Well here is his story and some photos of his progress, I have more photos updates but I would be here all night mapping it out.
On April 28th 2011 I was searching online for a horse, like lots of people I had always wanted one and been offered cheap ones and even a free one over the years but I'd never felt ready. I've worked in a riding school for the last 4, nearly 5 years and I always loved riding the new ponies they got in, you could throw anything at me and I wanted to train it. Anyway that all ended after I broke my left elbow very badly..ok I couldn't have broken it worse, there was nothing left of it and now have limited function in my left arm and have lost a lot of strength in my left hand and left arm in general. Anyway so I soon discovered I could not longer handle horses I had been able to previously and decided to get my own horse, I wanted a youngish one, quiet and definitely something cobby, calm and cobby lol. So I'd saved a lot, it was never something I ever thought would happen since I have to pay 100% myself and I was online and I saw these 2 ponies for sale and these photos.
Now me being the big softy I am, I immediately took pity on the pair of them. Almost all my animals have been rescues and I've had, a lot of animals. Anyway, me being the stubborn woman that I am I managed to convince my dad, who said he would pay for the cost of the horse itself as he had just inherited a wee bit of money from his dad, to take me down the country to see this poor wee horse. The above photos pretty much describe how they were living, dirt field, small river down a very steep bank and that was their only water. They had a shelter though it didn't look very used.
Viewing day went well I did all my checks, I did my homework on what to check for and did all the lameness checks but the vet check was nearly as much as the horse and we couldn't afford to get a vet out then so we had to unfortunately pass that which was a big risk but we got that done later. Anyway I rode him and the guy hadn't a clue about horses and I could go on forever about it but I wasn't going to leave that poor pony there, unfortunately his little friend was too wild for me to take but as far as I know it did get rehomed.
So we brought him home and his coat must have had like..4 lice to each strand of hair, I thought he was like suffering from really bad dandruff or something but his coat..moved and I musta bathed him in lice powder and when the vet got there she had to like pour half the bottle of her really strong stuff on him cause he was literally crawling. He also was riddled with redworm and his feet were overgrown. Here's some photos I took on his first day with me. We went and saw him on the morning of the 28th and that night about 9pm, I was at work and my dad phoned me and said he was going to go and buy the pony so really he jumped into it but I'm glad he did.
^ You can see the lice or something on his leg, yum.
This one is about 2-3 days later when I was mixing grass in with his hay, you can see the ridges on his spine. The muscles were there but hung off him like..I dunno like they were just floating under his skin.
I fed him Spillers conditioning mix (I gotta thank them for making awesome feed, for a good price)
Here is...10 days later.
Harry was wormed the day after I got him and the vet came and checked him and saw nothing wrong with him apart from the obvious things (feet, worms, weight, extreme lack of muscle).Harry continued to make progress and had most of June off work as I had GCSEs, and because he had been on so little feed and such poor grass (in that there was virtually none of it) I had to slowly introduce him onto the grass and progress was slow at first.
Here is 1 month from when I got him, May 31st
By the way, his feet look strange because he was out in the gravel arena and theres gravel stuck to his feet xD
Harry showed an amazing enthausiasm to jump, I would leave him out in the outdoor arena by himself and one of the first things he did was take himself over a cross pole one of the other riders had put up (it was about 60-70cm in the middle) and he continues to take himself jumping whenever he can, he will jump anything.
Here are my recent photographs, these are the 4 months on photos:
Here is his first time bareback, with my friend, bareback is not for me lol.
Actually she just put her leg over him and he was fine, didn't put a foot out of place, he kicked his leg at her once when she tried to trot him and he decided against that. She is too big on him but I want him to get used to different sized people on him and she is much stronger than me and I owed her a ride after she helped me with him the other day and she was willing to try him bareback.
At his new yard
Throughout his time with me Harry has showed a real passion for jumping, and he has become more like my friend than my horse. He follows me everywhere, with or without a leadrope, no food bribes needed. He is a 4 year old a heart but he has the wisdom of any older, more experienced horse (most of the time). I have never met a horse with such a love for life.
As far as riding has gone, he was broken last year we reckon and ridden August and September and then I rode him on that viewing day and you never would have known, God knows if they ever trained him at all cause I did a heck of a lot of training and he is still picking up basics now. But he is coming along very well at everyone at the yard loves him, he is just so gentle mannered and so bright. He isn't great at lifting his feet over these lighter poles he now has at his new yard but he'll get there eventually. Training wise, I have used my experience picked up over the years to do all of it and now he is at his new yard he is taking lessons as well to help me nip in those little things and help him move onwards.
You can find videos at annaandharry's Channel - YouTube
Well, that's probably the longest thing you've ever read and that's only half of it, I didn't include the blood, sweat, tears and torrential downpours I had to endure to get to this stage. I'm not saying it was easy but I'd encourage you to rescue a horse, I know it has made the world of difference to my Harry, I could have left him in that field and got some perfect, bigger, well trained horse. But there is nothing quite like rescuing a horse, seeing that horse go from..near dead to being the absolute opposite (too fat ;P).
There is also a lesson to learn from his story, don't get a horse unless you know how to look after it, for the horse's sake and partly for yours. Get the right experience and help before you take on a horse, wait longer, I waited 4 and a half years and I still don't know it all and infact I could have had 2 ponies about 6-7 years ago, I was offered them but I wasn't ready and I knew that. Harry and Mollys owner didn't know how to look after them and they would have died, they probably would have been dead now, and there was no hope of them making it to this winter.
I also owe thanks though, to you lot at horseforum.com, I've posted a few threads to get help here and there and I appreciate all the helpful replies I have had to them I really appreciate it and it helped a lot.
Feel free to ask any questions in the world, I'll do my best to answer.
Here is a horrible photo of me and Harry to finish lol
^ This photo makes me look really fat >:/