Independent George 2003 – 2019

Independent George was always that! He’s still a little quirky according to his new owner Kari Thorson from North Dakota.  He was originally given to someone in Florida and how he made his way up to a large farm for retired horses in North Dakota is anyone’s guess.  Thankfully Kari got in touch with the farm wanting a grey horse and they chose George for her.  He’s very happy, has put on a load of weight and the photo shows him meeting her Boston Terrier for the first time.  Apparently he was fascinated!  She says he’s adjusted very well to his new life and after a bit more R & R after his rough North Dakota winter she will start riding him.


Independent George 2003

Career Racing Summary
Starts  Firsts  Seconds  Thirds  Earnings
44       8          9           4     $395,464

George meeting dog


We’ve had many very amusing updates along with way from Kari and here is the latest…..I’ve told her she should write a book about him as some of the stories are hilarious!

George and I got home today from another trail riding and camping weekend. We did about 18 miles and he did great. I won’t say he did perfect, because he is still kicking out at unfamiliar horses, AND he tried to brush me off on two separate trees. My knee is swollen and bruised to prove it. But he did impress everyone by the fact he didn’t bat an eye when deer would jump up from the brush 10 feet from us. The other horses about lost their minds but not George. He is learning how to neck rein and really is turning out to be a nice little trail horse. He is accepting the fact that we don’t need to race everywhere and to enjoy life in the slow lane.
On Thursday we are loading him up and heading west. We will spend a few days in the badlands of North Dakota before heading down to the blackhills of South Dakota for a week of camping and trail riding. I am so excited! I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how he does. Who would have guessed he would end up as a trail horse…

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Well George and I made I back from our western adventure. He did so good! We had some set backs, like when he threw two shoes, and I ended up with heat exhaustion. But the trip was super successful for both of us!
George learned a lot and he was super brave. He really likes being a trail horse.
We had some troubles with water crossings at first. His best method of crossing small creeks was to get to the highest point and leap over. That didn’t work so well when we got to crossings that were over 2 feet wide… So he learned (after about 10 crossings) that walking calmly and slowly is the best and safest method to deal with water. He even realized that he could stop and drink at them!

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Loose rein George – who would have imagined?!  And the dreaded cows….


Update July 17th, 2018

So it’s been a while I just thought I would send you a little update on your old friend Independent George. As you have seen on Facebook, he has been a busy fellow traveling and trail riding. This year he is really starting to “get it”. I have had several people that we frequently ride with tell me that he seems to have really matured this year and is much more tolerable to ride with. In previous years he could be a bit nasty to be around, and honestly I don’t think people liked having him around. He is now happily riding in the middle of the pack and leading the pack. We aren’t stuck in the back anymore! He is also standing tied to the trailer without leaving his “autograph” by scraping his teeth along the side of it. (That didn’t make my husband very happy). George and I recently came home from another trip to the North Dakota Badlands. It was a quick trip, but we got 26 more miles under our belt. This trip we actually did a lot of trail blazing and went down some pretty questionable terrain. He handled it better than I did. People are quite impressed with him. There are a lot of people and horses that get hurt in the badlands, their horses sometimes can’t mentally handle the trails and end up getting into bad situations. A few days before we got to camp, a fellow was on a horse that freaked out about crossing a creek, and ended up breaking his riders leg. It’s tough riding out there.

This trip went smoothly. My husband often suggests I bring another horse when we go because we did have a streak of bad luck with George every time we traveled. One trip he coliced, on two separate occasions he threw shoes, there was the time he bit somebody passing his stall, he bit and kicked a friends horse out on the trail and then yes I did slip off his side when I was feeling overly confident about my bareback riding skills. But this trip was his best yet. I can’t wait to see what is down the trail for us.
I have included some photo highlights from our year so far. Please forward to his friends that are interested in how he is doing!
Clockwise:  Mountain goat George!
At the top of Black Elk Peak!!!
The mountain in the back is Black Elk Peak, it’s the highest point between the Rockies and the Alps.. and we climbed it!
George and his girlfriend Dolly, and my friend who loves George as much as I do.
Overlooking the little Missouri River
April 19th, 2019
RIP George, you were a special man to many people….
Independent George injured himself tonight and unfortunately was euthanized due to the nature of the injury. He was a character that left an impression on everyone he met. His family is in shock and disbelief and will miss him tremendously. Hopefully he enjoyed his retirement here with us. There will never be another horse that will fill his place in our hearts. Your race has been run buddy. Please enjoy your final retirement.
– Kari Kay
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