Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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Bought a horse!
A little bit of backstory is necessary. For the past 2 years or so I've been training a sweetheart of a horse named Otto. He's a big thoroughbred with some "issues" from a past life. Essentially he wasn't treated very well and has something akin to an anxiety disorder, where if you change things without giving him time to adjust he panics. I've been the only person really working with him in that time, because no one else really wanted to bother.
Physically he's a mess, the vet thinks that years ago he fractured his right shoulder, and it was never treated properly. So when it healed it essentially damaged his entire spine, and that affects the rest of his body. So he gets sore quite quickly if you aren't careful. A little bit of prevention goes a long way though, so I always made sure to stretch his legs and such before riding, and spent a lot of time warming up before starting any hard riding.
The barn he was at is not one that considers the individuality of the animals, they tend to think that the same treatment should affect every animal the same. However, they were letting me ride for free, so that's where I stayed. When I became pregnant my fiance and I decided I should stop riding for the duration, because Otto's anxiety makes him very unpredictable some days. So I let the barn owner know that I couldn't ride for the next little while.
One of the "trainers" at the barn decided to make him her little project. And he ended up with a fairly significant injury to one of his legs. Luckily, a splint, the type of injury he has is pretty easy to fix. Put him on stall rest for a month or so and reintroduce him to exercise slowly so he doesn't immediately wreck it again. Instead, they put him on stall rest for a week and threw him out in a field with 10 other horses, where he would run around playing and fighting with his buddies all day. They then left him there for 6 or so months, without having his feet trimmed or anything done with him, and when they pulled him in and tried to have someone ride him. Decided that because he was still injured he was a lost cause and they made plans to put him down.
I heard this through the grape vine, called up the owner and said I would save them the cost of paying for someone to shoot him. And find a new home for him. She gave me until the next day to have him off her property. So, I got her to sign a bill of sale so everything was legal. Called up one of my old coaches, who agreed to take him on entirely and rehabilitate him. And I had a friend trailer him over to her place, signed him over. And my buddy is safe and sound in a new home, where they understand that they just need to take things slow for awhile! Yay! Moral of the story, people suck. But every once in awhile someone comes through when you really need them too.