Quixote is an Andalusian/Thoroughbred cross who came to Hanaeleh in July, 2013. He was a complete mess when we first got him- he was so completely attached to the other horse we brought with him that he was dangerous- we couldn’t even get the horse a few feet from him without him freaking out! Finally we just had to make the decision to separate them completely for everyone’s safety. He ran around screaming for about two day straight, and then finally calmed down. We learned after a few months that he is happiest when he is around other horses, and to prevent him from bonding too much with any one horse, we put him in a stall where he is surrounded by four other horses- this way it is very unlikely that he would ever be left alone without another horse for companionship. This is no longer an issue, however, because he is more secure with himself and isn’t as worried about being left alone.
Quixote is still a handful, but he is SO much better than when we first brought him to Hanaeleh. We used to have to have the farrier trim his feet at the wash rack next to the arena because he would get nervous and would pull back at the tie rail and dance around. lately, however, we have been able to walk him down to the cross ties near the round pen and he has been standing very well for the farrier for several months now! He also used to rear when we would take him in or out of the round pen, which was very scary, but now he walks just fine in and out, without any issues.
One of the most challenging aspects of Quixote’s behavior is that he will often ignore people while in the arena or round pen. While he will run around and do what is asked by a few of the regular volunteers, he will essentially ignore any new volunteer who tries to get him to run around- sometimes he will just sedately walk around, sometimes he will just stand there and look bored, and sometimes he will even turn and walk up to the volunteer, who is frantically waving the whip around trying to get Quixote to move. It’s very frustrating, although Quixote seems to enjoy the game he has created, and we do have some regular volunteers who will put him through his paces.
Quixote’s favorite game of all time, however, is “helping” the volunteers clean his stall. He will pick up a full muck bucket by the rope handle, then toss it up and down, strewing manure all over his stall. He thinks this is quite a fun game, and tries to play it as often as possible. He also likes to play with his halter and lead rope, and will flip it around and around and around- we have to make sure it is tied securely onto his stall or he will untie it and play with it, then stomp it into the dirt, usually a urine spot. If we leave the halter too close to the arena while he is out there, he will snag it and flip it around until we see him, then he will either drop it and run away, or will run away with it in his mouth, playing the “catch me if you can” game.
For a long time we had hoped that Quixote would find his forever home with someone who appreciated his silly self, but he’s now 21 years old, and we have just come to the conclusion that this lovely boy is going to be with us for the rest of his life. He needs someone experienced, patient, and who loves playing with him- and we just haven’t found that person. The person who has that experience doesn’t want to deal with the antics of a silly guy like Quixote, especially if they are unable to ride him at a show level. This past year we also noticed that Quixote was beginning to favor his left hind, and the vet confirmed he had some arthritis in his stifle and hock areas, so we started him on Legend and Adequan. He gets these injections once a month, and they help to reduce the inflammation in these joint areas while also helping to increase the synovial fluid in the joints, preventing them from rubbing and causing irritation. They have helped him a lot, and he often will pretend he is in Cavalia, and will jump and leap and buck and put on a show for us while he’s running around in the arena.
When Quixote came to us he had a small melanoma on his face- over the past seven years it has grown a little, but we keep a fly mask on him at all times in order to prevent it from getting exposed. Quixote also has a number of cancerous lumps around his tail, but the vet has assured us that they are not dangerous, and we are just keeping an eye on them for the time being. Pretty much every grey horse has cancerous lumps, and the only horse we’ve known with cancer that is dangerous is Delilah, a horse we adopted out several years ago who has an AWESOME horsie mom who has done a ton of research on cancer and has been treating her successfully. Thankfully Quixote’s cancer appears to be benign for the time being.
We love our big, silly Quixote boy, even though he can be kind of a jerk sometimes. When we get upset at him he will then do something silly or funny and we just can’t stay mad at this adorable boy!
Quixote would LOVE a sponsor. Did you know that you can sponsor him for as little as $10/month? Click here to learn more and sign up!