Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm thankful, aren't you?

Happy Thanksgiving! I know I'm late but I have been busy entertaining the previous owner of one of my retirees, who is visiting from out of town this weekend. This morning he is coming out and his girlfriend has decided he should have a new experience and help scoop poop. Hee hee, I love her, she is a hoot!
So here's the late Thanksgiving post:
I am thankful to all of you who have written in to tell me that you purchased colts-that-shouldn't-be-colts and promptly whacked off their testicles, and now they are geldings who are loved and cared for and snuggled in safe this cold winter morning with custom blankets and a job to do and who, despite their conformational imperfections, will never, ever go without.

I am thankful to all of you who have a "lifer" (or more than one) that you will never abandon. A horse that you will keep no matter what, the horse for whom you'll eat ramen from the dollar store all month before you buy crappy hay. This is Tex. This is what Tex's mom has to say about Tex: "He is 22. I am 25. I got him when he was 5 and I was 8. Yes, usually I would NEVER suggest anyone this young get a young green horse (green and green make black and blue!) =]
but I was ALWAYS under capable, adult supervision. I grew up with this horse, and through the years did everything from western pleasure to eventing. He is still a solid 3rd level dressage horse, but will also pack around a young child or a complete beginner. He is the best school horse in the barn.

He came up for sale simply because he was standing in a field doing nothing. I paid for him myself ($400.00) and I worked all summer at a local barn cleaning stalls and tack. (Granted, I was too little to dump the wheelbarrow, so my mom helped me with that part!)

I've been offered ungodly amounts of money for him, but people always got the same answer: I would sell my house and live under a bridge, WITH my horse, before I sold him
Well, bless you...Tex has a lot to be thankful for today, and every day, because of you.

I am further thankful for those of you who rescue...those of you who take your own money and time and effort and use it to clean up other people's messes. You take money that could go toward a nice vacation, or a massage, or a pair of absolutely killer shoes, and instead you use it for beet pulp and tooth floating and corrective shoeing for a horse who was not even yours until he was already broken and elderly and someone else had abandoned him.

Here's the story on the guy above: "Here are some Before & After photos of my beloved old T-bred. I found him at a so-called riding academy, being leased to 2 trainers for lessons. I was not planning on buying another horse but I couldn't walk away. I knew they would find him in his stall dead in a matter of weeks. When I purchased him (yep and according to the owners I got a real bargain for $1k), the wife told me he looked considerably worse when he first came to their so called academy. Unbelievable. He was in full retirement the second I signed the check, so no more lessons or riders. Just constitutionals and lots of playing. He even gets massaged on a regualr basis.To make a long story shorter, the major probelm was poor dental care -he had 3 rotten molars and no worming. (not rocket science) The molars came out, proper feed and supps and he started putting on weight. I ran his lip tattoo, which put him at 28 (now 29) and a great/great/great/great/insert more greats) grandson of Man O War. He has a forever home now, and will live the life of Riley until it's time to cross the Rainbow bridge.The before photo was taken 9/06 when he first arrived. The after was taken Feb 2007."

I am thankful for all of my friends, many of whom have also given up the luxuries they once enjoyed and instead spend their money making horses comfortable and happy. Some of the rehabs they have accomplished are nothing short of miraculous. If I live to be 100, I will never understand how my friend saved this horse - but she did. He is 30 years old. He has few teeth left. When he started eating again, he pooped gravel and bits of glass and pieces of old clothing that he had eaten in a desperate struggle to stay alive. When I saw his first pictures, I did not think he could be saved - and thankfully I was wrong. Now it is a year and a half later, and he is happy and fat and babysitting my 8 month old weanling. I honestly think that somehow they know when someone is pulling for them, no matter how awful they feel.
If you take great care of your horses, and you only breed quality horses there's a market for - if you breed at all - you are my heroes. I wish you were a little more contagious. I hope we find a way to make that happen in the coming years. Thanks for reading and I promise the snark will be back tomorrow, for those of you who hate it when I get mushy. For those of you who love mush, go read TB Friends today...I guarantee you will cry (but it's a happy ending).

Happy Holidays!
P.S. I heard we got a mention in Horse & Rider. How cool is that? Thanks, folks at Horse & Rider!