Sunday, November 15, 2009

Old Friends

Back in the spring, we had a lovely little mare, called Dusty Lane Dot, come to Sadie's Place, looking for a new home.  At 14.3, she was a petite mare, with lovely eyes (and ears like a mule, but we don't talk too much about that around her--she gets upset). This is what she looked like when we first met her.

Still in racing form, very slender and wondering just what was going on. Here's another pciture, from a bit later, when she had started to put on a bit more weight.  This is very normal for standardbreds who are racing.  Like any athelete, they have very little body fat, unlike pleasure horses, who tend to carry a bit more flesh.

While a little shy at first, she very quickly warmed up to her new mom and dad, Ian and Jennifer Steeksma.  While Ian was building her run in shed, she became very curious and began to follow him around as he worked.  This eventually developed into a game of hide and seek around the shed. She's really very happy with her new home and very willing to please. 

She went two weeks ago for saddle training and her mom and dad (and the trainer) are very excited about her progress. Her trainer describes her as 'a smart horse' and 'a kind mare'.  She is walking, trotting and loping in the round pen, turning, bending and backing up. The really neat thing about Standarbreds is that they are, for the most part, people pleasers.  It's bred right into them, to make their humans happy. And they will take on any challenge to do it.

Here she is under saddle, very relaxed looking.  It seems so strange to see the freeze brand on her neck, but she's looking very good.

Here's Dottie with her new dad.  Don't they look happy together?  Ian says he will be going trail riding with her in another couple of weeks--he's very excited about it.

It takes so little to give these ex-racehorses a second chance at a productive, happy life--a bit of time and space, 4 weeks of training and a home where they know they are loved.  So little effort, to save a life, and so much to receive in return.

Well, it's bedtime snack time around here, so I'm off to fatten up the Stick Pony and try to hide the grain from the Greedy Grumpy.  Don't forget to hug your horse tonight!

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