Completely Crazy

Update 3/29/16

I received information from a number of friends in December where Duke (fka Champ) was located and contacted the new owner.  On Christmas Eve they agreed to sell him back to me.  He came home late Thursday night March 24.  He was very sick.  The ultrasound yesterday revealed he had abscesses in his lungs, the largest of which was the size of a softball.

Duke passed away during the night. In a field, in the place he chose to stand, attended by his long time friend Miss D and the other horses on the property. The last thing he tasted was mouthfuls of fresh green spring grass and fresh cool water. He is healed, running and playing with the other mare who passed last fall. I’ll never have a first ride or a last ride with him. What we gave him though was love in his final days and stand where he wished.

Update:  12/7/15

I am heart broken but it is well with my soul.  The prior owner reneged on our agreement and sold Champ (aka Koda) out from under me to someone from Illinois last night for more money.  Sometimes God’s answer is No.  That leaves me to focus on the two wonderful horses I already own saving me much heartache and money rehabbing him.  I did manage a few photos Saturday morning before all of this unfolded.  I hope he has an amazing owner who will provide for all of his needs for the rest of his life.  It wasn’t time for me.

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Prior post:

I’m up early.  I always do that when I have something on my mind that’s gnawing at me.  Money, yes.  Faith, yes.  Taking a giant leap off of a moving vehicle and crashing to the ground?  Sure, why not.  Life is about those crazy chances you take that change the course of your life.

I have had a deep passion for old horses for a very long time.  One of my dreams is to have a retirement home for spent horses.  Those beauties who served people; gave their lives to families and who at an age where they can no longer race with the big dogs but aren’t’ without value, are disposed of, usually in the only way our society has available right now; the sale barn.

Enter “Koda”. a 22 year old, former show horse.  His current name doesn’t suit him and I haven’t been able to find out his previous name.  Arabian-something, maybe Tennessee Walker.  His pasterns are very low, almost walking on his heels and he has an odd gate.  He used to show with 9 and 11 year old little girls but I don’t know what sport.  His last owner had him with 2 other horses turned out in a pasture for the last 8 years with little interaction i.e. neglected.  They were provided food and water but little else.  He’s in bad shape.  Body score around 4, ribby, hips are protruding.  He needs worming, teeth floating, vaccines.  He’s dehydrated and pre-Cushing’s according to the vet.  We suspect his coat is developing oddly due to the malnutrition, we’ll see.  In other words $$$$$$  The current owner had the vet out yesterday for an evaluation, the prior owner gave them to her when she threatened to turn him in.  His ground manners need polishing, he’s a little high strung with the Arab in him, always on the look out and carries his head high, which is why she’s decided to take him to sale on Monday if I don’t take him.  She is asking him to turn left, turn right, move forward, back up, piaf and side pass all at the same time – and he’s doing it!  That makes for a rough ride for both of them!  He’s incredibly responsive to a very soft touch.  Since, he bounces his head when she rides, she’s using tie downs on him, he hates it… If he was in good health, I wonder if this would fix itself as he’s probably sore without much muscle on his skeleton and she’s a pretty big person.  She jumped on him bareback with a nylon halter within an hour of his arrival and he took it in stride.  He just lost the matriarch of the herd who went to sale when they were picked up due to her own poor health and he’s now separated from the only other companion he’s known for a decade; there have been too many changes in 3 weeks.  He hasn’t had time to settle in.

He has bright eyes, he is very aware of his surroundings, he wants to be a band leader.  He is also extremely smart.  Extremely smart.  I think he will give Autumn a run for her money.  He is very well trained and easily follows someone who knows how to lead.  I ran him through the Parelli games in about 30 minutes yesterday and he looked at me like what else you got?  He is very inquisitive and logical (for a horse).  He follows on a loose line, picks up his feet, you can touch him anywhere ears, mouth, tail, sheath.  He turns out with no drama-waiting until I stepped back to move off.  If he was in good health I think we could have a blast together.  He caught on right away to treats and mugged me twice, we talked about that and he responded by becoming much gentler about asking.

I looked at him and prayed.  Is this the beginning of my dream?  Welcome to Camp Wandu, a retirement home for horses.  A place where old horses come to live out their lives, regain their health and be horses until that time when they either expire among the herd members or are walked to the Rainbow Bridge by a caregiver?  Good ole boys who I could take visitors out on for occasional trail rides and teach them about the plight of horses, safety of working with and around them and most about the privilege of being around these amazing creatures whose goal in life is to “get along” with their herd.

It’s absolutely crazy to take him on right now financially.  God will provide; He always has.

Welcome to the family Duke.  I’m looking forward to sharing the years you have remaining with you.


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