March 1, 2008 - We see Baileysontherocks at the Hunter Pace!!!
What a great pleasure it was to finally meet Nikki Surrusco - Baileysontherocks new mom! "Bailey" looks fantatastic and what's more important - HE
IS WELL LOVED! We want nothing more than the horses we find homes
for to be loved and enjoyed. Nikki had a great day with "Bailey"
at the hunter pace. It is obvious from her smile that she loves our
September 12, 2007
I recently found your website online, and I wanted to give you an
update on how one of your horses is doing. Last year, I adopted Baileysontherocks
from the Schuyler family, and I just can’t begin to tell you
how much I love this little horse!
I had never really worked with Thoroughbreds previous to acquiring
Bailey, but although I’ve often found him challenging, he’s
been a very rewarding project. Over the last year, we’ve spent
a lot of time developing a relationship and building a solid foundation
of dressage skills. I do a lot of groundwork (a good deal of it along
the natural horsemanship line) and it’s really helped to build
trust and confidence between Bailey and I. For his part, he’s
such a clown that he likes learning tricks and showing them off!
He has developed excellent brakes and is learning his flatwork lessons
well. The more he stretches and bends and builds up his topline,
the more beautifully he moves. And he is beginning to carry his skills
into the jumping arena; now when we land off of a three-foot oxer,
he half-halts politely and asks where I’d like to go next!
He is very much the resident stud muffin in our small herd of ten
horses. All the mares are his, without question. He has learned how
to bow and loves to give hugs. He is very smart and has somehow figured
out how to dismantle his stall wall, board by board. (Since then,
he’s acquired a pet rubber currycomb to keep him busy!) During
summer camp this year, he was the Official Ground Lesson Gelding
and assisted patiently with horse safety, grooming, haltering, tying,
and leading lessons, even if it meant wearing masking tape or having
an eight-year-old put his halter on upside down and backwards.
Bailey and I have a lot of fun together – he enjoys blazing
trails through the woods, running around barrels, and playing bareback
in the ring; we’ve also begun choreographing a musical freestyle
to showcase his improved gaits! Recently, I’ve begun taking
Bailey out to school and trail ride off the farm, in preparation
for his fall debut in the show ring. It’s always been my dream
to train a horse to event, and Bailey seems to enjoy the cross-country
as much as I do. After a jumper class and a cross-country school
this October, we plan to start hitting some of the schooling horse
trials. With any luck he’ll be a solid Beginner Novice horse
by the end of 2008!
I will be sure to keep you posted on how he progresses, and in the
meantime, I have an album
of pictures online that you might enjoy – you
are welcome to use any of them on your website if you wish!
Your website is very well-done and inspiring! Perhaps we’ll
see your or other Bits & Bytes riders at a horse trial in the near
~ Nikki Surrusco
"The horse is truth and he mirrors our inadequacies
in large, living color! So we begin the journey of humility, of discovering
ourselves... our mental, emotional, physical and philosophical selves
. . . our limits, our focus, our level of committment."
~ Buck Brannaman
Bailey and Josh are progressing. We didn't
compete in Pony Club this year, because we are still working
on Baileys cross country efforts. He is still nervous out in
We have seen remarkable improvement in
his balance on the flat. We have been working with Erika when
we can get our schedules to work out. Baileys feet look great!
The slight stiffness to the right that he used
experience when he started working is gone. He is also much more balanced
at all his gaits to the right, although we are still working on his
topline improvement. We also have a student working with Bailey over
fences and with some of the more difficult flatwork.
Josh and Bailey still hug on each other.
Bailey has about twenty nicknames, including Cassanova
because he is a real ladies man. When tacking up he has to see Chili
my mare or he gets cranky. Bailey has gone so far as to try to challenge
the newly gelded TWH stallion at our barn. He cracks me up you would
think from his personality that he is 18 hands tall and king of the
hill. Hopefully I will send you some pictures of Bailey working with
Josh and Kelsey.
We are still very pleased with his unique personality.
Love to all. We will be in touch ASAP.....this is
the last week of school.
Kelli (Josh's mom)
Baileysontherocks and Josh. - September 2004
I just wanted to give you some more news about
Bailey. Today we took Bailey out on a short trail ride with Josh from
our new barn. HE DID FANTASTIC!!!. You would think he was an old cow
horse. It was funny because our green horse Chili took the lead with
Bailey behind her and Caddy and Dawson at the rear. Bailey went through
puddles, water and past one Arab mare of another rider who was actively
working on dumping her rider on the ground AGAIN. Bailey and Josh
went by like they had been riding trail for years. We aren’t
ready to turn them loose on the long trails yet, but I wanted to let
you know how much we love this horse’s attitude.
What is really funny that as Josh was heading
back to the barn we passed some folks on foot. I was walking near
them and heard them say: “see that little boy and the little
red horse; he’s an off the track race horse.” One of the
bystanders said “registered race horse?!” . The cowboy
type said “well I guess there are some out there you can find….not
many but some who are calm.” I went right over and told them
there are more like Bailey then you think. He has a better mind about
things than half the quarter horses and TWH at the barn.
Bailey is well liked around the barn, but
has earned the name Casanova, because of his stoic infatuation with
mares. He seems to like to just bask in the glory of all things female.
We had to move his stall because if given the choice of eating or
standing around mooning after the next door mare……he chooses
This spring maybe we could meet you
guys up at Jake or Bull mountain with Bailey and show you how well
yet another off-the-track horse is doing. I admire what you are doing
even more now that I have gotten to know the lovely temperament of
Bailey. These horses truly deserve another chance on life….this
time with someone to love them one on one….I am glad there are
people like you taking the time to educate the public about what race
horses are really like.
Have a great week
Kelli Schuyler (Josh's mom)
was a little confused by the commotion of his first show. He was jigging
and looking around. Ten year old Josh made a tough decision and decided
not to show him but to take the time to school him and get him used
to the show grounds. Here is what his mom had to say about her very
mature son along with some photos from his schooling at the show grounds:
We are so proud of Josh! He made a
really tough decision in favor of the future, instead of immediate
gratification or to save face in front of his peer group……let
me tell you it was tough for him to keep hearing about the other
students ribbons and answer why he didn’t show Bailey.
In the end he understood maybe even better than we did . . .
Josh said, “Mom
it would be easy to show on the school ponies, but not everyone
could ride my Bailey.”
We are VERY pleased with
Bailey, even though he Bailey was a little confused by the commotion
of his first show, in the end Josh had him stretching and walking
on the buckle, but it took patience and time. We figure we have
plenty of time to let these two grow and develop together.
told Josh he may not have earned an actual blue ribbon, but
he earned something even better, the respect and trust of his
horse. Sometimes the big wins are not the ones you walk out
of the ring with, but rather what you walk away with in your
heart. We will keep you posted and send you photo journal updates.
Baileysontherocks was a Horse For Sale
the story of buying Baileysontherocks and his brother Sir Cahill.