I was sitting at the picnic table just outside our sand ring early last September. I had just watered my ‘water trough’ raised gardens and was waiting for the next horse to come out to the ring. I quickly checked my email and socials on my phone (I admittedly get sucked into checking too many times in a day!) and immediately saw the face of an old friend…Perigee Moon.

Perigee Moon is a name familiar to most Thoroughbred breeders here in Ontario. A son of Hennessy, foaled in 1998, “Perry” was a $240,000 weanling and won 2 of his 3 lifetime starts in Ireland before coming to Canada as a stallion at Park Stud. An unfortunate accident cut his breeding days short, so Perry was gelded and embarked upon a career as a riding horse. In 2007, he came to me at Braecrest to begin his riding horse education and re-training. I remember loving working with this guy – he had so much heart, would try anything asked of him, and came along so well.

In the spring of 2008, we decided to try him hill-topping with the hunt club to see if he might make a nice mount for the hunt field. After a few outings, with little to no brakes, it was decided that perhaps a job where he doesn’t have to gallop with so many others in open fields might be a better direction!! From there, I lost track of him as he returned to Park Stud and was re-homed to a show home.

Fast forward to this past fall. Perigee was now 25 and retired, and his current caretaker could no longer keep him. LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society had posted online that the dear old guy was in need of a home. This must have caught me at a weak moment – because a week later, I was on my way to pick him up so he could live out his days here at Braecrest.

He has come to life after a good makeover, bubble bath and a custom feed program to support his nutritional needs (having no teeth left for grinding hay)! Perry has spent the last 4 months babysitting the weanlings, goofing around. I am pretty sure he is sharing life lessons with them. Perry is the most vocal guy in the barn, always nickering for a tasty treat or a good wither scratch. Despite some mild ataxia and face neuropathy, which causes his tongue to hang out more than it’s in, he is the picture of health. He is so full of personality, vibrance and what seems like greater appreciation for every day. I think we all could learn from this guy! I am so grateful to be able to give back to this old friend… give back anything we can as thanks and appreciation for his dedicated service to all the people along his life journey. He will live out his days with us – however long that may be.