Green Horse Tales is a new series where riders share their struggles, triumphs, and adventures producing a “green” horse. Today, Horse Junkies United blogger Justine shares the ongoing saga of her and her new horse Mikey.  Send us your green horse tale to hello(at)

A month ago I bought a 6-year-old red headed OTTB who had been sitting in a pasture for two years. It’s been a little while since I’ve owned a horse that knows, well, next to nothing. So I’m constantly reminding myself to appreciate the small victories.

For example: Two weeks ago Mikey, my gelding, didn’t know how to do any of these things.

  • Stand on the cross ties.
  • Stand quietly at the mounting block.
  • How to pick up the left lead.
  • How to pick up the right lead.
  • How to lunge.
  • How to steer in a general sense.

But now it’s been two weeks, and he’s got a good handle on most of these things. This will absolutely be the summer of baby steps for the both of us. Before his two-year break as a four year old, Mikey was started as a racehorse. His track owners decided he was too big (at 17.1 hands) and to dang slow (he is the laziest thoroughbred I’ve ever met) to ever actually compete as one, so off to the pasture he went.

I’m not quite sure what Mikey will turn out to be, whether he has an aptitude for the hunters or jumpers, eventing or dressage. But I’m willing to wait patiently for him to tell me what it is he enjoys doing. Then we’ll go from there.

I’ve grown fond of calling him my Scarecrow, like the one from the Wizard of Oz. Mikey has very quickly wormed his way into my heart with his goofy, friendly nature. Now, if he only had a brain…

Follow our progress here on HJU.