Triple Trouble: Galavanting With the Gru Crew

Prepare for takeoff ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be a wild ride!

Howdy There! My name is Marcella Gruchalak, hence the title, “Gru Crew.” I’m excited to share stories — the good and the bad — of my three horses: Funny Bunny B (Buns), Sunmans Irish Pay (Payco) and Unbridled Fame (Hot Sauce). You may have read or even followed my last series, “Rehabbing Funny Bunny B.” That series had more of a serious tone to it, so in this series I’m going to try to keep more of an upbeat, airy feel.

This first article in the series may be a tad dry, but I’d like to give you some background information on my horses and me before jumping into the odd things that go on with these three.

Funny Bunny B, Sunmans Irish Pay and Unbridled Fame. Photo by Marlee Fritz.

Sunmans Irish Pay, aka Payco, is a coming three year old AQHA registered, bay roan gelding. Payco is as pretty as they come, but he’s a typical two year old — annoying. When parents discuss their children hitting the terrible twos phase, I know exactly what they’re talking about.

Payco pushes every button. He’s always in my space, the other horse’s space and just about anyone and anything that comes in a close enough vicinity. He’s just downright irritating.

However, with the constant reminders to stay out of my space, his annoying, two-year-old personality is really quite wonderful when I go out to catch him in the field. Every single time he comes running (I hope he doesn’t outgrow that quality).

Sunmans Irish Pay. Photo by Marlee Fritz.

Unbridled Fame, aka Hot Sauce, is a coming yearling, AQHA registered, bay filly. This gal lives up to her barn name. Payco’s baby brain type personality is mild compared to Hot Sauce’s fiesty, my-way-or-the-highway attitude. Sometimes (not so much anymore) I honestly believe she is a spawn of Satan.

Within her first year of life she has made me cry and has humbled me quite a bit. Everything I thought I knew about horses did not work for Ms. Thang. She is a fiery, spunky, VERY LARGE, young lady.

With that being said, Hot Sauce is exactly what I was hoping for when I bred for her. I was hoping for something with grit that could get the job done and get it done well. I believe she is going to be every bit of that and more — if I can keep up.

Unbridled Fame. Photo by Marcella Gruchalak.

Last, but certainly not least, is Funny Bunny B, aka Buns. Buns is a coming seven year old, chestnut, Jockey Club registered, off-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) — although he never made it to a race. Buns was in race training and his trainers decided the race track just wasn’t his cup of tea.

So I was lucky enough to buy him! Buns is that horse that everybody wishes they had in their barn. He’s quiet enough to tote my nieces around, but then he has enough drive to pick up and be competitive in mounted shooting with me.

I know I shouldn’t have a favorite — shhh, don’t tell the others — but I just can’t help myself. I try to blame it on the fact that the others are young and I haven’t had the same amount of time and experiences with them, but Buns is hands down my favorite. It’s hard for me to see myself having this connection with any other horse.

Funny Bunny B. Photo by Catching Dreams Photography.

As for me, I’m just a female who never outgrew the crazy horse girl phase. This statement really sums it up, but I’ll give you a bit more.

I’m an adrenaline junkie. I like to go fast and push past my personal limits… but I like to do it in a very structured way. I’m probably borderline OCD, but when it comes to the technicality of things, cues and movements need to be the best they can be — even at high speeds.

To pay for my particularly expensive hobby of horses I earn my money as a registered nurse. This probably has something to do with that fact that most of my horse’s injuries did not phase me. Unless their leg is falling off or their eye is gouged out, I’m slapping a band-aid on it and telling them to suck it up.

Totally exaggerating, I call the vet when it’s needed, but she doesn’t get any unnecessary calls for minor scrapes.

Photo by Chris Robertson.

Anyways, I’m excited to document the journey of my three horses and their shenanigans and I’m even more excited to share it with all of you!

It’s going to be a wild ride so buckle your seatbelts and prepare for takeoff!