Okay so back at the end of September, The Printable Pony did an awesome post in the style of “Behind the Stall Door” from The Chronicle of the Horse! It’s adorable and I partially wrote this post back when it was an appropriate time to participate in a blog hop. But who cares, I’m publishing it now because I still love the idea! Check out Tracy’s original post.
Behind the Stall Door With:
Boldly colored paint horses with big personalities seem to find amateur eventer Lisa Grunewald, and Noble Streak is no different. This 17-year-old American Paint Horse can be easily spotted at Area IV events for his gold-and-white coloring amid a sea of bay, chestnut and gray horses.
“I don’t know what it is,” says Lisa. “I don’t go out looking for paint horses to ride! But when I stop and think about it, most of my favorite horses from my past have been paints.”
The pair have been competing at Novice this year, culminating in qualifying for the Area IV Championships this September. With a successful season together under their belts, it’s easy to see that Lisa and “Duke” are a great team.
Let’s go behind the stall door to find out more!
Don’t interrupt Duke’s beauty sleep.
“Duke is kind of a diva, especially when we’re traveling to shows. He sleeps so much an refuses to get up until he’s ready…or until you tempt him with food,” jokes Lisa. In fact, Duke has been known to get up for breakfast, then lay back down and snooze until forced to rise for bath time.
“It’s hilarious,” Lisa laughs. “I will go to take him for a walk and he just lays his head down all the way with the world’s most dramatic groan, and looks at me like, ‘go away, lady, it’s nap time!’ I’m such a sucker, too, I almost always just let him be.”
Food is his love language.
Whether it’s his grain, a flake of hay or a special treat, it’s true what they say: The way to Duke’s heart is through his stomach.
“He loves food. All food. Doesn’t matter what it is or when, he will eat it,” Lisa reveals. “He will drag you to a bucket laying on the ground to see if he can find grain in it – even if it’s empty or clearly full of shampoo.”
Duke’s favorite treats? According to Lisa, “he’s not going to turn down anything – he loves apples, carrots, granola bars, sugar, mints…but one of his absolute favorites are sour gummy worms!”
Sure enough, when we met Duke, he immediately set to searching for treats – and we were happy to oblige!
He’s not afraid to take control.
Around the barn, Duke is known as a safe, kind horse. He typically doesn’t stop at jumps and he is a great teacher for newer riders.
“I think part of why he is such a good teacher is that he knows the job so well. But sometimes that gets in the way when I’m riding and he decides he’s in control! He might decide my half halts or steering are more like ‘suggestions’ that can be freely ignored. We worked quite a lot on that at the beginning of the year. Duke would pick our takeoff point for a jump instead of listening to me, his rider. We took a lot of very, very long spots the first couple of months we were together.”
But Duke never means bad by his behavior. “Every once in awhile, he just needs a reminder that what I say does matter. He’s typically really wonderful to ride and be around. And that go-getter attitude has gotten us out of a tight spot or two!”
Duke loves his mud baths.
Duke is known as one of the dirtiest horses around the barn.
“I try to keep up with him but it’s a never-ending battle to keep his white parts white, the dirt off his legs and mud-clots out of his mane and tail,” Lisa says. “Thankfully, he’s very good about his bath time.”
The secret to getting him sparkling clean? “We go through a lot of whitening shampoo,” Lisa reveals. “Quic Silver seems to work best!”
He’s worth his weight in gold.
As an all-around trustworthy mount for anyone from young beginners to horse husbands to advanced students moving up the levels, Duke is a go-to around the barn.
“I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful partnership with Duke,” Lisa says. “He’s an incredible horse in so many ways.”
Whether they’re cruising around cross country or Duke is nickering a soft hello in the barn, this partnership is quite obviously based on shared joy.