Homes for the Holidays!!

It has been a busy few weeks here at the rescue. One of the things that makes us happiest are when our horses get great homes! These guys seem to know it too- they know when that right person comes along, you can see it in their eyes. Call me crazy, but it is true.

When horses come in, we try to give them the time they need to recalibrate- for some horses it can be weeks, for some a year. Not that they are unsound- but some are worn out, tired, and unsociable. As they rehab, they change- their coats get shiny, they get nice and round and filled out on less grain, they start to come to the fence when we go out to the fields. They tell us when they are ready, and they also tell us when they like a certain person. I know, I am sounding a bit daft, but if you listen to them, they will tell you.

My big grey horse Not Up for Love (Drifter) went through New Holland two years ago. We didn’t have room at the rescue so I bought him personally, figuring I would give him some reschooling and resell him to a great home. He had other plans- he was tough on the ground, tough to load, tough to lead, tough in his stall. He had the biggest chip on his shoulder (figuratively speaking.) In a funny twist of events, he was one of the last horses bred and raised at Woodstock, where we were then based, and Richard, the farm manager, said he had always been that way. Physiologically he was out of whack- he never put weight on, he walked stiffly, he would strain to urinate, and his manure was small and frequent and inconsistent. He was aggressive about his feed and his space in his stall. Drifter was a bit nappy and sour under saddle- not hard to ride but just not happy.

Fast forward to now- I can finally see he is happy and he LIKES me (I think!)-Two Years Later!! He is a good weight on just 6 qts of sweet feed a day. His stall manners are decent. He can still be a challenge leading and on certain days I get Tom to bring him in and out rather than lose him LOL. He loads and ships well. He does like to work and is a fabulous ride and a good jumper. Since my old stake horse Wish is happy being somewhat retired from competing, I am concentrating on Drifter, rather than reselling him. We may event- but only if I can get him a bit more reliable about going cross country. He still has strong opinions about certain things, and I never know what those “things” may be. The Thoroughbred Alliance Shows are a lot of fun, so we may go that way.

To get back on track, we look at each rescue horse as an individual and give them the time and attention they need. We could have placed Coach ten times over when he first came in this summer- but he was unsettled, dropped weight, and lost his hair. Now he is happy and looks fabulous, and has a pending adoption. Cat on the other hand just ran, but seems totally at home here. He needs weight but is happy and ready to go, so we put him up and he has a pending adoption. Irish has been here a year- he is sound and happy now, but the mounting block and the {fast} canter still need work. His trot has gotten so much better though and he is very personable now. Almost, almost. Goldie was cranky, thin, and had ulcers. After treatment and a bit of time, he is now a decent weight and has become Mr Personality. He photo bombs every shot when you go to the field to take pics of his pasture mates. He hopefully will find his forever home soon.

At any rate, these horses will talk to you if you are willing to listen. We want to set them up for success in their new homes. We don’t give them the bum’s rush and send them on to the first person with a check in hand, but really try to make the best match possible, even if it means time and money. There is always pressure to take more  horses- every week we hear of thoroughbreds in need- but if we don’t do the right thing by the horses currently here at the farm, we are ultimately failing our horses and our adopters.

We would like to invite everyone to our Open House here at the farm on Sunday, December 14th from 11-3. Come meet the horses, see what we do, enjoy some holiday refreshments with friends! We are also hosting the last TERF TB clinic of the season, dressage with Liane Hoffmeyer that day. Take a day off from the holiday rush, and join us as we count our blessings…..

2 thoughts on “Homes for the Holidays!!

    • We have about a dozen blankets and rugs that will be available for name your own price- first come first served. Dress code is anything from “just finished grooming my muddy horse” to “I just rode in the TERF clinic” to “it is nice to put on a pair of clean jeans for a party” LOL. Barn shoes are probably a good idea!

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