I can't tell the story of Archie without mentioning Duke.

Duke was a 17.3 hand Selle Francais.  I worked at the barn in order to get extra rides on him.  I'll never forget cantering through the woods, getting scratched on my sunburnt shoulders.  Shortly after having shown Duke in the 3' hunters, his owner called me.  We cried together as she told me that he had passed away after colic surgery complications.

Duke.
I continued to work at the barn, though my heart wasn't in it.  At the time, I fed every Sunday morning.  There is absolutely no telling how many times I brought Archie in, checked him over, fed him, and turned him back out.

I didn't notice him until the barn manager decided to move him into Duke's old stall.

In my keen sadness, I asked the barn manager for a project and she told me to start working Archie for resell.

A year later, the summer of 2006, I bought him.


Archie is a 1997 model Thoroughbred and raced seventeen times.  He won once and came in twice second.  We've done one hunter show (crossrails - video here) and a small handful of combined training shows at the Amoeba level.  We trained in Augusta under a hunter/jumper coach, in Savannah under a recognized h/j trainer, and we cliniced with a grand prix dressage rider.  But almost all of our rides together have been just us.



After some soundness issues and a progression of his previously-diagnosed ringbone, Archie was retired from jumping late 2015.  Given that circles aggravate his fucked-up joint, he is now mostly a pleasure and trail horse.



When the world ends, when humanity is just a fleeting memory of the cosmos, little particles of me will still be traveling with particles of him.