Month: January 2016
January 30, 2016
Saying goodbye is never easy. As I sit here tonight knowing that TJ will be leaving for his new home tomorrow, thoughts of our last year together fill my head. The decision was difficult, but it’s best for him to go to a home where he can be ridden more often to keep him sound.
January 31, 2016
The trailer to take TJ to his new home was to arrive at 8:30 this morning. We planned on being there at 8:15 so I could spend some time with him before he left. We were on time, but followed the trailer down the road to the barn. I wasn’t going to have much time with him before he left. It was early and everybody was still in their stalls, waiting to be fed. I piled the last treats that I’d ever give him into his bucket. I explained that he was going to a new home today. It wasn’t because I didn’t love him, but because I did. I told him I just couldn’t ride him enough to keep him flexible and sound. I also told him I did everything I could to make sure he was going to a good home. That I love him very much and will miss him. As I led him our of his stall and down the isle I noticed he was stiff and gimpy. As much as I love him, I knew at that point I made the right decision. We walked out to the trailer, his head popped up and his ears pricked forward. We stood in front of the ramp. I gave him a big hug, a kiss on the muzzle and told him I loved him and would never forget him. He hesitated slightly going up the ramp then walked into the trailer box stall. As I watched the trailer go down the road I prayed that TJ would be happy and have a good life ahead of him.
As I walked back into the barn a sadness came over me. Never again would I walk down the isle & hear TJ nicker to me as I approached his stall. Only an empty stall with his nameplate.
I’ve enjoyed the past year with TJ. We learned from each other. We have times of frustration, learning to trust. We had good times and a few not so good. The only regret I have about my time with TJ was having to give him up. When I filled out the transfer report I did enroll TJ in the AQHA Full Circle program. If a future owner can no longer keep him or he’s ready to retire, I’ll be contacted. Maybe someday we’ll have our own farm and he can come home.
As TJ’s and my story comes to a close, so does my blog. I never was able to find anything more about his past. I hope all of you have enjoyed reading TJ’s story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. You can follow more of my writing in My Life With Horses.
With the onset of winter days of riding became fewer and TJ’s limp got worse. The more days of rain or bitter cold we had, the lamer he became. Being stuck in his stall was not a good thing for the big guy. I called one of the best lameness specialists in the area. Dr. Blauner and his assistant arrived on Wednesday. They did blocks and X-rays.
The diagnosis – severe calcification of the deep digital flexor tendon in his left fore. In 35 years Dr. Blauner had never seen it so bad and couldn’t imagine what was done to TJ for it to be so bad. Although it can’t be fixed, he doesn’t have to be put down. In fact, he can and should be worked. Light work on good footing is going to help him remain flexible. Cantering on soft ground is fine, but only when he wants to. Walk, trot trail rides for several hours is fine. No hard work and no sharp turns. The more days he can be worked, the better he it is for him.
Decisions – The vet told me he needs to be ridden as many days as possible and not just weekends. TJ can’t be a weekend horse in order for him to stay sound and because of my work schedule I can only ride on weekends. It seems like a no brainer, but I was torn between my love for the horse and what’s best for him. In the end I need to do what’s best for him. TJ has been offered for sale or on farm full lease in Gilbertsville, PA. His sale price is just high enough to deter anyone from running him through a sale or reselling him to make a profit and is negotiable to the right home. If you know anyone that would love to have a great walk, trot horse, please send them my way.
So it really is time for TJ and I to go our separate ways. He has given me my confidence back, taught me to be calm and relaxed regardless of how nervous he was and showed me how much patience I could have. I’ve shown him that he could be ridden without being abused. He’s learned riding can be fun and life can be good. It’s truly been a pleasure to have owned such a special horse.
TJ is a 2006 16h registered Quarter Horse gelding (A Good Machine x Impulsive Lil Lena – Impulsions). He’s Western Pleasure & cow bred going back to Zippo Pine Bar, Blondys Dude and Doc Bar. Pleasure trained, spur broke.
Rides English or Western. Wonderfully smooth at all gaits! A fabulous western jog you can ride all day & a ground covering working canter. Picks up correct leads & does changes. He has a good mind and a great personality. He has been on the trails a few times & seems to enjoy it. Stands for vet, farrier, loads, hauls, UTD on shots, teeth, feet, etc. Needs a confident, patient rider. He has a great, fun personality & will be in your pocket for treats. Gentle and easy to handle for someone with horse experience.
TJ does have calcification of the deep digital flexor tendon in his left front. Because of this he can’t be ridden hard and no sharp turns. A few hours on the trail at a walk & trot is fine. He can be cantered lightly as long as the footing is soft. The more days per week he’s ridden, the better it is for him. He does need to be buted before riding. I can only ride on weekend & the vet said he needs more days. I’ll be happy to provide prospective buyers with his x-rays.
On farm full lease in Gilbertsville, PA or purchase for $1,000 (negotiable to the right home).
Happy anniversary TJ! I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I can’t believe it’s only been 1 year.
It’s been year of trials and tribulations, ups and downs, progress and set backs, joy and frustration; you’ve tested my patience, pushed my riding skills and made me realize again just how much I can handle while I’m in the saddle. You’ve helped me regain my confidence and made me become an active, thinking rider again. It was a year of getting to know each other and bonding.
You’ve gone from a horse that couldn’t walk without limping to a horse that races his buddy at a full gallop up and down the fence line and doesn’t take a bad step. From a horse that tensed so badly you were like riding a fence rail, piaffed and reared to someone I just hang out on bareback with a halter and lead.
You’ve learned to trust me to get you through all of the scary situations I’ve put you in over the past year. From just being ridden again, riding outside of the ring, trail riding, riding in your pasture and your 1st gymkhana. You’re becoming a steady, confident horse.
Why you should ever trust people to ride you again is beyond me, but I’m grateful that it’s me you trust. With all you’ve been through in your past life, you still have more heart and try than any horse I’ve ever known. You’ve become my buddy and my overgrown puppy. We’ve formed a deep, mutual bond that most horse owners never get to experience. If they do, it normally takes years to develop. You follow me everywhere and never take your eyes off of me if I leave you for a few minutes.
Maybe more importantly than our relationship, you’ve become Koko’s best friend. In all the years I’ve known her, I’ve never seen her bond with a horse the way she has with you. Apparently you won her over from the start by protecting her from her pasture mates when they rushed up to see you.
I still haven’t been able to find out more about your past and what path you took in life that led you to being run through a kill sale. I probably never will and I’m ok with that. The past is the past. It seems that you’re learning to put it behind you and are enjoying your new life with Dad, Koko and I.
I’m looking forward to not only what this new year has in store for us, but many more years and adventures together.
I love you TJ … for the wonderful horse that you are and the horse you’re turning into.