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Last week saw the passing of possibly the best natured equine that any of us here at New Trails have ever known.

Reno came to as his final home about 8 years ago.

A horse that was retired early because of his crazy sway back. Without a doubt we were the best final years he could have wished for.

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He turned out to be the horse that could do everything.

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While under saddle, he not only became a dressage schoolmaster especially in the lateral movements but also in the levade, pessade and courbette with the rider. He also jumped. He was also Rowan’s school bus for a while, picking Scub up from home and taking him across to New Trails in the mornings.

He represented Horse Boy at numerous events in Austin giving displays of levade, piaffe, terre a terre and more sometimes in between rows of people sitting in beer gardens. He would make sure that he never accidentally came down on or hurt anyone and would give up his amazing moves for pretty much anyone who would ask whether beginner or expert.

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Reno @Bangers Beer Garten in Austin 

One of our dressage mentors, Christian Bachinger, who comes to us every year from the Spanish Riding School of Vienna always referred to Reno as his favorite at Horse Boy and would ask upon arrival “Where is my friend?”.

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We tried to retire Reno a few times as his sway back gradually deteriorated to the point where even as an in hand schoolmaster horse we would think each year, surely he has to stop. Reno would simply then present himself at the gate and weave his head back and forth until somebody did something with him.

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=Reno and Kera in shoulder in 

You could put a beginner who knew no in hand work at all in front of Reno, have them say “Valenca patter 1a, please” and Reno would immediately just give them that pattern and anything else they would ask for, they would even have to know the aids. Reno would hear travers in the circle or half pass and just do it – proof that horses can and do learn human vocabularies to an astonishing extend.

He was so human centric that given the chance he would take up residence on the front porch while other horses he broke out of the pasture with would go of exploring the neighborhood.

Reno was a real ambassador for autism. He charmed and wowed and drew in supporters at every event he gave displays at and everyone who came through New Trails fell in love with this special horse. Last week he finally gave us the signal that it was time; the sway back compromising his ability to get up off the ground. We cradled his had in our arms until it was time.

This horse came a long way – in every way. Imported in his mother’s womb from Spain to Mexico, he was birthed at the Frederic Jimenez stud in Oaxaca and came to Texas as a stallion known for pulling crazy antics like getting stuck in a window of a stable while trying to get to a mare (twice).

Already gelded when he came to us, he still would suddenly think he was a stallion when any mare was around, leading to some interesting situations. But with people he was always the epidemy of a gentleman. At our Horse Boy playdates, he would stand for hours while children painted his white coat as if it was an abstract canvas. Letting them dive around under his hooves, pull on his tail and do anything they wanted.

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This horse really could do and did do everything. He was proof positive, that the rider is only as good as the horse underneath them – meaning he made everyone who worked with him look amazing by both lending his extraordinary athleticism and making sure he would keep that person safe, no matter what the situation. Even to the point of giving up his levade for Rupert’s then 75 year old mother who could not ride at all.

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So many of our trainers learned to hone their dressage and in hand skills with Reno. These trainers are now able to offer courses to other people wanting to learn the Method and are helping many children around the world partially because of what they learned from Reno.

However, he had a special relationship with Iliane – while still under saddle, his favorite thing was to pretend to run away with her while on long trail rides. She would let him, so that he would get to feel like a bad boy when in fact everybody knew that he was the best boy in the entire world. When he would “run away” with Iliane like that he looked less like a horse than like a big Great Dane lolloping along wagging not just the tail but the whole body with a cartoon speech bubble coming out of his mouth saying “OH BOY!”

Reno we will miss you – no we do miss you but we were so honored to be part of your life and to have you be such an important part of ours. You taught us so much. You were so good to us. We love you.

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Reno with Christian Baching of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna


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Reno with Iliane at Lysts on the Lake @ Richard Garriots property

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Reno with Iliane and Breac with Erin @ Lysts on the lake

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Reno the schoolbus  with Rowan

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Reno and two of his grandson: Helios and Hidalgo

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Reno and Iliane @ Sherwood Forest Renaissance Festival 

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Reno with Dale Watson @ Horse Boy Festival

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Reno doing what he loved most... the levade

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This was Reno's last outing the Horse Boy Music Festival 2014 in Elgin, TX

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The highest he jumped was 4' but this is the only jumping picture we have of him. 

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Ron on Reno in the Levade

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All one needed to do is raise your arms infront of him and he would go up safely. 

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This was SCSW 2014 at Ginny Little Longhorn Saloon wit Dale Watson

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Casa Capala's Tequila Festival