𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞, 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐠𝐞, 𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝, 𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫, 𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐜 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐮𝐬 𝐭𝐛𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐯𝐞, 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐬. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞: 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫, 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫.
My 4 year old ex-racehorse lived a very pampered life on the track, so it was quite literally a shock to her entire system when she spent 1 ½ months post-track living the polar opposite life.
Our first trainer gave her 24/7 turnout on a track system with no access to shelter, limited access to hay and water, no fly sheet/blanket, poor hoof care maintenance, and an unbalanced diet which lacked any grain or supplements. Now, I am not knocking track systems or 24/7 turnout; however, her basic needs were not being met, and when I began to question why, I was faced with resistance. So, I started to look for help elsewhere.
When we left on September 15, 2021, my mare’s body condition score was a 3 out of 9. We had a LONG rehab road ahead of us, and after this nightmare, I was unsure she would ever trust me again.
A year later, we have re-built a sense of trust that I could have never imagined. She happily follows me around like a puppy whether it is at liberty in her turnout paddock or attached to a lead rope in the arena. Kisses and playful nudges are a daily occurrence.
To get to this point has not been easy. After the first trainer fiasco, we landed in the hands of another trainer who ultimately broke down our confidence and my mare’s physical state yet again a few months later. By letting my guard down, I continued to put trust into the wrong people.
There were a lot of days in the last year where I just wanted to throw in the towel and give up being a horse owner all together. My mare seemed broken beyond repair. Clearly I lacked any ability to put trust in the right people. I poured my blood, sweat, tears, and thousands of dollars into this never-ending project.
However, any time those negative thoughts arose, I took a deep breath and looked over at my inspiration to keep fighting. Those chocolate brown eyes never once lost hope that we would one day be in a better emotional and physical state.
And she was right. Finally, we have found expert 24/7 care from a trainer and barn staff that understand her needs. With proper nutrition, great hoof and vet care maintenance, and access to a stall, this little lady has never looked better.
Third time’s a charm.