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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Feedlot Warmblood: Part Two

After a long strange trip down the wormhole of finding out Henry's bloodlines - I have a four year old Canadian Warmblood gelding who is a wonderful partner. 


Love the view between these ears! 




When I began my search for a second horse I decided that I wanted a draft cross filly to be a trail buddy for Apollo.  I like draft crosses for their size/temperament and Apollo gets along better with mares.   I didn’t have any specific disciplines in mind, mostly was just looking for a young horse that will be eventually be tall enough for me!  I began my search at local rescues and eventually it expanded to Canada-wide (mostly by accident, but still).


Bay-bies



I made a huge departure from that plan when purchased Henry.  Although I am very happy with the outcome I do feel that I made a few mistakes in the process.  It’s too late for me (ha!) but maybe someone else can learn from mistakes.  I think these are not uncommon mistakes in the horse rescue world.  Here goes:


  1. I made an emotional decision.  I saw a baby horse in a feedlot.  And my bleeding heart took over my brain.  Choosing a horse, whether from a rescue or not, should be a carefully thought out decision.  I responded emotionally to the phrase “will ship by Friday” and crossed out the list I initially had for my next horse (filly/mare? halterbroke? draft cross? nope nope nope.)
  2. I did not choose a reputable rescue.  I am grateful that my interaction with NYNE brought a weird wonderful Henry into my life.  But there are other rescues that deserved my money a lot more than they did.  They are essentially a broker for a meat buyer.  I’d rather pay more money and know that an organization has the horses best interests at heart and have registered charity status.  Mystic was $650 from a reputable rescue.  They had me fill out a detailed application, they did two phone interviews with me, requested three references, and had a volunteer do a “home inspection” at my barn.  They made sure I was a good home for Mystic.  I understand Henry’s rescue organization is up against the clock, but I think a lot more could have been done. 
  3.  I could not afford two baby horses.  I have been working a second job (and sometimes a third and fourth job) since I bought Henry.  I genuinely could not afford it, but I made it work.  And continue to make it work.   I cannot deny the additional stress and financial hardship that I caused myself but committing to two young horses at the same time.  I don’t own my own property so I’ve paid board, vet, and farrier bills for three horses for over three years.   I think people need to be honest with themselves about what they can afford.  I’ve seen a lot of people rescue a horse or two, only to turn around and re-home them in a short period of time.   Which does the horse no favors.



I don’t totally suck!  Here are some things I did right :) :
 
  1. I registered my him.  I am of the opinion that all horses that can be registered – should be.  Papers don’t mean a lot to me personally (as I’m not seeking a grand prix dressage horse, for example) but they do mean something to a lot of people.  Papers are one more thing that keeps a horse safe from the meat pen. 
  2. I increased his value.  When Henry arrived he was an unhandled baby.  Now he is a four year old, greenbroke horse.  I increased his value by providing regular farrier/vet care, handling/working on ground manners, paid for 90 days professional training and continue to put miles on him myself on the trail.  If he ever leaves my care he has these things to bring to the table at a new home.  I think it’s truly a disservice to claim that you’ve “rescued” a horse and do nothing to increase its value.  Keeping a horse alive for a longer period of time, but without any care/training is not truly rescuing a horse. 
  3. I loved him. Henry became a member of our family.  I put my blood, sweat and tears into him.  The reality is that one day I may need to sell him.  But if I do I will make sure I find him the best home possible. 

I am over-the-moon that Henry is my horse and that we ended up together.  If I was going to add another horse to the herd tomorrow, I would seek out a more reputable rescue.  But my heart is sure happy that I belong to this guy.

<3

16 comments:

  1. Sometimes it just all works out, in spite of us! I'm glad that you have Henry though. :)

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    1. I'm glad too, he's a good boy :)

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  2. When I went horse shopping I brought back-up, a video camera and No horse trailer...cause if I go to see it, of course I'm gonna want to take it home!!

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  3. I have had best laid plans turn to *%$@ and spur of the moment heart-driven choices be perfection. What matters most is what we do next i supose.

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    1. That's very true! :) This was definitely a heart-driven decision that turned out well.

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  4. aww i bet he's glad you found him too!

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    1. Sometimes he's glad, when I make him be a respectful citizen he is not as grateful hahah

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  5. I'm glad it all worked out for you.

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  6. I think things tend to happen as they should. So while maybe you feel you made some mistakes, the outcome is exactly as it should be. Henry is just the cutest!

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    1. I feel like I made all the classic mistakes I see happen to other people all the time, getting swept up in an emotional decision.. but it all worked out, he's a good doobie :)

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  7. He is just so cute. So happy it worked out for him and you!

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