Surrendered to a New Life: A “Chance” Encounter

A horse rescue owner tells the story of a surrender case.
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A horse rescue owner tells the story of a surrender case.

In July of 2015, I received a call from a girl asking if I would rent one of my horse trailers so that she could move her two horses. She agreed to return the trailer the evening of the same day that she picked it up and arrangements were made.

Chance with Judith and Robert

Chance with Judith and Robert

She showed up early on the prearranged day, signed a rental contract and drove off with my trailer. She was picking up her two horses from her old house and taking them on a two-hour drive to her new place. She figured she could have my trailer back by 7 that evening.

When 7pm came and went with no call from her, I got a bit worried and contacted her. She said she was having problems with the new location, but would have the trailer back by 9pm. Well, 9pm came and went. I called her again and she still hadn’t left to bring my trailer back. I told her to keep the trailer overnight and have it back in the morning. 

5am the next morning, I get a call. The girl is in my driveway with my trailer and a “problem” we could discuss once I came outside.

In the pre-dawn light, I could see her “problem.” There were two horses in my trailer....

The two sorrel paint “geldings” were underweight and uncomfortable. Leading me to believe they had had a much harder life then being left in the trailer all night. When I asked her why her two horses were still in my trailer, she said the owner of the place she had arranged to keep them had kicked her out. She did not know why, but she felt the lady had “whacked out on her.” Having two horses in my trailer wasn’t the whole problem. Now she had no place to put them. Could she surrender one and board the other?

I agreed to accept the thinner of the two and Hannah (a volunteer) and I headed to the pastures to move horses around while the girl did the paperwork and the boarding agreement and her friend unloaded the horses. 

As Hannah and I kept the mares back (the “geldings” had to be walked through the mares’ pasture), the girl and her friend led the horses into the corral we had made available. The space was large enough for the two of them and, although the shed was small, it would accommodate the two friends as long as we left the door open. We made sure they were settled and then headed back to the house to unhook the trailer. With the craziness of the situation, I never thought to thoroughly inspect the “geldings.”

After I unhooked the trailer from their truck, the girl and her friend quickly left. I picked up the paperwork she had left on the back of my truck and suddenly realized the horse she had surrendered to us was a STALLION. I immediately called her and told her “you need to come back. We have a problem.” When I said I had no place to keep a stallion, she said “oh, I thought I told you.” She then let me know that she couldn’t come back and get him as she had nowhere to take him. 

We were stuck with a very thin and unhappy 6-year-old stud.

Hannah and I immediately went and locked the paint stallion in the stall and I started making phone calls. With the help of the Equine Protection Fund of NM and our vet at Raton Animal Hospital, “Chance” as we had come to call him, was gelded within four days of arriving at our facility. Since that day, Chance gained weight and became a beautiful, calm, and happy gelding. He received lots of love and attention, learned his proper ground manners and was adopted out to a wonderful and loving, forever home in February of 2016.

Chance: left image is shortly after surrender, right is 6 months later

Chance: left image is shortly after surrender, right is 6 months later

He has been progressing in his training ever since.