Month: August 2017
I’ve gotten updates on TJ over the past year and a half. Each update was a bit worse than the last. He started out happily retired and ended up not being able to walk. In the end he was stalled with limited turnout to keep him comfortable. He was tested twice to see if he could be nerved. Everything that could be done was, but nothing worked.
The x-rays below we taken in January 2016 and show what can happen to a horse when pushed too hard, too soon. My vet told me in over 30 years of practice, he’s never seen hooves this bad. This is something he would have expected from a cutting horse, but not a Western Pleasure horse.
TJ had a good life with me. He was happy, had friends and played. He learned that people could be good and he could be ridden without fear. He learned love and kindness. He was a clown. At 16h and 1400 lbs, he was gentle and careful with me. He gave kisses, stole my hat, stole my pony holder, played with anything he could get his mouth on. My only regret is that I didn’t get him sooner – before he was so bad that nothing could be done.
Although TJ’s life has come full circle, his story will remain here as a reminder of what greed can do. Owners that want nothing more than wins and money, trainers that want to make a name for themselves as creating winners, an industry that encourages top horses at an early age caused a beautiful, sweet gelding a life of pain and torture. It ultimately led to his demise at the young age of 11.
TJ is no longer in pain. I’m sure he’s racing up and down lush green pastures with his buddy Harley that passed away of a heart attack in the late fall of 2015.