Registered name of El Cortazon De Oro, translates to the Heart of Gold. Truly this is what this Spanish Barb gelding had. Call name Cory but it was the Grey Beastie that he became known as in the 80's due to his grullo color. He was a black dun with all the primitive markings, fish boning, black ear tipping, grayish dustings, leg striping, dorsal, christian markings. This was also his pen name. Yes, he wrote about some of his adventures with me, all I did was write them for him. (I do some writing here and there and imagine my surprise when I was informed that I was not a bad writer but that the Grey Beastie was far superior.) He was foaled February 14, 1980 in Oregon. He died March 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm at my place in southern California.
I was the second person to step up on him, he tensed as I settled in the saddle and immediately relaxed. He took a few steps, I asked him to stop, I got off. He was only 2 1/2 then and his knees had not closed yet. (The first person who got in the saddle, he unceremoniously dumped.) I started him. Hmmmm, rather, he started me down a long road of learning that I had no idea I would travel. He certainly taught me more than I ever asked him to do. He went from a horse I had purchased/owned to my trail partner and yes, friend. We had a special bond that I believe will only happen once in a lifetime. I have had other horses I loved, and I am sure I will love again. I just can't see the special connection I had with my Cory and, me being lucky enough to share that again.
I loved arriving at a competition and having no one pay any attention to this little grullo gelding. Then they would see him work his magic and always a few people would gather outside the arena or after the awards or at my tragic little trailer and ask about him. What he was? What color was that? Mostly they just wanted to pat him and say what a special horse he was. How right they were.
Up until he had an upper respiratory illness, he had a massive mane, think Andulusian look, that I would macramé for shows and some competitions. He had a tail that the tip ends whispered on the ground when he walked. The vet gave no hope of him surviving this illness. Temperatures of over 105. I used pillow cases of ice and liniment rubs to help him cool. He survived but that lavish mane was no more, barely half of what it had been. He kept the length of his long tail but it thinned dramatically after his illness too. It was only his forelock that kept the original sumptuous amount of hair.
A little over a year after my bad horse wreck, not on Cory, I took Cory and we went with a good friend and her horse and trailered to a little horse show. I was not back driving yet and still was not riding much. My friend took Cory instead of her gelding in the hunter hack class just for fun. We all laughed, my grey beastie looked truly a pony out there with the much taller hunter types of 16 hands and up. The jumps were all 2' 8", and the taller horses were pretty much stepping over them. My Cory, being not quite 14' 2" hands, was tucking and rounding. Wow, he looked so stylish going over the jumps. Especially with my friend up, she did eventing and the pair were striking as they went picture perfect around. Give that pair the blue.
I ran across an old video tape that had not only Cory and me in the driving class but Cory's sire, Mono. I want to put it on dvd. I have so many pictures to go thru. I am a 4H leader, Cory helped me so much with the young and upcoming riders. We did trail trial clinics, work shops. Oh my gosh, the list just goes on. They all loved him and how good he was. How he loved the little girls, he was a ladies man for sure. Mares loved him too. We used to call him the stud muffin. I had one friend who had a mare, aptly named Bratt, that never liked any other horses. My friend could not trailer her mare or have anyone trailer their horse in her trailer, the mare was that bad. Then she met Cory and all that changed. Cory was the only horse Bratt ever liked. They trailered together and had many wonderful miles on trails with us being allowed to ride along. I was there with my friend when Bratt passed over the rainbow bridge.
The list is almost endless. I could go on for hours. Several of my friends have asked me to write the story of the Grey Beastie, his life and times. My days are dark without you Cory. I miss you so, so much.