Happy Monday Friends! I’m so excited for our most recent guest blogger submission. It’s one of those stories that honestly sounds like the ultimate fairytale, but believe it or not, all of it’s true!
This week’s guest blogger is Alexis Asch, a 23-year old NYC native who went to the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and after graduating returned to her roots to work in finance. Her horse, Man of the Hour (aka Lefty), is a 1997 15.2 Trakehner gelding who was imported from Germany in the Spring of 2004. Alexis’s story is really special because she and Lefty have been partners and dominating the hunter ring together for NINE years, despite concerns of a past injury that could have kept Lefty sidelined for the remainder of his career.
What Dreams Are Made Of! Alexis and Man of the Hour aka Lefty
Lefty was living at Fletcher Farm, a farm close to us on Long Island, when Patrick (trainer) went to try him on a Wednesday afternoon in early March 2008. He called my mom immediately afterward, asking if he could bring “Manny” (Lefty went a few days before we learned his real barn name from his owners – Manny was based on his show name, Man of the Hour) home on a trial that day. She agreed to bring him on trial after hearing how excited Patrick was about this horse compared to the others we had tried. On Thursday after school, my mom and I made the 2+ hour trip from New York City to Sagaponack for me to have my first lesson on Lefty. I didn’t usually ride on weekdays during the school year, but this was a special occasion. Before I got on, I was warned that “Manny walked really fast”, but it was just him and I should go with it. Well, it was true – even to this day, Lefty marches at the walk. We did not click instantly, but we could all tell how special Lefty was. He was overqualified to be my first horse and a little bit hot – but he was experienced, handsome, brave and best of all had a puppy dog personality. Ultimately, we knew that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for me to have such a special horse.
Knees to Nose Perfection
We were able to lease Lefty with the option to buy him as a result of his previous injury. In the spring of 2006, Lefty tore through his hind left suspensory. He had surgery at New Bolton and was given the absolute best care, but many buyers were not interested in taking the risk of buying a horse coming back from suspensory surgery. We took this risk, knowing that we would not be able to afford another horse of his quality and experience, if it were not for this injury. Looking back, there are others that tried Lefty before me that always come up to us at the shows, saying that they should have bought him.
Ultimately, the risk we took was a huge one. If Lefty had re-injured himself, we were not in a position to lease or buy another horse while he healed. Luckily though, nothing ever happened as a result of his veterinary history. Lefty has carried me from my first show on a horse, to my first 3′ course, to the small junior hunters and back to the 3′ adult hunters. Along the way, we’ve been Champion and won blues at the Hampton Classic, Old Salem, HITS, Garden State, LIPHA, Marshall & Sterling Finals, won HOTY Champion of Zone 2, placed 7th overall and 4th in the handy at Junior Hunter Finals, and qualified for Harrisburg, Washington and the National Horse Show. I never would have dreamt that I could accomplish all of this and I truly don’t believe that any of it would have been possible without Lefty.
Now that I have aged out of the juniors, graduated from college and have a “real person” job, I am only able to ride on the weekends and show a few times a year. But Lefty still kicks it into gear (after lots of lunging!) and pulls out the wins for me time and time again. Even at age 20 (I can’t believe it!!), he still has a ton of spunk and starts his horse show prep 3-4 days out. But, when he gets in the show ring, he’s still his old perfect self and carries me around the ring regardless of how little practice I have. I still have so much fun taking him to the shows and I really think that he has a lot of fun going too!
2009 vs. 2016 – same ring, same show!
Lefty says 20 is the new 10
Dominating the Adult Hunters!
Interested in being a guest blogger? We’d love to hear your story! Send us a DM on Insta @theecequestrian. We hope you enjoyed Alexis and Lefty’s story as much as we did!