We adopted Roman, a 12 yr old OTTB who won over a quarter of a million dollars for his owners before he was cast away, Roman is a gorgeous black 16.3 gelding. Winning races all over the country. When I had inquired on Roman with Diana, the lady who runs Voice for Horses, I decided I definitely wanted Roman to be mine forever, but also asked her if she had any ‘husband’ horses…and she said that one of his pasture mates was a 15yr old Belgian Gelding, Bud, Amish bred with one blind eye, who did a couple years as a Mounted Police horse, until his rider got injured – I said SOLD! (I did withhold the eye tidbit from the hubby until he was home…hehe) She waited for me to be ready – which took about 6 weeks – to ensure the stalls were done, the paddock safe and secure (from dogs entering). She put me with a great shipper who literally brought them to our driveway. It was a piece of cake, an expensive one, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
I have been heavily involved in animal rescue, mostly dogs and cats, and the occasional critter, for over 20 years. When I was 26 I adopted my first OTTB from VfH, and had her until she passed; in the meantime I also adopted another OTTB, Sttich, from VfH as my ‘riding horse’ who I boarded at my friends Hunter/Jumper farm. He has also since passed. There was no doubt that once I moved to the country and had acreage, pasture and a barn, I would be adopting more and finally having them at home. I was just thoroughly blessed that VfH had two more for me! Diana saves a lot of horses and it was a joy to be able to now adopt four horses from the same great lady!!!
We rescue – we foster – we adopt – it’s what we do. I am unfortunately very aware at how many animals are cast aside every year so there is no way I would ever go to a breeder for any animal. Nor would we ever breed our own, although fostering babies is a blast and I hope to foster baby horses someday too!
I am always aware that issues may arise, health concerns, behavior problems and the like – but – when you rescue an animal those things come next…you know going into it – but you don’t care, because going to a rescue is first and foremost, deal with the rest later. Being able to literally save an animal who didn’t have a certain future is the most heartwarming thing I ever do. I love fostering dogs – especially expectant mothers, and knowing that not only did we save a life – we saved many! With horses, we know that they have horrible futures ahead if they go to auction or a meat buyer – or any buyer could just be a liar and lead to an unsafe future. A future with an ugly end. For so many this is the case.
Roman, my love, my baby boy, has his own set of issues, none that we won’t eventually work out. I adopted him in April of 2016, and his last race (a win!) was in July of 2015. He’s wound pretty tight, but as to be expected from a horse whose only job was RUN FAST. My first time on, I lasted about 6 seconds in the saddle. Thank Goodness for helmets! I haven’t fallen off again, but he has tried. He needs to learn how to just relax – and now – so do I! In time we’ll get there. We don’t strive to show or compete, we just strive to be partners for the next 15+ years. For now, we play, we graze and we get snacks and take walks down our dirt roads (yes, I lead him). All of the kinks will work out in time. Neither of us are in a rush. We love life!
Bud, of course is the complete opposite. He is a big ole happy lazy horse, and he’s perfect for the hubby. His bad eye doesn’t bother him and it adds character. Neither of our horses have flaws – they have things that make them special and unique. He’s beautiful and sweet and a total pig in his stall. He’s perfect, OK, except he wants to eat fingers after all of the treats are gone. Slobber Monster.
I’ve worked and been around horses for many years, but having them at home – it’s just amazing!!! There really isn’t much better than looking out my windows and seeing them graze, there’s nothing better than taking a few steps out of the house to give my boys love and treats. They’re my pets just as much as my other animals…they just cost a lot more. But – they smell much better too!
~Jamie and the Misfit Farm.