by Elaine Polny
(Palgrave, Ontario)

Red and Rachel

Red and Rachel

I was sent a message regarding a herd of horses who had just been rescued from unbearable conditions. There were six of them, Red a quarter horse stallion (17 yrs old), three mares and two babies. One baby had already died unnecessarily. Thank goodness the Humane Society was able to remove them.

Rachel, a student of mine at the time was considering ownership and so we went to have a look at Red. It was hard to see the once proud stallion inside the underweight, flee invested poor condition body. But the twinkle in his eye revealed a strong quiet will to go on. After all, even in the poor living conditions he managed to continue to reproduce!

First thing however as protocol for the humane society, he had to be gelded. Even at his age, he came through like a true soldier.

He had the sweetest disposition I have seen in a long time, and Rachel fell in love. We spared no time getting him to my place to start his road to recovery the natural way. It's been a long road with proper barefoot trimming, good quality hay, equine dentistry done, new heard mates and lots and lots of love but what a payoff! He's a true gentleman, loves attention and after a year of just playing games from the ground with clicker training and natural horsemanship methods (while we waited for his health to come fully back), he's ready to ride (bitless of course!).

Oh, and his most favourite game is to pick things up with his mouth. Interesting challenge since he had worn down most of his front teeth from searching for food!

Rachel is like an angel who pulled him out from the ghetto and he will now live his life in luxury!

Is it a coincidence that Rachel owns a specialty retail shop downtown Toronto called, are you ready for this, Red Pegasus!! So this match was truly meant to be, don't you think?

True story written by:
Elaine Polny

What a great story Elaine, I just love hearing about horses like Red who have been given a wonderful new (natural) life - thanks so much for sharing it.


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Nov 28, 2009
my FRED, too
by: judy in ohioAnonymous

I volunteered at a rescue near Lebanon, ohio 7 yrs. ago. Took my son with me , it turned out that is where he met his darling wife and he purchased my Fred for me!! Fred was an arabian Quarter-horse mix gelding. We never really new how old Fred was; he came from a dude ranch before the rescue. Fred & I went on some very nice rides-Hocking Hills & Ceaser's Creek. I didn't ride him as much as I'd have liked, as time went on-he developed EPM. We medicated for it last winter, he did fine & seemed strong this past summer. In Sept. he got cast in a corner of his pasture between a split tree & a tightly rolled fence...he had a fractured hip with muscle & ligament damage. he collapsed & was almost put down on the spot. he overcame this with a lot of tender loving care. But the stress of the accident brought back the EPM this past Oct. We medicated the same as before with loving care too. But the disease took it's hold; his right rear leg would drag at times. He would use the typical tri-pod stance. When trying to run, his rear end would bend around to catch up with his front. Sad so sad. i want people to know these signs - i chose not to let my Fred get real bad to the point of falling and falling. He did get down on the ground just a few times, but help was there for him. His muscle tone would just not come back. My family was very close by, I drove 2 hrs. a day to see him. He was loved so much, I got him when in my early 60s. Our bond was very special. This breaks my heart. He was put down on Nov. 7th, and buried in his pasture. His friend Cree, stands & lies down on his grave. I only wish there was more about this horrible disease. The meds are very expensive, But, worth it for my Fred!! judy in kettering, ohio

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