeding the house via floor registers and wall vents. I loved standing over the registers in the winter to get warm quickly!

Back porch support stanchion Covered in Ivy. 
Picture taken after we moved in 2015. Logs for log cabin ceiling and stanchions build were hand-hewed.
Back porch support stanchion covered in ivy.
Picture taken after we moved in 2015. Logs for log cabin ceiling and stanchions build were hand-hewn.

A few years later, he built an addition of another 1000+ square feet for 3 bedrooms, one a huge master bedroom and bath. When we move to Keystone Heights in 2007, I kept the door to the master bedroom — 4 inch thick beautiful tongue and groove cut design and finish. This end of the house was a board and batten design to complement the log cabin. It also had a tilted flat roof.

When I was three, he built a man-made 65×45 pool, fed by artesian spring water constantly filling through a 2 inch pipe (it was fizzy when you drank from the pipe!). The water was powered by a water wheel he built using pecky cypress wood. My mom taught swimming lessons in the pool as a Brownie Scout leader.

I hope I can find more pictures of it close up, but below is a picture of my horse I had, Sunny, next to the water wheel and the huge bamboo we had planted. I brought some of the bamboo to my new place in Keystone Heights and it’s also huge!

Sunny next to bamboo and water wheel powering the filling of our pool.
Sunny next to bamboo and water wheel powering the filling of our pool (barely seen on the left).

A few years later, he made a huge 100×100 or more workshop. It had a cantilevered roof made with railroad telephone poles covered in creosote (rotting control), a cement floor, an attached car port, long workbench and lumber storage built with the lumber 2×4, 4×4, etc. It was big enough to have a pit for working on your car.

(All of images below were taken after we had moved to Keystone Heights.)

pit to work on cars
Pit in floor of workshop to work on cars/trucks.
Stalls for Khan and Rocki built onto side of workshop.
Workshop ceiling showing stanchion cable supporting the large telephone pole beam. All building was done by hand.
Old, broken water wheel parts showing its pecky cypress wood in the overgrown bamboo.
Side cantilevered roof on workshop car/truck parking.  I used it for tacking, brushing and washing my horses.
Side cantilevered roof on workshop car/truck parking. I used it for tacking, brushing, and washing my horses.
Corner of house showing painted logs. All of this construction on our log cabin build was done by hand by my father, Roger Mussells. He also built his own skidder to haul the log up to where he was working.
Corner of house showing painted logs. All of this construction on our log cabin build was done by hand by my father, Roger Mussells. He also built his own skidder to haul the log up to where he was working.
Workshop from the backside. There are doors below the open window that opened up to take in hay bales, large equipment, etc.
Workshop from the backside. There are doors below the open window that opened up to take in hay bales, large equipment, etc.

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A Horse Blog

This is A Horse Blog. A companion to HorsesintheSouth.com, but instead of an equine news publisher, this site will be for my own article writings, tangents, musings and general stuff.

I have been wanting to make this blog since 2009 but never had time to. HorsesintheSouth.com took too much time, riding/caring for my own horse, health (two shoulder replacements – arrgh!), living way out in the country, yard work, landscaping, gardening, mowing – need I say more?

But now I’m retired or (semi-retired) and have a bit more time! Yea! So here goes …

Since this is a new website as of mid-July 2022, the base or skeleton design, general setup and a few posts (content) have been done. I have a lot more content to add, plus a ton of new and old images, so stay in touch to see new content. Be sure to follow my social media accounts below as they will be updated with text and links as new content is added.