Born February 15, 1990
Kye could have also been registered as a Quarter Horse by his breeder. Bill Stott bought him in 1997. In their first years together they learned dressage and jumping. Bill loved and Kye sort of liked Eventing. The duo often placed in the ribbons and once when Bill was in the States Kye and his rider placed first at the Entry level in the Caledon event. While waiting for the award ceremony I was holding Kye. A lady came up to me and said, “It’s so wonderful to see one of them do well. They’re so maligned.” I asked her what she meant and she said, “Arabians, they’re always criticized.” I informed her that he was an Appaloosa. She signed and walked away.
When Kye was 18 Sophie Kalpin evented him at the pre-training level. They earned high awards at the end of the season.
Kye was introduced to games and trick training at the age of 20. Whereas every other horse learned the Big Smile almost instantly, Kye took over a year to offer it. The key to unlocking his huge smile was to raise my hand until Kye’s face was horizontal. At that point he eagerly moved his upper lip.
This twenty-plus-year-old also distinguished himself with playing the sleigh bells. Six months after meeting them he happily rang the bells. The sleigh bells are on a leather strap and the whole thing is attached to a pole on the wall in the arena. Many times each week I’d call him to me (he was free in the arena) and ask him to ring the bells. For a long time he stood as far away as he could, but still close enough to stretch his neck so that he could receive a treat. Over a period of time he let me wiggle the bells producing a soft jingling sound. He was able to stand still while this happened and receive a treat. One day he actually put his nose on one bell. I gave him a jackpot of treats. This horse now owns the ringing of the sleigh bells. He sees them and eagerly brushes his nose against a sleigh bell causing the entire strap of bells to ring.
Kye is also amazing at pushing the big ball. When you’re passing it back and forth with him more than one person has been surprised at the force Kye’s able to apply to the ball with just his head. Kye happily accompanies a human around the arena taking turns pushing the big ball. He’s also pushed both big balls in a manner reminiscent of rounding up cattle.
Kye’s the reason we started putting together horse performances in 2007. We bought Winsong Farm in February 2000 on Kye’s birthday, the 15th. To celebrate the purchase and Kye’s special day we invited friends to see what he and our young Lusitanos ( born in 2004) were doing. The third February performance was even colder, windier, snowier than the first two. At that point we decided to forget February and pick a warm month in Ontario. Simultaneously these get-togethers morphed into fundraisers. As the years go by the money raised adds up. By December of 2012 we’d donated over $7,000 to different causes benefiting animals and children.