A Well-Loved Horse

A few remembrances of Tommy Jovais.

I bought Tommy in 2002 when the vet told the client vetting him that he was lame in all 4 legs. He never limped or missed a lesson.

Tommy was kind to all his riders, the brand new ones, the ones that hadn’t ridden in 20 years, the young ones, the old ones, the fathers, the mothers, the brothers, and the boyfriends. He was never a problem, he just waited patiently for whatever was asked of him.  He would stand in the middle of the ring with his rider all day if you wanted.  He enjoyed being in the ring.  He didn’t love his grooming, but once you got on he was happy.  He will be missed.” ~~ Beverly Jovais, Trainer, Owner.

He was pretty picky about treats.  My mom got him some fancy cookies in London at Harrods.  She was all excited to give them to him and he turned his nose up to them.  Pacheco wolfed them down but Tommy only wanted carrots.  He liked the American cookies but was not interested in the Brit cookie option.” ~~ Katy Candy, Trainer.


“I loved that horse and he taught me so much.  I loved our lessons together and feel a sense of loss at his passing.  There have been a few great men in my life and he was certainly one of them.  I fondly remember calling him “my handsome man.”  ~~ Joene.  Student

“He made me feel qualified to be on his back.  He was generous to a rider who was riding with no real talent but with heart equaled only by a horse as kind as Tommy. He had to read my mind, because he was seasoned and I was not.  No mistake he could not adjust to.  Always appreciated being groomed.  He wore his shiny red coat with the dignity of a royal, but the humor of a clown.

Tommy was a one of a kind.” ~~ Patt Hull, Student.











Basically he was just the sweetest horse ever and could brighten anyone’s day just by being around him. When I would finish riding him after a long lesson and dismount he would rest his head against me as we walked back to the barn. He was so friendly and loving whenever I used to hug him it felt like he was hugging me back. And he’d always let me give him a kiss on his cheek. I remember during the Halloween Horse Show at Beaumont I was the Tooth Fairy and he let me put a big felt fake tooth on his back without any trouble and let me ride him in my big poofy dress. Also another time he was such a trooper Bev was teaching me in the outdoor ring and it started drizzling, but we decided to stay outside. Then it started pouring rain but he didn’t mind and it was one of the coolest lessons ever because the rain was so thick and coming down so hard.  Tommy taught me so much and I will never forget him.”  ~~ Alexa Samii, student.

He was very kind and gentle but he refused to do a few things.  He only got the pony strides.  He hated his left lead so most people learned to canter to the right and then counter canter going left.  We had (vet) Jack do his hocks and (vet) Sandy work on him but he still hated his left lead.  He only wanted to jump two foot six and let you know if the jump was too big by a very gentle drive by.  He absolutely  refused to go anywhere near the Eurociser.  I guess he thought he had gone around in circles enough and didn’t feel the need to practice walking in a circle.  He never stepped foot in one since he made it clear to us that he didn’t like it.  He loved kids on the ground but really seemed to prefer adults on his back.  He loved his ladies.  Donna, Patt, Dina and Joene.  He loved Alexa.” ~~ Katy Candy, Trainer.

“Somewhere in time’s own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.”
~~ Stanley Harrison