Hercy’s Story

Hercy died in 2015

Hercules, or Hercy as he is mainly called, came into our lives in 2004. A big hairy English Cob, he was brought over to Spain by his previous owner who had purchased him in the Uk as a youngster. Unfortunately , a few years after moving here, she found herself going through a divorce, and was no longer in a position to keep him. We agreed to take him on, and he has been a big part of our life ever since.

With his huge head and roman nose, kind eyes and fluffy feathers, Hercy is everyones favourite and is amazing for children or novice riders who can safely ride him out into the mountains, un led. Children love the fact that Hercy likes to be in front which means that they are usually leading the ride, though he does know all the short cuts home, so we have to be careful that he doesn’t just choose his own route! He is great if we put him at the back of the ride too, as we can then safely go for a canter but if the person riding Hercy doesn’t want to, he will just plod along at the back and catch up once we have stopped, he really is priceless.

Hercy fitted into the herd almost from the day he arrived and quickly found his way to being herd leader, much to Polly’s disgust. Leo , being the oldest male until Hercy’s arrival, had his nose put out of joint and though he would never try anything with Hercy in the field, if we are out riding, or leading Hercy out of the gate with his back to Leo, he can’t resist trying a quick bite.

Hercy is becoming a bit too kind and tolerant in his old age, and will share his food with the two youngest males, Spirit and Picasso, and is particularly bonded with Picasso. Though tolerant wit the other horses, he is very amusing to watch if the chickens dare to try to share his food with them – he turns into a grumpy monster, chasing them and pushing them with his nose. He also hates being groomed in the winter months, when his coat becomes so thick, with long hairs under his belly, we have to be so careful not to hurt him – as nice natured as he is, he will think nothing of turning to bite anyone who accidently pulls his hair. I have recently taught him to be much more tolerant of being groomed using clicker training and it has made a big difference.

Hercy has benefitted immensely from our decision to go barefoot  When h e arrived his previous owner said that he could never keep a shoe on, he had such crumbly feet. His feet did prove to be difficult, and of course banging nails into them was not helping. He has long narrow feet, more like a mule, and when shod, he used to have back shoes on his front feet. The transition to taking him barefoot was a bit slower than the other horses , due to the poor quality of his feet, but we started in the Autumn so that he had the winter with soft ground and the first summer we coped with the use of hoof boots. Since then, his feet have been amazing and with him being one of our most used horses, going out every day in the summer months, it just proves that any horse can go barefoot!