A beloved school horse in Yellowknife, NWT was retired by North Country Stables at the age of 28. While he was officially taken out of the riding program this past February, the stables held a full-fledged retirement party in Norman’s honour this past weekend.
Patritical Dartnell, who operates the stable, told CBC that Norman was a horse that did it all. He was ridden by students, driven in parades with his brother Mack, and was also used as a vaulting horse. Norman is a Spanish-Norman (hence the name), which is a cross between a Andalusian of Spain and a Percheron of France.
“When adults were riding him, you would notice that his back end was kind of giving out a little bit,” she told the news outlet as to what prompted the decision.
According to the CBC story, the retirement party included cake — for both humans and horses — a barbecue, pony rides, a card signed by all the guests, photos of young Norman and balloons.
Lots of former students commented on Facebook; one recalled, “I have fond memories of lessons on this gentle giant when I was a child. Happy retirement, Norman!”