Since Dan and Saucer are 23 and 21 years old, I have looked for a new team for a few years. They are in great shape and can still work, but I don’t want to overwork them. On the other hand, I believe that horses aren’t meant to just stand in a pasture and eat, especially when they are older. I compare it to tying you to a couch and feeding you nothing but Doritos. Now they will be backups for pulling the wagon and can pull the carriage in downtown Bend enough to stay healthy. Saucer will probably still pull the carriage for weddings also since he is so darn good looking!
It just so happens that I had heard that Valley View Percherons, owned by the Wilder family from Custer, Washington, were retiring from showing and were selling their horses. This is the same farm that my uncle Jeff bought Dan and Saucer from 15 years ago! The Wilders sold 17 horses last year and were finishing their shows this year before selling their last few. The last show of the season was at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. Since it saved me about 6 hours round trip through Seattle I picked them up after the last day of the fair.
In order to put on a show with 6 horses it takes a whole crew to get everything done. The Wilders had three young ladies that have helped with the horses for a few years and wanted to say good-bye. They said the horses had never been ridden before and the girls wanted to give it a try. After the horses and people had dinner we all met back at the barn to have some fun!
Before you start seeing Kurt and Roman pulling the carriage we need to get used to working with each other. They can handle crowds and distractions proven by their experiences showing with Valley View Percherons, but can they handle a First Friday Art Walk? Dan and Saucer know and trust me. I will start building a working relationship with Kurt and Roman at Olson Farms Pumpkin Patch in October. Their debut in Bend will probably be the Veteran’s Day Parade on November 11th. For now, they are getting lots of love and attention at their new home.