Fiddle is a 2002 pacing Standardbred mare who "flunked off the track" before she ever raced. She was adopted from Greener Pastures in early 2006 by a very nice lady from Vancouver Island; less than six months later the lady was diagnosed with a nasty brain tumor. She called GP, and GP called me, knowing that I had recently lost my senior Standardbred mare. The nice lady delivered Fiddle to me on a horrible rainy night in December 2006 with the understanding that if the mare didn't suit me, I could haul her back to GP in the spring. Apparently, we suited each other, because Fiddle and I are still together. The nice lady still comes to visit us sometimes.
Fiddle was a late-bloomer; I didn't even start her on trails until she was 5 years old. We take dressage lessons together--at first, so that Fee could become more coordinated, and lately to improve some of my longstanding bad habits in the saddle. She is a fabulous trail mare, very canny and calm. Like most standies, she is hard to rattle. She did have a terrible attitude towards people and other horses when she arrived at my place, and to this day, my main challenge with Fiddle is to enforce proper behavior in a crowd.
We do a lot of trail work together, building and mending trails locally and in support of endurance rides on the Dry Side of our state.
Fiddle has learned to carry trail tools and chainsaws up to a worksite and then nap for a few hours while our trail crew works around her. When she was 8 years old, she was physically ready for endurance competitions but mentally she was still too immature for the stress of 50+ mile rides, so we entered a season of LD (Limited Distance) events instead. She completed 5 LD rides in 2010 and learned how to play the endurance game, and started competing in longer rides in 2011.
In 2012, we took time off so that Fiddle could be spayed.
Dr. Delco and the spaying "crew" at Pilchuck Vet Hospital
The changes in my mare since her surgery have been wonderful. Details of the surgery process are documented HERE.
4 months post-surgery at the finish line of a tough 50-miler
Although she is still a Dragon, she is a much more comfortable Dragon--or, as we like to say, she is now "the same Dragon every day."
2013 Home on the Range Ride, nearly a year post-surgery