How Not to Rescue a Racehorse
When my current dressage horse wants a change in career, I visit Nonette, a beautiful wannabe-retired racehorse at the track with great dressage potential. I find her stuck in a dark, hot stall.
I have no room for her at home and have promised my husband I won’t buy another horse until I sell the one I already have.
But poor Nonette! Having seen the conditions in which she lives, I feel obliged to rescue her. However, my husband mustn’t find out what I’m doing -- he’ll never believe I don’t intend to keep another horse.
Read on to discover how rescuing the pretty mare becomes a nightmare!
Every morning, when I walked down to my pristine barn to feed the horses roaming in and out of their stalls, I would look at them in their freedom.
Then I’d think about Nonette stuck in her stall, 24/7, except for a spell on the horse walker every morning -- while losing shoes. She would go lame very soon if something weren’t done about her feet.
I hated to think of that unnecessary fungus known as rain rot creeping over her body simply because no one could be bothered to take a brush through her coat.
Nonette’s situation ate at me non-stop. If I couldn’t take her, I had to find someone who would. I tried the local rescue organizations, but they don’t pay for horses and didn’t know how to take care of OTTBs.
Finally I called the race barn manager, Emily. “If you can persuade the owner to give her away for nothing, I have a chance of finding her a home. Tell him that in only ten days he’ll already have paid more in boarding fees than his asking price for her.”
Nonette’s price was already low because the trainer needed the stall space. I fervently hoped my argument would encourage the owner to cut his losses and let the horse go. Now I had to wait.