Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Part Two of the Horse World Expo Series: My Favorite Guys

So, a little update.  Guy McLean not only wrote me a very kind note in response, but also shared my last post on his own facebook page, which meant a big day for the blog.  We've gotten about 7,000 views since then.  His post was shared 100 times, received almost 1,000 likes, and 75 comments. Wow.  How humbling!  Biggest thing to happen on the blog since Equestrian Ryan Reynolds took the internet by storm.

Ethan shared Guy's post on his facebook page, and... brace yourselves... Guy McLean himself left us a comment on Ethan's wall:
Ethan and Marissa, you both are wonderful individuals and a fantastic couple and I am just as happy to have shared time with you as you are. Your kind words and showing of respect and humility is more important to me than you'll ever know and I look forward to seeing you both again in the near future. Kind regards, Guy McLean
I died.

And speaking of wonderful individuals and fantastic couples... the point of this post:  Ethan and Mooch.  

[Warning:  Keep scrolling if you don't give two scoops of manure about my personal life.]  In the interest of truth in journalism (we did once earn an Honest Scrap award), I have to give you the disclaimer that my relationship is not in fact all sunshine and rainbows and pony kisses.  We do, in fact, fight like cats and dogs on occasion.  Even more frequently when, for example, New Jersey has been covered in ice and neither of us have had enough horsey time (unanticipated consequence of dating another equestrian!).  What makes me forgive & forget, and want to stick around forever, though, is that Ethan is just a really amazing human being.

First of all, Ethan loves his horse more than anything (which is obviously my most valued character trait in other humans).  He is incredibly proud of him, with good reason, because Mooch really is wonderful.  He is the most sure-footed, level-headed horse I've ever come across.  I was riding him around at a show last Spring bracing myself for all the spooky stuff we walked by (because Tucker would have rapidly escorted me to safety).  Mooch was like, "Geez lady, would ya relax up there?  I'm a Paso, I don't spook."  He is so relaxed that a couple hours after entering the circus that is the first day of the Expo, he decided it was time for a nap.

Sleepy Mooch - as laid back as his owner.
He is the world's greatest trail horse, and has led Tucker over, under, and through many a wooded path.  (Tucker's life motto:  "You go first.")

He's a jack of all trades, really, and when called upon is more than happy to be super-fancy in the ring, beating pros on other top horses with his fancy footwork.

And of course, he was a complete Rock Star all weekend at the Expo.  Here they are during the opening ceremonies, being adorable:

One of the nicest things about Ethan is that when he has something great, he wants to share it with everyone else.  So he is really a wonderful ambassador for the Paso Fino breed.  Pasos, not unlike Thoroughbreds, sometimes get a bad rap from people who don't know them.  People see them working so hard and moving their feet so quickly that I think onlookers assume they must be "hot," or "crazy," or difficult to handle.  I think all of us know that while that's a stereotype about TB's too, it just isn't true in most cases.  Having been around Pasos for a year and a half now, and having had the pleasure of riding a few, I can tell you that despite their ability to move their feet at lightning speed,  they are some of the most sane animals around.  I can see why people love them as trail horses (they're also super comfy).

So whenever we are at a show, or on a trail, or really anywhere with a horsey audience, Ethan makes a point of not only being his charming, outgoing, fun-loving self, but also trying to educate people about the breed and about his horse.  He also tries to let as many people hop on and ride Mooch as he can, to show them how much fun it is to ride a Paso Fino (something which most of us would not attempt, let's be honest).  And Mooch is 110% reliable to prove it to them.  He will gait right along or give a kid a pony ride, and I have never once worried about the rider's safety.  Just ask Dom!

This is Dom's happy face.
And that, honestly, is my favorite thing about this horse, given that he entrusted with some of the most precious cargo around.  And that cargo is not exactly the most safety-conscious.  

Exhibit A:
At the Expo this weekend.
Exhibit B:
On our first date. 
In my quieter moments with Mooch, sometimes while brushing out the longest mane I've come across since my room was full of My Little Ponies, I have made a point of always telling him how grateful I am to him for keeping my boyfriend safe.  Perhaps more than any other horse I've known, Mooch has certainly earned my trust.  And good thing, because have you seen how adorable my cowboy is?

Love them.


  1. I've never been around Pasos (or gaited horses) at all. What a cool window into their world!

  2. Mooch is hands down my favorite Paso of all time. And you and Ethan are definitely on my Top Couples list, of course.

  3. aw this is so sweet! and Mooch sounds like a really special horse too. we had a Paso at my barn that nobody rode bc she was supposedly too hot... but now i wonder haha

  4. I think this is the best tribute to the Paso breed I have ever read, and what an awesome write-up about the two men in your life! I knew about Mooch and Ethan from Dom's blog, so I'm really late in discovering your blog!

    I come from Puerto Rico. Our national horse is the Paso Fino. More than 50% of the horses on the island are Pasos or Paso crosses. My grandfather used to breed them. I learned to ride on the broad bare back of a Paso Fino mare. That old lady would plod along for a beginner but turn up the fire when she realized you knew what you wanted from her and how to request it. She was the first to teach me about the mental aspect of riding. My first horse was a Paso Fino, a colt that my grandfather gave me and that I trained and broke to saddle myself when I was still a teenager. He was one of the most fearless horses I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I still say this even after 2 decades of working with horses of all breeds, from OTTBs to QHs to TWH. I rode him all over creation and would put beginner friends on him so they could experience what riding a Paso is like for themselves. My boyfriend at the time and my kid cousins learned to ride on him. I never once doubted that he would take care of anyone I put up on him. He was truly amazing. I had him from the time he was 7 months old until the day he died at age 21, two years ago.

    They are wonderful horses and they are so misunderstood in this country. I'm glad you've been able to see and experience the best of them! :)

    1. Thank you! And welcome to the blog! I'm glad this post came across well to someone with so much experience in the Paso world. I have grown very fond of them myself. Went to PR for the first time in December and loved it!


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