Home Again Home Again… Amy’s Story

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Me and Patrick Practicing for Speed Events – Krewstown Horse Show 1982

Many years ago, I met Amy’s first owner. She was my next door neighbor and somehow we started sharing about horses. I told her about my adventures de-spooking my first horse (I rescued him from an Amish farmer when I was 12 years old).

She shared with me about her horse “Amy” who needed some further work in that area as well as training overall. She had sent Amy for 30 days professional training and the results were only so-so. Amy was green-broke to ride but, came back with some issues that were not expected.

We became fast friends and soon I found myself working with Amy to “polish up” her initial training and put her head on straight regarding spooky stuff, head shy issues and biting etc… Amy gave me some lumps as a youngster but, I enjoyed the challenge and I instantly bonded with her.

Years went by and even though we were still neighbors, I fell out of touch with her owner. Then one day, Amy’s owner contacted me and asked if I could take Amy as she could no longer afford to keep her and she had just been paying full care board for x- years and not able to see her much or ride.

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Steve on Amy

I spoke with my husband and we agreed to take Amy. It so happened that I had a horse and pony already and kept them at a friend’s barn for free in exchange for work. So we picked up Amy and brought her to her new place. My husband loved to ride Amy in the park and around the barn. We had her for a few years there then suddenly, our relationship with the owner of the barn soured and we sought other arrangements for our horses.

Unfortunately, we could not afford to pay full care for three horses. The pony was my daughter’s and would be heart-broken if we had to sell her. My horse (Pogo) had been horribly abused in the past and could still be a handful so there was no way she would go with anyone easily nor was I willing to risk anyone’s safety. I also did not want her to end up in the slaughter pipeline again.

Amy was the only choice to re-home. With broken hearts, we placed an ad about Amy and offered her free to a good home. I received a few responses but, after a short phone screening, I declined those folks. A few days went by and a woman called telling me that she is interested in Amy for her daughter and would need a beginner safe horse. Bingo. This woman sounded reasonable so I agreed to have them come and try my out. I offered with her, Amy’s winter blanket, grooming supplies, tack trunk, bridle and custom made Circle Y saddle.

This was a beginner’s dream! Not only were they getting a well-trained, anything safe horse, but all of her supplies and tack for FREE!

The only issue Amy had was a new case of greasy heel due to the barn flooding from the nearby creek after Hurricane Irene. Other than that, she was sound, healthy and tons of life and pep left in her at 20 years old.

The woman, her daughter and neighbor came to see Amy a few days after our phone conversation. All I wanted was a great new home for her and to be able to bless another person with this wonderful horse. They fell in love with Amy immediately. The neighbor said, words to the effect of “that is one good horse” “you are lucky to have found her and she’s free! You just don’t come by horses like this every day”.

So, after a short test ride in the corral, the review and signing of a contract in which I made certain to give me the “right of first refusal” if they ever needed to rehome Amy for any reason. We packed up Amy’s things and loaded her onto the trailer with a lot of coaxing and she was off to her new life with an eager 14 year old girl and things looked great.

We kept in touch via Facebook and saw the girl and Amy bond, ride, have fun etc… Time passed and less and less updates were had, fewer pictures posted. So it was put on my heart to ask about Amy. No response for a little while, so I became concerned and messaged again asking about Amy.

Then I received a response that I did not expect. It seemed that the girl had “outgrown” Amy and wanted to advance. Now I will have you all know, Amy is highly trained and can perform and compete at any level – however, she is older so may not have been able to keep up, be as fast etc… I will let you know that I do not blame the girl for wanting to advance and become a better rider, ride more than Amy could handle etc…

So the message read that they were possibly going to be looking for a new situation for Amy. My heart sank. My barn had no room and so I had to decline taking Amy for the time being. They promised me that Amy would go to a great family only and that they loved Amy very much.

They had recently purchased another horse from a broker and she seemed very reputable so they decided to re-home Amy with her as she promised to find a good home for Amy and the horse they purchased from her was healthy, safe and sane.

It turned out that this broker was not so reputable and had many many complaints pending against her. Thus Amy inadvertently ended up in a bad situation. The link below is a complaint that mentions Amy specifically.

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/kristy-haugh/harrisburg-pennsylvania-/kristy-haugh-nobodaddy-farm-horse-flipper-and-big-scammer-harrisburg-pennsylvania-1036965

A short time after Amy was placed at this broker’s barn, I received an urgent call from one of my boarders who was a racehorse trainer said that another racehorse trainer friend of mine was frantically trying to contact me about a horse.

So I called back and was told to contact an investigator immediately about a horse that she knew used to be mine and her name was “Amy”. Alarm bells went off in my heart and head immediately as I had worked in the past with this investigator regarding horse neglect, abuse cases.

To make a twisty, turny, bad story short, after my conversation with my investigator friend,  I called the family that I placed Amy with immediately and they were appalled and shocked that this was happening. The husband took a trip out to the broker’s barn and looked Amy over they went the next day with a trailer and $500 to bail Amy out and get her back to safety. They had to pay $500 to this woman to buy Amy back but they had GIVEN Amy to her for free just as I had given Amy to them just in hopes of having a good home for her.

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While Amy was in this woman’s “care” she was not fed properly, had lost condition and was kept in deplorable conditions including being penned with a stallion and possibly in foal. Amy is 22 years old and in her weakened state, would not have survived having a a foal.

The family called the vet out, got the necessary treatments for Amy, put weight back on and then wanted to re-home her again but ONLY with me. As it turned out, we were just in the process of taking over the entire farm so now we could indeed take Amy!

ImageSo now Amy is home again with me until the natural end of her days where she will be pampered and spoiled and loved on and ridden by many children. Forever and ever..

Amen.

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Wishes Do Come True!

Great gifts from Sarah for Lady Pony! x0x0

Hey All!

Just wanted to write a quick update.

Friday we had a family visit from one of our most favoritest families!

They came bearing gifts of a case of spring water, a bag of carrots and a new rubber sparkly curry brush and royal blue Twinkle Toes hoof polish for Lady Pony!

Sarah and Bekah happily painted Lady’s hooves with the Twinkles Toes then tacked up and rode for a bit!  Lady was very stylish in her new blue bling 🙂

Then when we arrived home later that afternoon, there was a heavy-ish package awaiting us.

Inside were items from our wish list and a few that were not! Here is the pic of the contents  below! 🙂

We feel so very blessed and grateful to all of our wonderful families and supporters! We thank and love you all to pieces! x0x0x0 We could NOT do what we do without you!

Great Gifts Sent by Darlene Brown 🙂 Thank you so very much! What a blessing you are! x0x0x

That’s it! I Quit!.. Pogo’s Story

Before you begin, you may want to grab a cuppa cha (tea) and put your tootsies up, this one is a little long 🙂

All set?.. okay, groovy.. here we go.. (insert wavy flashback scene and music here) *SMILE*

One day a few years ago, I learned of a horse that was headed to the kill pen in two days if no one took her. Of course, my heart broke but, all I could do was pray. My husband was a copier technician and well.. needless to say, copier techs are not rich by any stretch of the imagination.

We had limited income and were already taking care of some expenses for Lady Pony like vet, farrier, teeth etc. So it was that left us with little to spare. While driving to the barn that day, I started telling my husband about this horse that the barn owner told me about and asked him to pray that she ends up in a good situation. He listened and then said, “Lets get her”. I literally stopped breathing for a second, then said, “Oh no! I did not tell you about this so that we could buy her I am simply asking you to pray.” He replied, “Well honey, we’ve been talking about rescuing horses for a long time now. I think it’s time to stop talking and start doing.”

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I sat there stunned for a minute. I found myself making arguments against saving this animal because of limited income etc.. My husband, however, went right on ignoring me and my reasoning. Instead, he made pleas on behalf of this mare that he had never met and to top it all off, he’s not the horse person! I am!

So it was, that upon getting to the barn, I asked the barn owner, if she could contact this broker and get more information. She had already had some dealings with him and thought that he was pretty honest. (A rarity in the horse world). She called and spoke to him at length with the broker’s wife in the background cautioning that this horse had, this and that issue, hates being tied, saddled, rears, it’s not for a beginner, a real “B” word etc.. but they’ll take $450.00 for her if we want to come & see her.

The barn owner thought that the wife may be exaggerating as the broker assured her that this horse was indeed not for a beginner but, was not as bad as the wife made her out to be.

We decided that we would at least go and see her. We made arrangements with the barn owner to drive out there with her truck and horse trailer hitched up just in case we decided that we would be coming back with her.

ImageSo after withdrawing $450.00 from our account, we discovered that we were left with .10 cents to manage for another week! I was getting more and more uncertain of the wisdom of this potential transaction. I forged ahead trusting God and my husband’s leading and went out to see this horse that I heard so much conflicting information about.

During the trip, I stared out the window and prayed that God would guide our decision making and give us wisdom.

We arrived at the broker’s place and there she was, a sorrel and white paint. She looked like nothing special but she did have striking markings. She was tied to a post, standing quietly.

Hmm I thought. Yes, the wife was exaggerating. The broker quickly saddled her up but made an offhand comment that she had not been ridden in about six days so “it ought to be a rodeo”. I thought, OK not building my confidence here Mr. horse broker but, I appreciated the honesty none the less.

He mounted her and she stepped off quietly at a walk. He put her through her paces and she only popped up a little at the end of a canter when he pulled her up to a stop. I thought, perhaps it was a teeth or bit issue which could be easily remedied.

As I watched him ride, it appeared that she was green broke and she was confused at some of what he was asking her to do. He rode her in a straight line up and down a pathway. She turned mechanically and with some hesitation, for which I again mentally blamed the bit or her teeth. He stepped off of her and before I could really discuss anything, ask for more time to think about it etc.. the barn owner was handing over my $450.00 and agreeing to the sale!

< Now on this piece, my husband and I remember this event a little differently > Apparently, my husband recalls verbally agreeing to buy her but, in my recollection, I was still hashing it over in my mind.

In any event..

Well.. okay.. I thought, I guess we just bought a horse. She followed me right onto the trailer without hesitation, at which the broker seemed a little upset and made some muttered comments that he and his brother in law spent 3 hours getting her onto a trailer etc..

She stood still and was calm for the entire ride. I could not help but think about the look of mixed emotions in her eyes. The dullness with just a shadow of fear and a hint of hope of being saved. I knew then that she must have been given a calming agent and I silently waited for the storm to happen.

I did not need to wait long, a day or two after being calm and sedate, she literally broke through the concrete stall and tore down all of the boards that made up the the front wall and in the process, nearly ran over the barn owner’s husband who was in the middle of feeding.

I received a frantic call from a fellow boarder and the barn owner’s daughter. They told me what happened and that I needed to come get my horse. They said, after busting through the stall, she ran out of the barn and was now running around and they are not going to go near that crazy animal!

*Sigh*

My husband and I got in the car and drove to the barn. There she was, grazing on the little patches of grass in the front yard. As we pulled up in the car and approached the gate, she calmly walked right up to us and nickered softly. She allowed us to catch her easily.

Wow.. ok.. I did not expect that at all. I expected a game of catch me if you can at the very least.  We decided to let her graze a bit while we went to look at the damage to the stall. We cleaned up the mess, spilled buckets, hay, dirty bedding and spent that evening rebuilding it.

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Again, she was easy to catch and she allowed us to put her halter on. We put her in the newly rebuilt stall without any problems. We gave her some feed, hay and fresh water. Stayed for a little bit to make sure she was not going to try and break out again. When we were satisfied that all was well, we left.

A few days later, the barn owner told me that she needed a gate over her stall door. She came down in the morning to feed and found my horse half in and half out of the stall. She had apparently reared up in her stall and got her front legs caught over the stall door.

*Sigh*

I ordered the gate and installed it as soon as it came. A few days later, she broke the stall down again.

*Sigh*

I started working with her and lunging her in the corral. Doing basic ground work to see what she knew. She knew very little of what I was asking her to do. When she got tired of working, she broke from lunging and charged inward at me with ears back and teeth bared.

That only earned her more work. So as I made her work harder, she then tried a new trick, to corner me in the corral and kick my head in. I ducked and rolled under the fence. I thought that’s it! I quit! This horse is insane! She is going back on a stinking trailer! I labeled her an outlaw horse and wrote her off and gave thanks that I was not emotionally attached to her yet.

When my husband came to pick me up from the barn that day, I told him what happened and of my decision to get rid of the crazy animal. As it turned out the broker’s wife was not exaggerating.

My husband calmly said to me, “I have never known you to give up on anything”

POP!!!

There went my anger, my frustration and my determination to rid myself of this “orangutan” as she was now dubbed by everyone at the barn and even by the barn up the road!

*Sigh*

I studied, consulted, studied some more.

I even dug around and made many phone calls trying to learn more about her history. I came to learn very little other than the fact that she was mainly used as a broodmare and that the man that owned her previously used to abuse her with a broom handle. A vet confirmed this when a rectal exam revealed deep fissures and scar tissues. The vet had to sedate her to even to get close enough to examine her properly. I called the vet out because, I noticed she had some blood in her manure and seemed to have a hard time with bowel movements. My heart went out to her in a new and fresh way.

I had my challenge set before me, I was going to be victorious!

I decided I was going to try some new approaches with her. I prayed and then saddled her up for a ride. She reared and bucked, twisted & bulled. I stayed on (Thank God) – and thus earned the nickname “Krazy Glue Butt” or “Liquid Nails Butt” … 🙂

Anyway, Pogo was peeved! Right or wrong, I started to feel a sense of amusement come over me not anger or fear. I calmly told her that if she bucked me off, she’d earned it. She turned her head to look at me and with a look of resignation, walked calmly off.

EUREKA! we achieved a break through that day. I continued to work steadily with her and teaching her ground manners, lunging and working off of hand and leg commands. Worked on despooking her and other fear and trust issues.

Even after all of that, she still had some issues. So much so that the barn owner’s daughter asked to take her out riding into the park bareback. She was an experienced rider so I agreed. She told me later on, after the ride, that she was feeling down and decided, as she put it, “it seemed like a good day to die”.

It turned out that Pogo was very well behaved and did not do anything wrong! So the training was indeed sticking with her and she was learning to trust more & more! I was so very glad that she was coming around.

Now my beginner husband is riding her after she had not been ridden in about 10 months due to a sciatic nerve issue I have been suffering with for some time now.

So needless to say, I am very happy that I allowed my husband to lead and did not quit! She is now an important part of our family and ministry.

It just goes to show you, to truly trust in the Lord’s leading and don’t quit so easily! I am fully aware of the fact that if my husband had listened to me and allowed me to give up on this beautiful creature, she would have been shipped to slaughter and destroyed.

Thank you for reading! All the best and God Bless!

Patti (Yeshuazgirl) and proud horse momma of Pogo 🙂

By the way, the barn owner named her Pogo because, she used to rear up and down like she was on a pogo stick. Now we just call her Pretty Girl Po’ 🙂