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UPDATE - He's BACK! Unbelievable! From FHI to slaughter rescue!!

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  • UPDATE - He's BACK! Unbelievable! From FHI to slaughter rescue!!

    This is dedicated to the men and women out there - who bust their butts tirelessly day in and day out - to help make this a better world for horses - especially OTTB's.

    In the summer of 2006 - a beautiful dark bay gelding went from FHI to Slaughter. Bev Strauss saved his life. I know it was difficult for her to "choose" which horses to take out of the kill pen that day - but I am so so so thankful she chose "Wilson".

    And thank goodness Amy Miller saw her post, acquired him and brought him to South Carolina and into my life!

    His JC name is "Pardner" - he had 28 starts - won almost 100k. He was "christened" with a new name - Castaway - and his barn name became Wilson.

    I fell in love at first site and the rest - as they say - is history. I originally got him with the intention to do dressage with him. He is a very lovely mover! About 2 months in - I got into Natural Horsemanship and we started doing that. We went to the beach, the Biltmore, clinics etc. I finally got my own trailer about 2 years ago and we started just going places on our own, meeting friends at different barns etc and just learning to be a horse.

    We tried our hand at eventing - my trainer is an eventer and I got bitten by the bug - but - alas - his old racing injuries kept him from being able to do that. So - after being off and recuping from our eventing stint - we started back under saddle in mid-November and finally made it to our VERY FIRST SCHOOLING show together!! We did dressage only - after all - that is what I wanted to do anyway - and we scored a 67.19. I was extremely pleased as this was our first time out together in a somewhat formal show setting.

    He's the most amazing character! He is like a big puppy dog! He hangs out with "us humans" at the barn like he knows what we are talking about. He lets me blow him off with a leaf blower - without being haltered or tied - and he has his own personal "mister" in the summer to help keep him cool. He's just the funniest thing to be around. He brings me so much joy! My 8 year old son even hops on occasionally and they did their first trail ride together (with me walking beside them) last weekend.

    So - in this troubled time - when slaughter may be darkening our doors again - please keep supporting those men and women who work so hard to save these beautiful creatures. It's awful and heartbreaking that they all can't be saved - and for every "Wilson" out there - there are tons more just like him. His life will be comfortable forever - the ones Bev could not take that day - their lives will not have been in vain - their memories live on thru him.

    We mourn the ones lost - but we must celebrate the ones who make it - for this is why those people do what they do. Thanks to all who made it possible for me to share my life with this wonderful wonderful soul!

    I am going to try to attach a few pics - hopefully they will come thru!!

    Thanks again Bev Strauss and Amy Miller - God has a special place for people like you!!

    Wilson's Mom


  • #2
    What a great story. Every successful rescue from slaughter is wonderful. I hate to think how many good horses have gone to slaughter over the years.


    • Original Poster

      Just a few pics of him this year! He's a very handsome man! We love him tremendously!




      A baby ditch - while at our one and only eventing camp!

      A baby bank!



      • #4
        Wow, I'm in tears. Merry Christmas to everyone involved.
        RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

        "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


        • #5
          OMG he is so handsome! I too think that all the people who actually go into the kill pens and pull out horses are wonderful.

          I got Callie before an auction in SE GA. 3 yrs on the track and 6 foals, and then discarded. She had perfect conformation once she got some grain and hay. Best horse I ever had.

          Your horse looks like a great guy. Those eyes are so expressive. Great story! Lucky horse.


          • #6
            He is cute! Great story and thank you for sharing.

            I am often times humbled and awed by the efforts that some in the rescue circles that forgo so much- like a simple vacation- to do the best they can for horses.

            And despite popular misconceptions about rescue horses being crap, there are some very nice quality horses that need good homes!


            • #7
              What a beautiful horse! I am so happy for both of you and wish there were more like you.


              • Original Poster

                Oh - just an aside to that pic up in the first post of this new thread. In the background of our "rockin' halt" - you will see a lady in a red coat warming up. She was parked next to us and we had a moment to speak after we all rode. This was my FB post that evening.

                "I know there are so many "cynical" people out there who might say - "why do they make such a big deal out of such little things" - well - if you look at some of our pics - you will see a lady in a red coat warming up. You can't tell - but that horse has lost his right eye.They were parked next to us and I stopped to talk to her a moment and ask her how her ride went. She was thrilled and - like me - on the verge of tears. She then began to tell me the story of this 19 year old boy - who came off the track in Aiken - oh so long ago - and who just happened to be one of the last horse worked/trained by Lei's mom. And how they had battled eye infections / ulcerations until he finally had to have it removed surgically. And how she was so thrilled to get him going and out again and be a partner with him. So you see - this is what it's all about for us. The "little" things in life that mean so much. And - now he has an ulceration in his left eye - and she teared up saying this - because we both knew as she said it what that future might bring for this sweet boy. Horses put up with so much crap from us, tolerate our "heavy seats", our "hard hands", our sometimes "lack of putting them first" and even when they are mistreated or have a hard life - they still always find a way to "forgive" and continue to offer more. My ride lasted just 3 minutes - but that memory will last a lifetime. I enjoyed the hours spent just "hanging out" with my best friend - and all my horse friends will "get it" - but for those of you who don't - - that is why we ride! A 1200# living, breathing being that allows us to share a part of their world. It's just magical!"

                So - even though we aren't "pros", don't have a lot of money - those little things are our "grand prix's" lol - they mean the world to us!



                • #9
                  OP, tell the lady with the horse with ulcerated eyes to call Dr. Victoria Pentlarge in Athens. She is a vet opthamologist. And is totally wonderful.

                  I love stories like those of OP's horse.


                  • #10
                    if unwanted horses, those horses that can't be saved, those with injuries beyond repair were humanely euthanized, with absolutley no pain or trauma I'd have no problem, but no, most are slaughtered...killed painfully. It's sickening and beyond my comprehension...one is grazing out in a field here who will never have a job except living. Thank you to every single person who has said NO to legislators who unknowingly, or without a feeling in their bodies, say yes to slaughter.

                    And yes, thank you so much OP for keeping us in the loop about dear Wilson! Happiest Trails to you!!!
                    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan


                    • #11
                      I remember him. He was at a show on the Sunday and his miserable rider kept being harsh with him and making mistakes he could not correct. She was overheard to say he was going to NH and lo and behold he did on the very next day!!!

                      I remember how Amy (Bounce here) got him and that he found his own person. I think you had even posted pictures of him at your barn where he was playing in water with his friends!!

                      So happy he was saved, and that you have him and love him so much. He is so handsome.

                      I also recall the Coth diarrhea was wished upon his former owner and everyone hoped she would not get another horse (but I am sure she did).

                      Thanks for the update!! It is lovely!!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RunForIt View Post
                        if unwanted horses, those horses that can't be saved, those with injuries beyond repair were humanely euthanized, with absolutley no pain or trauma I'd have no problem, but no, most are slaughtered...killed painfully. It's sickening and beyond my comprehension...one is grazing out in a field here who will never have a job except living. Thank you to every single person who has said NO to legislators who unknowingly, or without a feeling in their bodies, say yes to slaughter.

                        And yes, thank you so much OP for keeping us in the loop about dear Wilson! Happiest Trails to you!!!
                        I totally agree, but I have to stay off of the slaughter threads. As a small child, I was a follower and fan of Velma Johnston, the original "Wild Horse Annie."


                        • #13
                          Here is the original thread for those who do not remember it.



                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks for sharing the original thread FI. I forgot to do that.

                            Yes - he was uncomfortable because his right front fetlock is basically fused. I have several different people (vets) look at him and even got xrays. My present chiro/vet - says absolutely NO jumping - - so - I can imagine it was painful for him and on top of what I've heard about the type of rider she is - it's no wonder he refused everything.

                            I feel really badly about trying our hand at eventing without truly knowing the extent of the damage to his fetlock. But - I must say - as you can see in our pics - he was very willing to try everything I asked of him. I took 4 years to get "our relationship" right and he trusted me enough to do it even though it must have been uncomfortable. So - after 7 months off - we will NOT be jumping ever again. But - bless his soul - he has done everything I have ever asked of him! I love him to pieces.

                            BTW - - I have days when I am look at him and get EXTREMELY angry at this person - but - in the end - I just pity her. She does not sound like she will ever truly have the "real" type of relationship a person can have with a horse by just respecting them for what they are and what they have to offer.

                            Oh well - - don't want to give her a thought. It's all about what a wonderful horse he is and how wonderful all the "unsung" heroes are out there that work so tirelessly to save as many as they can!!!

                            God Bless and Merry Christmas to you all!

                            Go hug your ponies!!

                            Here's a pic from last weekend - my son turned him into a "pony pony" lol - - he was great - - just love them both to pieces!! This was the weekend after his dressage debut - Wilson said - oh the humiliation lol!



                            • Original Poster


                              And just a little pic of me and my favorite "men" on Brett's (my son) first trail ride ever - and all by himself! So proud to have them!



                              • #16
                                That is so wonderful and he is remarkably lucky. Bless you for believing in him. Wilson!!
                                Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                                • #17
                                  It is people like you who restore my faith in humankind.
                                  Thank you so much for this wonderful story

                                  Merry Christmas!!
                                  Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
                                  Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
                                  Take us to print!


                                  • #18
                                    You both look so happy!! Congratulations.
                                    The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
                                    H. Cate


                                    • #19
                                      Such a wonderful story.Thank you so much for sharing him with us.
                                      A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.


                                      • #20
                                        He looks fabulous. I so remember that day and where he stood in the kill pen....sadly, I had to choose between him and an ex-broodie, but I am glad he got to live happily ever after! If that darned woman hadn't sent him, (not to mention no note, no rider, no nothing), that mare might have been saved too. Boy was I shocked when I got a call a few days later with the full story! All I knew was that he was a lovely, intelligent horse who deserved another chance. Great job......
                                        Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!