The first is an almost 9 year old mare by the name of Portia and the second is an 8 year old gelding by the name of Milo whom she adopted via our page before he even arrived at the rescue.
She had both of her new loves shipped to Alberta to live with her and this is their story...
Thoroughbreds are all heart and you can feel it when you ride them. They love what they do. This is anything they do, I’ve come to learn. Thoroughbreds need something to do. Yes, a lot of them have been taken to the track. And when they come off the track, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a use anymore. It means you have to give them another job. Another thing to love to do. I’ve grown up with horses, and I can honestly say that none of them have looked at me the way my two Thoroughbreds look at me. I’ve never been so trusted as I am by these two big beauties.
Every time that my mare is afraid, she looks to me. If I’m calm, she gets calm. When she does something and wants to see if she did well, she turns to me almost with the question written on her face.
This horse has taught me that Thoroughbreds can learn at any age. She is almost 9 years old and every time I work with her, she gets it just a bit more. As a rider, I only need to put myself in her perspective. No aggression required. She responds best to confidence and encouragement. You show her it’s okay and she will do it. No question.
I’ve never been so impressed by the willingness to learn and adapt as I have been by these horses.
I say this especially regarding my gelding, as he raced for most of his life… as a stallion. He is now turning 8 years old, big as a tank, and just finishing his first year as a gelding.
He’s never seen winter til this Christmas when I brought him to Alberta. He was never turned out with another horse. He didn’t know me from the proverbial hole in the ground 3 months ago.
I grew up riding western. Him, not in the least. Within a matter of days, he mastered the most beautiful and natural-looking western pleasure jog I’ve seen in many years. He is learning to sidepass and trots like a pro over rails. He backs and yields to side pressure, pivots on front and hind quarter
Pretty amazing for a horse who only knew how to run in a counter-clockwise circle most of his life!
Yes, he is a Thoroughbred. He has more personality and quirks and energy coursing through him than many other breeds of horses might willingly show. But that is part of what makes him so special to me. I have learned more patience and empathy, I’ve become a better rider and I’ve been blown away by his intelligence and his sense of humor (ie. He lifted a muck bucket with his teeth and tried to put it on my bum when I was cleaning his hoof, then as I turned around to see what he was up to, he promptly set it back down and pretended he didn’t do it.) He protects me. I feel safe on him and with him.
So how did this change my life? These horses gave me more purpose than I knew I had. They gave me more confidence because they needed me to have it FOR them. And then they showed me how much potential and willingness they have, which only made me grow my own to match. I’m learning English to expand my skillset, I’m setting goals for the 3 of us, and I’m finding myself loving every minute. I can honestly say they changed me for the better. I would never give up either of my horses, nor do I ever have a day that I regret choosing a Thoroughbred. They’re just like me in a million ways. Sure, like every horse, they have their days that make you shake your head and call it a day… But even on those days, my horses still come running, follow me around, tuck their noses under my arm and look for approval. They’re my absolute world."