I figured I should start one of these and share Gracie's story with everyone.
So...It all started when I called this guy about this other horse. I asked if she was suited for eventing, he said not really, and said to check out on of his other horses, Grace. (This guy is a dealer who brigs horses up from Florida and re sells them...not a great situation, but alot of people have gotten nice horses from him.
I looked at her ad and she seemed really nice. A 12 year old, 16.2hh dark bay mare who had been doing Training level Eventing and Level II jumpers. He also said he could bring the price down.
So...we made an appointment for the next week and went to see her. When we got there, we almost turned around and left. She was so bony and looked really bad, but we decided to try her out anyway.
She moved like an angel. Floating over the ground, jumping 3+ft with ease. I got on her and she did everything I asked, right when I asked. We asked why she was so skinny and he said that's how TB's are. Yeah, right. Well, her pasure-mate was even worse. No hay in their pasture, and their water trough? I think there were frogs living in it.
We went to ride her a few more times, and went once unannounced. (my mom wanted to make sure she wasn't drugged...) I decided I wanted her. I didn't care what other horse I could get for the same price that was in better health and condition. She was just so sweet, I couldn't walk away!
So I paid for half of her (using up all of my life savings...lol). And we brought her home. She was very food aggressive and lunged at the other horses, even when she was in her stall. When we put her out in the pasture, my moms little 14h QH decided he was boss. A week later, he kicked her in the knee, which left her lame for almost 3 weeks.
We slowly nursed her leg back to health, and she got better (finally!) All the while feeding her all day pasture and a whole bale at night, along with beet pulp, alfalfa, amd MVP. We did not put her and the evil QH (Johnny) back in the same pasture for a long, LONG time. I think it was 3 months or something. So we stated to have her and Sheena (very calm, nice boss mare) together. They got along GREAT. No fighting. When we finally put Grace and Johnny together, she was the boss. An evil one. The kind that bited and kicks just because she can. Revenge.
I was able to ride her about 2 weeks after she got better (we went to Texas...) She was just fine, a little hyper from all the food she had been getting, but still responsive. I brought her to a PC clinic and it was bad! We jumped and the instructor was green and had us doing advanced grids before Grace was ready. Not cool. (I am forever done with PC intructors, they don't know anything, and are too lazt to help us.) We also struggled with trailer-loading. She would not go in. We started using a butt-rope and that helped. Now, she will load on a loose lead just following me. <3
I got a new instructor whose motto is "We can fix that!", and Grace has improved drastically. We got her back to jumping, and not rushing them. We're working on getting her confident, and just chilling, and seeing a jump and going "Oh, fun, but slooooooooooow".
That's the rundown of her life with us. But before the guy who sold her to us got her, she had had about 10 homes. She was trained as a racer, but was very bad, and only had 6 starts, and just didn't have the heart for it I guess. Her barn name for her whole life has been Storm (her Reg. Name is Storm Survivor), but we think that she has a new life now, a new beginning. She knows both names, but I just stick to Grace; it suits her.
Pictures in order from her sale pics, to when we went to see her, and so on...
Thanks for reading!