Earlier, I wrote about FULL METAL JOUSTING, a series on the History Channel.
Then, I was lucky enough to hear from the previous owner of 4 of the jousting horses featured on the show!
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Gulliver (linked here).
Today, I will give you insider background into Jefferson, Harlan and Reginald thanks to their previous owner, Rachalle!
BUT FIRST, WE HAVE A WINNER!
For those of you who don’t watch the show, “Josh K.” is the first FULL METAL JOUSTING Champion! You can watch his introductory video below.
For me, I did want him to win. I liked him and he seemed teddybearish underneath that rough exterior. I mean, he kept saying he needed to win ‘for his daughter’. I liked that… Or, maybe the producers of the show told him he’d better soften up his image so Josh started talking about his daughter… I dunno. But, it worked for me. I thought he looked the part and he was very, very serious about it.
ONTO THE HORSES OF FULL METAL JOUSTING!!
The below descriptions were written by Rachelle who previously owned 4 of the Full Metal Jousting horses. She was kind enough to indulge me with a glimpse into their personalities and their history. Thank you, Rachelle!
Jefferson was also part of an Amish team that had been split and a proper mate hadn’t been found for him when we purchased him. We have a strong “affinity” for the Percheron breed and he was such a big, personable guy that we felt he would be a good fit to bring home. Jefferson is a large boy and very well built, and if a horse can have a good work ethic, then Jefferson has it! He loves being the head guy in charge and was always on the move in the pasture. We knew he was broke to drive double and had some riding time as well, be we had plans to only ride him and get him started as a trail riding horse.
His steady, calm personality was great and in our area we have a lot of deer where we ride.A number of times they would jump out directly across our path and Jefferson took it all in stride, never spooking or acting as if they had startled him. I took a couple of friends out one day and Jefferson was such a gentleman. Neither lady had even been on a draft and Jefferson and Gulliver took excellent care of them. Jefferson brought up the rear on our ride and seem to know that he should go slow and take care of this petite rider. But, if an experienced rider was on him he was ready to go and enjoyed being out and doing some real work! We always had a wonderful time riding him and enjoyed his stamina out on the trails. One thing I have noticed over the years is that these gentle giants have such amazing talent and are very smart. They seem to know when to be calm and docile and when they can really open up and use their power. The kindness and intelligence is so evident when you look into their eyes. Seeing him on FMJ is thrilling! This is the perfect venue for him and seeing him at work is exciting! I have heard Shane mention that this is what these horses were bred to do and he’s so correct in that statement. Jefferson always seems alert and willing to listen to his rider. He appears happy and healthy and the trainers working with him have done such a great job.
Harlan is the gray/white Spotted Draft on the show. He has appeared in several shows during practices. He is a younger horse and was never finished as a driving/working horse. He was “english” born and raised and did have some riding time on him when we brought him home. He and Clyde got along fabulously and he seemed to prefer being a man’s horse. I still remember the day we went to look at him and how much Clyde liked him and his looks. I thought he looked like a rather large teenage boy who had just went through a growth spurt! He was all legs and head. But his personality was excellent and he turned out to be the clown of the group. I only rode him a few times myself as he seemed to gravitate to Clyde more, but watching him on rides it was always apparent that he was having a great time. My fondest memories of him are watching him pick up the rubber feed pans and hit himself in the head. He would work his way from one pan to the next and do the same thing over and over. I don’t know if he thought eventually food would fall out of them or if he just enjoyed being silly. Maybe a little of both?? The other horses would look at him like he was just so NOT COOL! He loved attention and whenever I would walk the fence line or be filling the water trough he would be there to supervise. I would be busy and turn around and there it was….the GIANT HEAD! I got to calling him Big Giant Head from 3rd Rock from the Sun. The first time I saw him on FMJ I was shocked at how much he has matured. He looks like a real big boy now having filled out and gained adult muscling. Looking at him now I can see everything that Clyde saw in him. I think his easy going disposition probably helps him alot and I can’t wait to watch him as Shane and his trainers continue to work with him!! I do wonder though if he’s still a clown??
Reginald is the 4th horse that went to Shane. He was a 5yr old Shire/Spotted Draft cross. What a super horse he is!! I loved this big black teddy bear from the start. You couldn’t ask for a calmer, sweeter disposition. But, ask him to crank it up a notch and he can!! I also took Reggie to a local show and did some classes with him and was very happy with him. He had never been in that type of a situation, yet he listened and did everything I asked. We try to expose the horses to as much as possible so that they can become a safe trail companion for another person at some point in time. There were children, ponies, a loudspeaker and lots of commotion that day and Reggie acted as if this was something he did everyday. He is such a joy to work with and be around. He’s very intelligent and loves to please! I rode him once on a ride with just a halter and lead rope because I had forgotten his bridle at home. I trusted him that much to take him out with other horses and knew he would listen to me. Unfortunately, shortly after arriving at Shane’s he became lame and was diagnosed with a severe abcess. I spoke to Shane recently and inquired about Reggie as I hadn’t seen him on the show yet. He assured me that he is well and the care they provided him to get him sound has been outstanding!!! I look forward to seeing Reggie on the next season of FMJ! I know they are going to really enjoy him!
The day the boys left was filled with mixed emotions for me. I was sad to see them leaving, but also thrilled for the opportunity they were being given! I had no doubts that it was something they could do and hoped that the new owner and trainers could see the same potential we had seen in them. I’m so very proud of them and this new, exciting life they have!! If the chance ever comes that we can see them, you can bet we’ll take it. In the meantime though I love seeing them on the show and encourage everyone who is a fan to let the History Channel know we want a second season!!
For anyone who has concerns about the care or well being of the horses I can confidently say that I believe Shane Adams, his family and trainers are true professionals and that the care they provide is of the highest quality. He has been kind enough to call and let me know when the boys arrived and also took time from his busy schedule to return my calls. Just the fact that a competitor was released from the show for hitting a horse speaks volumes about how much these horses are respected. I know my boys all look healthy, happy and very confident in their roles as war horses.
Rachelle Schlange Luttig
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.