I first met him 4 years ago at the farm I currently work at, and now board my horse at. He was about 6 or 7 at the time and a complete nut. He had dumped the BO by accident (the story is that he had been trotting, and the BO had pulled back slightly on the reins to ask him to slow down. Instead Chalupa slammed to a stop and ducked his head, causing the BO to go over. The BO broke his glasses in the fall and slapped the horse on the mouth, which caused the horse to pull free and run home). He degressed from there to the point that he couldn't even be led from the field to the barn without taking off and being a royal pain in the arse. He had a reputation that had all the little volunteers afraid of him. He didn't tie, he didn't lead, he was spooky, you couldn't bridle him.... he had a list a mile long of all the things he wouldn't or couldn't do. And for almost a year he sat in the field and did nothing because everyone was too afraid of him.
My best friend, at the time, fell in love with this horse - while I subsequently fell in love with an equally pain in the arse Percheron who came from the same farm that Chalupa did. She spent hours with him, and despite our lack of knowledge when it came to problem horses, he eventually got to the point where she could ride him. But he always remained spooky and a little bit dangerous.
But she bought him anyways, hoping to turn him into her everything horse. The owner was happy to be rid of the "dud" and sold her him for $1200. She kept him for 6 months before coming to the conclusion that he would likely one day hurt or possibly kill her, as he could never be 100% trusted. Thus she sold him, this time to a girl for $1500. She kept nothing secret. The girl knew what she was getting into when she bought the horse.
And after two days of trying to load him in the trailer, and a nasty $200 vet fee, Chalupa was gone from our lives... we thought he was gone for good.
We got updates once in a while. Mostly they were bad. He had run off down the highway from the new owner once.
Fast forward 2 years.
The BO was going down to the auction near Toronto... a nearly 4 hour drive from where we live. He was going to get some trail horses for the summer.
He goes in and sees this beautiful Appaloosa gelding. He watches a young woman ride him around in a simple O-ring snaffle bit. He canters and trots and walks and stops. The BO goes in and picks up all 4 feet and he's easy to handle. So he places a bid on the horse, and buys him for a cool $750 - the most expensive of the 5 horses he brings back from auction.
But as he's going to load the horse into the trailer, the head of the horse goes up, he rears, and turns around an bolts.
"Chalupa! You son of a-!" and that's when he started having his doubts.
His partner, who he went down with, grabs the horse by the halter, and after three tries, he loads in with the other horses.
Now I'm at home, calling the BO because I'm super excited to see theses horses coming back from the auction. And while I'm chatting he goes "I think I bought Chalupa"
Ya... right! I thought.... but sure enough the next morning I walk in the barn and there he is. How the BO didn't recognize him is beyond me! I stare for a moment in awe at this horse who was supposed to be gone for good.
A lot of things had changed since he'd left. And soon his story of how he got there surfaced. He had been breaking down fences at his new home, which caused his then-owner to trade him for another horse. He when to a dealer, who couldn't do a thing with him and sold him at the meat auction ... which is where his story blurs. For 6 months he dissappeared. And then he ended up at auction... and he was different from before, with the name Borris to boot.... BORRIS!
So he's at the farm again and I can't help but like him, if not for his attitude and stunning good looks for his story and his perserverence. And I know a lot more now than I did when he left.
The BO said he'd give Chalupa - there was no way we were keeping Borris as his name! - one chance. Just one.
So I decided I'd give him my all. I would work with him, see what he knew, and what we still had to work on. And I was impressed. I took him for a walk the first day and he was easy to handle, and responsive. A little nervous but not crazy.
The second day I rode him around the yard. Again.. nervous, but nothing major. Although he did break a clip the first time I went to bridle him.
I put some hours into him, and I came to the conclusion that the reason I think he is so bad sometimes - and he still is a little spooky - is that he has no faith in his rider. He can't bring himself to trust what I say. My TB will trust everything I say, even if it might not be the brightest idea. But Chalupa questions it and argues.
So one day I decided to try free jumping him on the lunge line. The idea was to get him to believe me when I said something was okay and that he could do it.... and before I knew it he was free jumping over 3 feet with really good form - considering he's got no idea what he's doing and neither do I when it comes to jumping.
I admit I became a little smitten... And then I started working harder, building on that little gateway of trust I had found. He started coming to meet me in the field! He began to enjoy the trail rides, despite that he's still spooky.
The BO says he's planning to sell him again anyways, and apparently I get the profits for doing the work if and when he sells... but I don't know anymore... I'm starting to think I want this horse lol.