by Veronica Delagard
(Bronson Settlement New Brunswick Canada)
Living the Life!!!
Buying my first horse in my 50's was a life long dream and in 2006 it was finally realized.
I read everything I could on what to feed it and at my age what to look for when I purchased my horse.
Well when I arrived to see this gelding that I had previous seen on the net, I asked about food, vet, temperament, and even took him for a ride. All seemed well, and at 14 years old he was a well trained Morgan.
One last question I asked was so how often does he need shoes??? The young girl said "Oh he does not wear shoes he is barefoot".
Not wanting to appear stupid I smiled and said ok. And when I got home read everything I could about barefoot. Wow it all made sense to me, but what did I know? I had never owned a horse before.
Well my horse was trailered to the stable where I would board him until my pasture was perfect. I was waiting for it's 2nd seeding. So that meant I would not get to bring him home till spring. Here it was September.
I was immediately thrown back by this horse's mean, pushy personality but afraid to say too much. I mean I had rode horses as a kid, maybe this will pass.
Each time I visited him I found him to be a very nasty horse, he seemed to hate everyone and everything. I could not figure it out. Why was he jumping at me why was he rearing when I only wanted to take him out to a place he could run?? I figured since his leased paddock was so small and full of poop that he couldn't run, so I decided to use the arena to help him get exercise, just getting him in was a very scary event.
I did not want to give up on this boy, he was 15 and if he acted like this with most people no wonder he was sold. And as I later would find out, I was his 7th owner.
So I hired a trainer. Well to make a long story short. She didn't last long. As her whip came out the 2nd time I grabbed it, looking at her with my steel eyes, and said that is enough.
That day was a very emotional day for me as I left my boy in his paddock, looking like he had been betrayed. I cried all the way home, and I cried for days off and on trying to figure out what to do.
My gut told me that this horse hated to be locked up, hated to be anywhere where he could not stay with his friends, he loved to run. At least that is what he did when I finally did get him in the arena on those days where I thought he would kill me.
He would run, he would roll in the dirt, and he would peek out the door at his buddies.
I just watched him each day on my little stool.
After that incident with the trainer I vowed that once I got him home I would never force him in another stall or small paddock again. And if I could convince my husband to bring him home without the barn I was going to do what I could to convince him.
I went home and talked to my husband about the pasture fencing he was going to put up. I asked him if he would mind putting it into the trees, and close to our pond and our brook. I also said and don't worry about the perfect pasture. Leave the rocks, and just get it seeded so something is there, but mostly we have to make sure we get great hay.
We had no barn and my husband wanted to wait for that to get built, I said no I can't wait any longer and neither can my horse. He is standing in poop all day, he is stalled at night, he is all alone and he needs his own home.
It took a bit of convincing on my part because I am the one with no horse experience. My husband grew up around horses. His father trained and raced horses. So you can see what I mean when I say it took a bit of convincing on my part.
When I trailed him home and let him loose on our 4 acre pasture all by himself, it was like looking at a changed horse. I told him he would only be alone for a couple more weeks, but you know, at that moment and for those 2 weeks it didn't seem to matter to him .
He was a changed horse. And him and I are well very much connected at the heart.!!!!
What a fantastic story and such a great ending. It warms my heart when I hear stories of how people stick with their horse, despite initial problems. He is truly blessed to have found you Veronica. Here's to many, many more years of happiness with your boy!