Thursday, July 2, 2009

Out one door, in another!

I must say, we really don't do things by half measures, here at Sadie's Place. What do I mean, you ask? Elementary, my dear Watson.

Horses, horses, everywhere!

Dottie, our OTSB(off track standardbred) has found a new home with Ian and Jennifer Steeksma. Not only that, but Dottie's new mom and dad are so happy with her they are going to send her to school! Dottie is going to learn all about those riding horsey type things, like saddles, and giving to leg pressure, and bending! Dottie tells me she's quite looking forward to trying something new, because one can only take so much just standing around looking gorgeous before it all gets a little stale. So, please, join me in waving bye-bye to Dottie, as she heads off for new adventures.

Well, with Dottie leaving, you would think we would have all the time in the world to sit around and discuss the merits of brown vs. black tack on various colours of horses, but, fate had something (or rather, someone) else in store for us. Actually, several someones. However, I won't load you up with lots of names to remember yet, but I would like to tell you Andy's story, because it's really kind of sad.

Andy is a 4 year old Trakhener, just gearing up for what he was sure was going to be an Olympic career. He had a new mom, who he adored and was all set to go out and wow the ladies with his astonishing good looks. Then, one day, his bum felt kind of funny. His legs didn't work like they should. His left leg would flex way up high when he tried to step forward. He still tried to work, because he loved his mom and he didn't want to disappoint her, but he could tell she was worried. That made Andy very unhappy. One day, Andy's mom told him they were going a little trip, a vacation, to the land of Anne. "Does Anne have treats?" was Andy's first thought. His second thought was, "Does Anne have Gravol?" because he had to ride on a boat. Woohoo! Was that ever strange! Whatever was going on with Andy's legs, the boat had it too! Boy, was he ever excited when he got out of the trailer. Andy's mom left him at the Atlantic Veterinary College, where lots of nice people patted Andy and made him feel at home. They did some yucky things too, but Andy likes people so much, he forgave them right away. But then Andy's mom got the bad news--Andy had 'Shivers', which meant that his leg muscles didn't work right and he wasn't going to be able to have that Olympic career after all.

Andy is hoping someone has a soft spot for handsome, easy going, eager to please young geldings. He needs a temporary home for now, as his mom can't afford to keep him at the AVC. She already has one (older) horse that she can't do much with and, while she loves Andy and wants the best for him, he is never going to be able to do the things for her that she wants to do, so she is hoping that we can find a home for him where he can be appreciated for his stellar personality.

If you might be interested in Andy, he is a timid horse and dislikes thinking that someone is angry with him. In the herd, he is submissive. He isn't spooky--when startled, he freezes or walks sideways, but doesn't bolt, according to his mom. Andy should be kept on turnout as much as possible, as prolonged periods of standing make him stiff and his walk awkward. When lifting his feet, he may snap them up high, but will bring them down shortly after. There is some evidence that a high fat, low starch diet is of some help with these horses, combined with a regular exercise program. The most quoted option is alfalfa pellets with some sort of vegetable oil (20% of calories from fat), instead of a regular grain mix. He should not be used in areas where he would really need his hind end for impulsion (jumping, riding in hills, etc). This is a progressive illness, but slow, and can be even slower with proper management.

Andy needs a foster home soon, as his mom has to decide what she will do with him. If you have space, even just for the summer, please contact us. And, Andy is not the only four-legged friend needing our help. Even if you don't feel Andy is a good match for you to foster, there are others, that will be featured in coming weeks. Our email is

Visit us at our website,, to stay on top of everything that's going on. We now have a new page, the 'Bridle' Registry, for things that are in short supply.

Thank you for your support! Don't forget about the raffle for all the show gear. Tickets go on sale at the Storybook Stables show on July 4th, at Storybook Stables in Brookfield, right on the number 2 highway. Guaranteed to be lots of fun--come on down! I hear rumours of cookies...

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