What is your horse story?
What is your horse story? How did you get started working with them, or get your first one? Down't forget to include pictures or videos if you have them :) Here is my story:
I live in the middle of nowhere, literally 200 miles from anywhere. I moved to this town when I was sixteen (I am almost 18). I'm not a very social type, plus this is a small town. Newcomers aren't easily accepted. I was falling into a huge depression because i had no friends, and no hobbies (or at least nothing that could be done in this town).
I noticed a "stable" a few blocks away from me. I started going to see the emaciated horses regularly. Nearly everyone there was an incompetant owner. They would skimp out on their horses food because they couldn't afford it, or would shoot one of their local racers because he lost one race, or kept the horse confined for years at a time, never doing anything but feeding (no vet or farrier care). For more information about that, go to abusewatch.wordpress.com.
It was basically as depressing as my life. There was one owner (literally one out of the whole bunch), who noticed me coming every day just to pet the horses. He offered to sell me his horse. At the time, I knew I wasn't experienced enough to own, so I turned him down. He said I passed the test, and started giving me free "lessons" (not really the best, but it was a start).
After a year or so of riding his horse five days a week, taking care of her when he was out of town, and doing everything except the financial part, he ended up moving (smartest thing that guy ever did, believe me). Now I had nothing to keep me happy anymore.
I got the idea that getting a horse would be perfect. My dad agreed to it as long as I got a job and payed for everything. So I got a job and saved up all the money while searching for a horse. After a few months, I found a perfect horse.
Light the Dawn was an OTTB gelding who had been saddle trained for quite a few years. I gave him a try, and he was perfect for me. I took him home, and that was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It was just my horse Jethro and me. We stayed civil, but clear of the weirdos and people who neglect their horses. I never made any trouble with the people at the stable (hell, I thought a lot of them liked me, because I was more than happy to help out if anyone needed to go out of town). Unfortunately, our happiness was short lived.
Turns out, the people at the stable weren't satisfied with making their horse's lives miserable, so they had to target my horse and me. In the nine months I had my horse, I had $1500 worth of tack stolen from me. People would go in his stall after I left and steal food from his dish and let him out of his stall at night to go play with the barbed wire fences. Their kids would throw rocks at him, and jump on his back while he was in his stall. City workers actually splashed him with water in 20 degree weather.
The main problem was that the city owns the stables, and the rec center manages it. They do not care about anything other than the money. Two horses recently died of starvation, and there is o much other similar things going on. I won't get into that, but go to my website if you are curious. The police wouldn't help either.
After I heard a threat of poisoning my horse, I immediately listed him for sale (for much cheaper than what he was worth, just to get rid of him soon). I got so lucky. After three days, a good family was interested, and a week later, he went home with them 200 miles away.
Shortly after he was out of harms way, I started that website (so don't think the website is why they targeted me, I didn't make as much as a call to animal control at that point). The Humane Society is being a great help to me.
Selling my horse was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I couldn't make him stay here. He became as miserable as I was. Because of this experience, I plan on starting a small horse rescue when I move out of this town. I will take one or two emaciated horse in at a time, fix them up, get them to trust people, sell them to good homes, and go back for more horses. I may even try working with OTTBs.
Anyways, here are some pictures and videos of my horse, when we were together.
I was a very socially awkward child. I didn't like to talk much, had absolutely no hobbies, was scrawny, and had a few good friends. I began showing chickens (Lame I know!) and got really into it, getting second for my class in the whole Northeast. After that, I became interested in showing sheep, goats, and became active in 4H. I wasn't very good at showing goats or sheep but I really enjoyed the big 4 legged animals and had a lot of fun training and playing with them.
However, there was still something missing. I wanted a bigger, more powerful animal. And of course, it was the horse! The opportunity came up to ride western and trail ride with my dad's friend/worker who had 3 horses, 2 of them rideable! Needless to say, I was beyond excited. I began riding his 24 year old arabian mare Dreamer weekly, and learned a lot from his "lessons" even though he was self taught.
I barely knew anything about horses when I rode there, and began doing research on my own and that's how I joined this website. I discovered english more thoroughly and decided I wanted to learn to show and jump and do english things. My parents reluctantly agreed to pay for my weekly lessons and I've been having them ever since June! They have been amazing and I have learned a lot. I still occasionally ride Dreamer, she is a deadbroke horse whom I can always rely on to cheer me up and make me feel happy and safe. Here are two photos of me riding her, the western one was before english lessons, the english one after!
You look good riding! Is it just me, or does it seem like the type of people who get interested in horses are the people who grew up around it, and the people who are socially awkward and lonely (like you and me)?
By the way, I shared your website out onto a junior riders forum, feel free to join its called Junior Rider News on facebook!
That's awesome, thank you. I'll look it up.
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