Jennifer + Easter
Breed American Paint Horse
Color Red Roan Pinto
I met Easter’s dam before I met him. She was a red roan, stock type mare (possibly a breeding stock Paint). I met her the day we arrived with law enforcement officers to remove her and her herd mates from negligent owners. One horse from the herd was returned to his owner, but the remaining ten horses were awarded to Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society by the courts.
I volunteered to foster Easter’s dam. She appeared to be pregnant and began bagging up shortly after she arrived. The week she arrived, I gave a presentation on horse rescue work to some fourth graders and let them suggest and vote on, names for the rescue’s newest horse. Twizzler won, so Easter’s dam became Twizzler.
The night before Easter Sunday, I didn’t feel like checking on Twizzler. I had been checking on her every night for over a week and although there were a few false alarms, we still had no foal. I got up to go to bed, but something told me to go check on her. I walked outside in time to hear her water break. I got to the barn as she laid down. She was having trouble with her labor – it looked like one of the foal’s legs was stuck and the veterinarian wasn’t answering his phone. As I called a veterinarian friend in another city to ask for advice, my husband was able to pull the foal out.
He was mostly white, and he glowed in the moonlight. In fact, he looked like a little alien lying there. We waited for him to rise and walk. He had trouble nursing as his dam wanted nothing to do with him. We had to halter her and hold her still and give him the chance to nurse several times before we got a little sleep.
The next day, mom and foal were doing better and figuring each other out. Twizzler was never a good dam, though, and we had to wean Easter young. Otherwise, she would step on him, steal his food (even breaking creep feeders) and she didn’t let him nurse often.
Despite all of this, Easter was lucky. If he had been born at his dam’s former owner’s house, he may have died. When we were removing horses with the law enforcement officers, we saw a dead horse and bones of others. He would not have gotten the specialized care we gave him to help him thrive.
When Easter was six months old, it was time to put him up for adoption. I had more horses than I could ride, and he was adopted by a woman who had raised foals before. She planned to raise him, have him trained and then use him as a trail horse. But she returned him about four months later because she said he did not hang out with her other horses.
So he was adopted again about four months later. The adopter sent him to a training program and had him started under saddle, but they returned him several years later.
Easter had a hard time finding his own place, and I so wanted to bring him home and keep him. But the timing still wasn’t right. He was enrolled in the Bluebonnet Rescue Horse Training Challenge’s division for horses who needed more riding time. He placed 4th out of many horse/rider pairs in his division. I was able to ride him, and then adopt him, at the competition.
I think he was meant to be with me, and he just kept coming back to the rescue until the time was right for me.
Aside from his fourth place in the Training Challenge, he isn’t what most would be called a super star – yet. But he is a great horse. He is quiet enough for my beginner niece to ride. He carries my four year old daughter carefully and safely, and he’s quiet over obstacles and on trails. I hope to start riding him in some trail competitions this next year and to take western dressage lessons with him in the fall.
I know others will have a longer list of ribbons and accolades – but a horse who can carry a child, a novice rider, and a more experienced rider safely and do what we ask is a huge winner in my book. And he definitely disproves the myth that rescue horses are too spooky or flighty to be good kids horses and are too used up to do anything with.
What #RightHorse means to me
#RightHorse means that horse that fits each riders (or owners) needs. Some folks want a horse to be a pet, some want something to mosey around on, and some want something that can compete in various disciplines. There’s a horse out there for each rider – we just each need to find the #RightHorse for us.