Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Thanksgiving Story

By Laura Crum

First of all, I wanted to let you all know that I'm not the only writer left on this blog. My fellow authors have had some health problems--themselves, their family, their horses (and I hope your mare is doing well, Jami)and/or they are very busy right now and unable to post. As a group, we've all agreed that we need to prioritize the important things (family, health, horses...etc) over writing blog posts. So, currently I'm holding down the fort. But I'm sure the others will be back as they feel able. Anyway, today I wanted to share a story about something I'm thankful for, in honor of Thanksgiving.

Awhile ago I wrote a post about a horse named Harley—a good team roping horse who suffered a suspensory tear, and after two years of rehab and two surgeries was still not sound enough to be a rope horse. Harley was pasture sound, however, and my uncle, who owned him, wanted to find him an appropriate home. A friend of mine, who had loved horses in her youth but hadn’t ridden for years, was interested in taking Harley. Though she had some land, she didn’t have a horse corral, merely a pen where she kept her goats. She really didn’t know a lot about horses, and I was torn over whether it was a good choice to give her this fairly high-powered, though well broke, horse. Some of you wrote in, and most said I should give it a try. This was my feeling, too, so I went over to my friend’s home, helped her make a plan for horsekeeping, and several weeks later my uncle delivered Harley. So here’s the follow up.

My friend’s husband built her a nice corral and shed for the horse. My friend’s twenty year old son took a big interest in the project. Between them, this family groomed and handwalked and grazed Harley every day. Last week the friend reported to me that Harley looked sound to them, but would I come see. I went over there last Weds and Harley did indeed look servicably sound. Trotted in a straight line on hard ground, he didn’t bob. The family asked if he was sound enough to ride. I told them yes, he was plenty sound enough to be walked and trotted lightly. The son climbed on the horse bareback, with a halter, and walked him around, and though Harley was reasonably cooperative, it was clear that the horse had a lot of life, and it would be better to ride him with a saddle and bridle.

I found an old saddle that they could buy cheap, and loaned them a bridle and saddle pad. On Saturday, I brought the gear, and a friend of mine who used to rope on the horse, over to their house, and Mark (the friend) gave them a first lesson. Harley did great. My friend’s son rode him very successfully. I think they’re off to a good start as a partnership. Harley looks happy and in good flesh. He’s come back to riding horse soundness. And he’s such a nice horse. I was really tickled.

So here’s a happy story for the day before Thanksgiving. I am so grateful that I was able to put Harley and this family together. They are enjoying and benefiting each other, and to think that Harley was about to be put down if a home couldn’t be found(!) What a waste that would have been. It is just so much fun when we are able to facilitate something like this. I wanted to share this story and thank those of you who advised me to give this situation a chance. And if anybody else has a happy ending story to share, I’d love to hear it. Happy Thanksgiving!--Laura


autumnblaze said...

I knew it would work out! Sometimes a chance is all that is needed. The lady sounded like with alittle help and some education she'd be a great home. Oh... yay! So wonderful. Go Harley!

Laura Crum said...

Thanks, autumnblaze. That's exactly how I felt when I saw that nice horse being fussed over by a whole family, looking healthy, happy, sound enough to ride, having a nice corral, being hand grazed every day...etc. This is wonderful. Just like you say. I am really, really glad we gave it a try. Turns out the son is a somewhat capable rider and he is going to get the horse going again as a riding horse--if possible. The mom is just really happy to have a horse again. So its all working out. They just love Harley...who is a really nice horse and deserves to be loved. Yep...a happy story for sure.

Jayke said...

I remember reading that story, I'm not sure if I actually weighed in my opinion in the comments, but I was for giving it a try as well.

It's so hard to place horses in homes where the owner is not that experienced, because in those cases, even the best intentions can turn out badly.

It's so great that this family is going about caring for him the right way, and clearly they are concerned about his well being first. They could've just hoped on him when they thought he looked sound, and though well intentioned, that could've ended badly, instead they called you.

What a happy forever home this horse has found, a great happy ending.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story - it sounds like all concerned, horse and human, have benefitted!

stilllearning said...

Great Thanksgiving story-thanks!

lopinon4 said...

Such wonderful news!!

Linda Benson said...

Laura - thanks for an uplifting post! With so many horses needing homes right now, it's important for us to help new horse people get started. Unless you were "born" in the saddle, everybody's been a horse beginner at one time.

Thanks for helping pass your wisdom along. We all need to do that, so that our sport and the love of horses will continue into the future.

littledog said...

What a great outcome for Harley--and don't worry about the blog, Laura, I'd be happy to read what you write all day and night!

Laura Crum said...

Thanks everybody for the kind words. I saw Harley again this last weekend, and he's staying sound and his new owners are so far able to ride him with no problems. I am really happy about it all.