I'm Kat. I'm 25, and just started riding lessons last August. In October, I went down to Athens to a rescue to look at a horse. He had been there since May, a slaughter rescue. He was still thin, and had been born with low pasterns. He was in a pasture with two other horses who constantly beat on him; he was covered in cuts, bruises, and had a huge hematoma on his chest. He had thrown the last girl who rode him. When I met him, he laid his head on my shoulder and sighed. It was like a light bulb went off; this was supposed to be my horse.
Hoovey is a standardbred pony cross, 14.1, about 900lbs. We just celebrated his 9th birthday in May. He had been trained by the Amish for driving, and has some saddle training. His past owners beat him, especially around his legs. He came to me refusing to pick up his feet, biting, and confused. He didn't know how to be a horse. He had no idea how to play; he would run away from the other horses when they asked him. He was a mess, but I never gave up on him, and neither did my trainer.
Hoover received ground training in the spring, after a particularly nasty incident where he tried to hurt me in stall. He came at me biting and striking, and pinned me in the corner. My instructor had to come in and rescue me. He flew through the ground training, and is now very happy and content. He knows what's expected of him.
I'd been trail riding him for a while, since I got him. I rode him around the farm first, and he responded well to me, so we did some trails with my instructor. He used to get worn out by the end of the trail, but now he gets to the end wanting to go more. He's recently felt good enough to canter, and kicks up his heels when I let him.
I probably should have started this journal when I got him, to chronicle his progress. He has come a long way from the scared, angry boy I picked up in October.