Eileen + Sweetie

by | Nov 2018 | Story

Breed American Quarter Horse

Age 30

Sex Mare

Color Dun

Height 13.3hh

In 2015, although I was still riding my reining/western dressage mare that I had bred and raised, I was interested in finding a really gentle, quiet horse for leisure riding. I found a mare in my area that was emaciated and in terrible shape. The mare was so thin that she couldn’t even sweat in the hot June Texas heat. She was depressed and had little interest in even eating.

I called my Veterinarian out to check her and treat her. He wormed her, checked her over and recommended some supplements in addition to the senior feed I had already started her on. We knew she was well over 20 from her teeth so we estimated her in mid-twenties. Our educated guess figured she had been a broodmare before being sold or given away as a lead line pony since she was definitely gentle. It took about five weeks of intensive feeding and extra care to get her strong enough for me to get on her to evaluate her. When I did I realized she was dog gentle but absolutely untrained. I decided to see just how much I could teach her. I kept a diary day to day from the day I bought her. This mare did not know how to back up, even from the ground. She would lead but not properly. I kept finding small things that terrified her, like brushing her legs and belly. It took a lot of patience, kindness and love to get her past whatever had happened to her in her long life.

She had come with me in the June that year, and in December there was an American Trail Horse competition near my home so I entered. She was beginning to side pass and work obstacles, so I thought OK, why not go and have fun. We did and we won our class. That following spring I competed on her on three more trail obstacle challenges and placed well in two and won the third one, receiving a buckle.

She is so much a part of my life that I cannot imagine not having her. I give credit to the Lord for leading me to her that hot summer day in 2015. I have no idea what her name was, but for the past three years it has been Sweetie, and it fits her. I have trained a lot of good horses over the past six decades, but I have to say that I am as proud of this mare as any horse I ever dealt with. It proves that no one, horse or human, is ever too old to start something new.

What #RightHorse means to me

Saving a horse is only the start. Finding a meaningful life for a horse is a worthwhile goal; finding the perfect partnership is the ultimate goal.

1 Comment

  1. Lynn Baber

    A wonderful illustration of the potential of elderly horses in poor-condition when they’re matched with the right person. Love the goal — “perfect partnership”!

    Reply

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