The second pair in the Senior Horse Project series is Allison & Maverick! I was SO excited for Allison’s session with her horse Maverick at Robin Hill Farm in Pittstown, NJ. While Maverick was Allison’s first baby, her second (and first human!) baby was going to join us for the shoot as well! It was incredibly special to have baby Leanne there, and seeing Maverick and Leanne interact was so sweet.
Horse: Maverick (Registered Name: Primus), 24 years old, Rhinelander, photographed at Robin Hill Farm in Pittstown, NJ
My parents bought Maverick for me and we imported him from Germany in 2003…he was 6/7 when we bought him. Mav is my second horse. My first horse turned out to be a bit too much for me to handle and we sold him to a close friend.
My family isn’t a ‘horsey’ family so we relied on the knowledge and experience of the trainers and staff at our barn. I’d been riding since I was 10 and [had] leased a horse before buying my first so [I] had some experience. I was at a farm with a respected trainer and knowledgeable staff as well. Growing up riding and being a ‘barn rat’ at the Union County stable, Watchung Stables, I also had a large community to rely on for support, even though I didn’t board my horse there once I got him.
I always wanted to compete in the jumpers. I didn’t have any specific height in mind but the horse needed to be athletic. We competed in the child adult jumpers initially and we dabbled in eq and hunters to fill classes, etc. After his first injury and rehab we discovered eventing and dressage and competed on a much more low key level. Now he’s retired and gives pony rides!
Board at a nice farm with turnout and an indoor was $450 at the time [we bought him in 2003]! Haha! But in reality [I did] not really [have a full appreciation for how much it cost to keep a horse] since my parents were paying for him. I knew I’d have to take over expenses eventually and when that happened yes, it was an eye opener! I remember telling people he cost more a month than I did! So I took on leasers to help with costs and had a few people who would pay per ride. When he went to the clinic I paid through a payment plan.
I didn’t have the intention of ever selling Maverick, he was always more talented than I was! Not that it mattered, he wasn’t an investment he was a partner. [But] after I graduated college, when the bills started piling up and I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life, I considered selling [him]. I hadn’t thought the long game through [in regards to retirement]. I wasn’t too serious but told a few trainer friends [that I was considering selling him]. A few people came to try him, a mother asked to put money down and I got cold feet and backed out.
Definitely [my lowest point with Maverick was] having to take him to Mid Atlantic [Equine Medical Center] for nuclear scintigraphy. As for highs we won bunches of ribbons but I’d like to think our 17 year relationship is what I’m most proud of.
Maverick has always been there for me through what I consider to be the pivotal years of my life, my senior year of high school through college and navigating adulthood. He has always been a steady source of companionship and solace. I hope to one day share with my daughter the love I have for Maverick.
Thank you so much to Allison, Chris, Leanne and Maverick for a lovely evening at Robin Hill Farm!