AN ISLAND HORSE
If you have had the pleasure of spending time at the barn, you know that each horse has its own unique personality and quirks that make him or her individuals. I would like to profile one of our Haig Point horses that continues to surprise us at every turn. “Rio” formally known as “Chester” is a Lowcountry-bred, registered Marsh Tacky whose lineage dates back to DaufuskieIsland itself. It was not my intention to bring a Marsh Tacky into our lesson program, but in an effort to secure an additional instructional horse, I happened upon this gelding that was both smart and quirky. With the functional use of only one eye, a slight build, and not much lesson experience, I did not even want to ride him. He was supposedly easily spooked, difficult to work, and intimidating. But since I was there, I hopped on. I was immediately hooked. This horse not only had the movement of an imported European Warmblood but the intelligence of an Arabian. He was a quick learner, smooth, and needed a good home. Did I mention he was economical?
So now he finds himself on Daufuskie and we take things slowly. We changed his name to Rio to represent the rivers surrounding Daufuskie and to pay respects to the Spanish heritage of all Marsh Tackies. To our surprise, he is level headed not spooky, gentle not intimidating, and athletic versus difficult to ride.He immediately stole the heart of many of our riders and continues to showcase his many talents. One of these talents is jumping. Rio loves to jump! With prior foxhunting experience, he has been exposed to many obstacles but has shown us that tall fences are not beyond his reach. He is working wonderfully as a guide horse on beach rides and trail rides. Back now on his island of ancestry, I am sure he will continue to surprise us with his talents and help us build skilled and knowledgeable riders. Please come and visit our very own island horse!
- Rachel Allen