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From racetrack to companion for the blind...

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  • From racetrack to companion for the blind...

    Well it's been almost a week since my new Fingerlakes beauty arrived, I'm supposed to be 'sharing' her with a friend who has plans to breed her. I'm not sure I can let her leave the farm though..... In addition to being beautiful to look at, "Reggie" is a kind and gentle young mare. I can't believe she's so recently removed from the track!

    Initially she spent time with Mr. Studly, but he wanted to go back to his gelding pasture. Reggie indicated that she wanted to go hang out with my blind mare, Candi. I was hesitant to put them together. Candi wants a friend, but so far, all the beasties I have put in with her have quickly learned to exploit her blindness. Once that happens, she can't really relax. So she spent her days alone in her pasture with the other horses visiting over the fence.

    Reggie was different from the beginning. She is gentle with Candi. They have become good friends, but not the clingy-can't-be-separated type of friends. They are the type of friends that enjoy each other's company but are secure enough in their friendship to not need to be terribly close all the time. They graze contentedly - together or apart. When they are apart in the pasture they check in with each other from time to time. Similarly, when they're eating, one will often leave her food and walk over to the other's. In the past, the other beasties would run Candi away from her food, but now, Candi might walk over to eat with Reggie. And the fun part is that no matter who joins who, they share, and then they will both amble back to the first horse's food and share some more.

    It's such a relief to me that my dear sweet old blind mare has found a companion that she can be comfortable with! Here's the link to Reggie's album: http://s482.photobucket.com/albums/r...Horses/Reggie/
    Y'all ain't right!

  • #2
    What a beautiful gift for Candi . Reggie sounds like an amazing young mare, another OTTB success! A truly heartwarming post. Thank You.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's so sweet and she's such a looker too!
      Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

      Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

      Comment


      • #4
        TBs are simply awesome! Not that I am biased or anything.
        Special Horses - equine volunteer to assist equines in need!
        www.specialhorses.org

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm always amazed at how kind these young TB mares can be. My mare was eight when I bought her, off the track for years, and she was the kindest, most forgiving mare I'd ever met. And those TBs are smart as a whip!

          Reggie probably thinks she's in Horse Heaven! Both of your horses seem happy and at ease. What a pretty head Reggie has....

          I'm glad this has all worked out for you all! That's some Christmas present you and your blind mare got this year....
          "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

          Comment


          • #6
            Is that Two Regal???? She's an amazing mare. I love her. What a looker she is and a sweetheart to boot.
            F O.B
            Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
            Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

            Comment


            • #7
              What a wonderful story. With BeastieSlave's permission, I have transferred it, and a couple of the pictures, to the Success Stories forum on the Trainer's Listings.

              http://fltrainerlist.proboards104.co...est&thread=722

              Add one more thing to the many that OTTB's can do.
              If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
              Desmond Tutu

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Linny View Post
                Is that Two Regal???? She's an amazing mare. I love her. What a looker she is and a sweetheart to boot.
                Yup - she is a very special gal indeed!!!
                Y'all ain't right!

                Comment


                • #9
                  What a great story. She is such a pretty mare, I can see her being really fancy. And sounds like she is incredibly kind-hearted too. So much for the "chestnut TB mare" stigma!!
                  We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ahhhhhhhhhhh Beastie, there must have been a reason for the lovely Fingerlakes mare. I too had a hard time matching the blind with a companion and it often took years to find just the right friend. It is so important that the blind can actually relax and rest with there partner. You have a winner LOL.
                    Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

                    Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      You're right! Candi has been totally blind for a little over three years now.

                      I wanted Z to be 'the one', but she kept trying to get Candi to run with her. That time she ran her into the fence was just too much. There was a friend's old gelding who worked for a while, but when he learned that he could run her away from her food, it got kind of hard. He would frighten Candi whenever the mood struck him. Wonderpony worked pretty well, but I had to separate them during meals. She didn't physically hurt Candi, but she took advantage of the fact the the sound of thundering hooves coming at her was frightening. She wasn't too bossy the rest of the time.

                      I'm hoping that since Reggie and Candi already share their food happily that things won't change between them. You guys keep your fingers crossed for us!
                      Y'all ain't right!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yup, companion for the blind isnt easy. I had good company for the kids but.........they stole there food, they didnt let them in the shelter and they could corner them. Most of the time, they were ok but.....................other times they totally took advantage. You have to absolutely trust the companion of the blind or they are safer on there own. I came to realize that Lil Dot, would not lie down if she was not with a 100% completely trustworthy buddy. And to not lie down would cause her a good deal of stress. she needed to trust her companion in an enclosed shelter or be cornered and I as well had to trust her companion.

                        You got a winner here, heheheh she doesnt need babies, she has a new job. One that takes a mighty good set of shoes to fill. now, that means you can save another OTTB cause you still need a broodie for friend LOL. Yay, another life saved LOL NO, in this case, its 3. See how it works.
                        Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

                        Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Oh man, Reggie's a winner!

                          This morning I watched Reggie finish her feed and walk over to her hay while Candi was still eating her grain. That was good. Then Reggie wandered away from her hay toward Candi (and her grain). I watched closely to see if Reggie would throw off any body language that meant she was thinking about getting tough with Candi in order to get some grain. Instead, she did something I don't think I've ever seen before. She went over and started munching on Candi's hay while Candi finished her grain It was that companionable thing again! I think she just figured if she was going to be munching hay, she might as well be hanging out near her buddy.

                          I've been scheming about how to keep Reggie at the farm and still cut back on the herd. I'm 2 horses over my optimum number right now. I might suggest to my friend that if he wants to breed Reggie, he has to leave her at the farm for her pregnancy and take one of my other, not working, horses to his place. Z would probably enjoy being in a broodmare band again...
                          Y'all ain't right!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Very sweet that you found your blind mare a compatible one.

                            I thought that when someone adopted from a rescue, they were not supposed to bred and add more horses to a world awash with them and so many unwanted now?
                            I really can't see how someone can be rescuing and still agree with breeding any more horses.
                            Playing musical chairs with lives, if they realize it or not.
                            To bring that little question up and put it on the table would solve your problem right there.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How wonderful, that your blind girl has found a true friend! Thats enough to bring tears to your eyes I would do whatever you can to keep Reggie w/ her new friend, that kind of companionship is few and far between!

                              Good luck with them and thank you for giving Reggie a wonderful home! I wish I had the resources to help rescue OTTB's, there is a special place in my heart for them!
                              ~Darci~
                              "We have an obligation. We are their keepers." ~Roy Jackson

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by BeastieSlave View Post
                                Well it's been almost a week since my new Fingerlakes beauty arrived, I'm supposed to be 'sharing' her with a friend who has plans to breed her. I'm not sure I can let her leave the farm though..... In addition to being beautiful to look at, "Reggie" is a kind and gentle young mare. I can't believe she's so recently removed from the track!

                                Initially she spent time with Mr. Studly, but he wanted to go back to his gelding pasture. Reggie indicated that she wanted to go hang out with my blind mare, Candi. I was hesitant to put them together. Candi wants a friend, but so far, all the beasties I have put in with her have quickly learned to exploit her blindness. Once that happens, she can't really relax. So she spent her days alone in her pasture with the other horses visiting over the fence.

                                Reggie was different from the beginning. She is gentle with Candi. They have become good friends, but not the clingy-can't-be-separated type of friends. They are the type of friends that enjoy each other's company but are secure enough in their friendship to not need to be terribly close all the time. They graze contentedly - together or apart. When they are apart in the pasture they check in with each other from time to time. Similarly, when they're eating, one will often leave her food and walk over to the other's. In the past, the other beasties would run Candi away from her food, but now, Candi might walk over to eat with Reggie. And the fun part is that no matter who joins who, they share, and then they will both amble back to the first horse's food and share some more.

                                It's such a relief to me that my dear sweet old blind mare has found a companion that she can be comfortable with! Here's the link to Reggie's album: http://s482.photobucket.com/albums/r...Horses/Reggie/

                                ride her yourself and keep her for candi i know exactly how you feel, i got ella and i kept her for the same reasons, as she was a brill replacement for old ted, ossy shetland freind
                                now he has choky as ella bless lost her cancer battle but she was with ossy for ten years
                                so a great companion she was his eyes and ears, and matey they always go on the worse side of a blinndy when in true freindship they protect the worse side , and i have found that out with more than one horse, its just the same when other like you say go for her and she nt setttled as they tend to go on the side that more vunerable - weird but true

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                  Very sweet that you found your blind mare a compatible one.

                                  I thought that when someone adopted from a rescue, they were not supposed to bred and add more horses to a world awash with them and so many unwanted now?
                                  I really can't see how someone can be rescuing and still agree with breeding any more horses.
                                  Playing musical chairs with lives, if they realize it or not.
                                  To bring that little question up and put it on the table would solve your problem right there.
                                  I appreciate your feelings, but Reggie wasn't adopted from a rescue (and not all rescues preclude breeding for their mares anyway). She was purchased from a trainer at Fingerlakes. I never claimed to have 'rescued' her! She was in a bit of a bind but it's my understanding that the rescues up there weren't in a position to take her even if they had been given the opportunity.

                                  My friend had indicated he wanted to purchase her and farted around while the track closed down. I wasn't able to reach him while Reggie's time was running out. So, I got feedback from a few folks, had her vetted, decided that she was worth the risk (in case I got stuck with her), and bought her myself. I didn't need another horse, but she needed some help. She's a quality mare, my friend is an established breeder/trainer with a steady clientele and horses competing at the national level. I don't have a problem with him breeding Reggie - once.

                                  I hope to keep Reggie for a long time. I'd like to start her under saddle in the spring. She's a lovely mover and if she has the same attitude about work as she does about the other parts of her life I think she'll have a lot to offer
                                  Y'all ain't right!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Well, then, why not just ask your friend and co-owner about all of this and see if to leave her with you is possible after all?

                                    Being five, she may not have come onto herself yet, not matured and when she does, she may be a little less friendly to your other horse, or she may stay the same, we never know with a five year old.
                                    I have seen them change much in temperament at that age, although geldings more often than mares.

                                    Since you are going to be riding her and taking her away to shows and breeding anyway, maybe she is not the best as a steady companion for your blind horse.
                                    Does your blind horse want a companion?

                                    Our few geldings change friends at times, herd dynamics don't seem to be set in stone, although they tend to be fairly predictable most of the time.
                                    They all seem to have their good and not so good moments and days.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Reggie belongs to me alone. When I bought her I was assuming my friend would step up and reimburse me and she would transfer to him. I knew and accepted the risks of assumption. He has been slow and now, I don't think I want to let him have her. I am willing to do a breeding lease and, as I stated before, am going to suggest that Reggie stay at the farm. Friend has seen Reggie briefly and we're hoping to iron out details this weekend or early next week.

                                      One of the things that I'm so happy about is that Candi and Reggie don't seem to stress over separations. I have taken Reggie out of the pasture for periods of time (granted, we're talking hours, not days) and there hasn't been any drama from either mare. Candi herself gets out and about a bit, so it's not like either horse will be in the pasture all the time.

                                      I also know that things can change. I've seen it happen before. That's one of the reasons I'm not planning Reggie's life around being Candi's companion. Candi is old and Reggie is young. Even if they are always good friends, they won't be together forever.

                                      I think I mentioned before that Candi does want a companion, but she's not helpless and she's okay living alone. She doesn't need a seeing-eye horse. She gets around her pastures just fine on her own. Candi just deserves a friend who won't take advantage of her disability.
                                      Y'all ain't right!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Wow, Beastie that is an amazing story! She just looks like such a gentle, kind soul. I am glad she has found a sanctuary AND given Candi a companion. Some things are just meant to be...

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