I can hear all of you now. Mx Tio Vivo? What the heck is that? Mx Tio Vivo, more fondly known as Tio, is a horse, but not just any horse. Tio (whose full name means “carousel” in Spanish) comes from a long line of famous endurance horses. In fact, his great grandsire was Nazeer, a magical name in every pedigree of Egyptian horses. Nazeer is often referred to as a Sire of Significance in the world of Arabian horses.
Tio is an Arabian and he stands 14.3 hands high. He was born in Texas and is now 22 years old. That is not old for an Arabian, but he is past his prime for the endurance competitions that he used to take part in and has now officially retired. That’s how my son, Bryan’s girlfriend, Cayley, came to own him. When he began to fall below the top 10 in endurance competitions, he was sold to a lady who became Cayley’s riding instructor. Cayley started riding Tio and fell in love with him, and eventually he found a new home at Cayley’s house.
Here’s something really interesting that I did not know. Tio is considered a flea-bitten gray, and most gray horses are born with black skin, but their adult hair coat is white, dappled, or white intermingled with hairs of other colours. Many people who are unfamiliar with horses refer to a gray horse as “white.”. Flea-bitten gray is a colour consisting of a white hair coat with small speckles or “freckles” of red-coloured hair throughout, but underneath his skin is still black.
Tio was part of OCTRA (Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association) and also participated in the PanAm Games in the endurance championships. This may make Tio sound pretty important, which he was in his time, but now he’s just chillin’ in the paddock eating candies. Yes, Tio loves candy, even sour candy!! He’s really rather funny. Sometimes he sticks his head through the fence to try and snag an apple, and more often than not he gets his head stuck. He doesn’t like annoying little dogs racing around his feet either, and the other day when the family’s cocker spaniel, Molly, was barking and running in and out between his legs, Tio took matters into his own hands (or hooves), picked up Molly by the scruff of her neck and dumped her over the fence. He’s a don’t mess with me kinda guy!! So, here he is – Mx Tio Vivo.