Joey is a 1/4 Percheron x 3/4 Quarter Horse that I rescued when he was only 10 months of age. I saw an ad for him on Kijiji and something about him called out to me. A few days later I arranged to have him hauled down from his previous home in Kelowna without even meeting him.
When he arrived he was the cutest bundle of fuzz, but beneath all that fur was an extremely malnourished baby.
This is what I don’t understand about people not wanting to adopt babies or unbroken horses.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am no beginner. I have been around horses since I was two years old, took English lessons for the better part of 15 years and I have been riding rescue horses for the last four. That being said, Joey is my first baby and I have taken him from needing to re-learn haltering (because he was so fearful of it when we arrived due to having worn a too-small one at his previous home) to full on backing under-saddle and I have to say… It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life (another other was re-training J&M Acres graduate Kal-El who had multiple under-saddle issues before being sent to the auction where I rescued him).
Between my two boys, Kal-El and Joey, I cannot advocate for rescue horses enough and in these two boys (never mind the countless rescue horses), I have all the proof that it is far easier to train a horse from scratch then it is to fix issues caused by someone else.
For example, when it came to Kal-El's debut in the Christmas parade back in 2011 (the same year I got him) we had to do it BAREBACK because he had such bad experiences with saddles in the past, plus he almost ran into the crowd… However this year, after three years of re-training and building trust, Kal went through the parade with my younger sister and handled it all without a hitch.
As for Joey, this years Christmas parade was his first ride in traffic, let alone the first in the dark, with a group of horses and surrounded by a crowd of people.
There really is something to be said for adopting or rescuing a baby and growing with them. When comes time to start them, you have an amazing foundation for which to build a bond.
I cannot wait to see what the next few decades years have in store for Joey and I and I hope that his story inspires others to consider bringing a baby into their family.