Why hasn’t such a cute horse like Teddy been adopted? I often get this question, and part of my mission is education on why horse rescue is SO needed, so here goes. For a horse, there is SO much more to being desired than being “cute”. Horses cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars a month to care for, board, etc. Some lucky horses are back yard “pets”, but most have to earn their keep. This means they have to be able to do the job the rider wants to do.
Teddy arrived to us as a young horse with very little training and a whole lot of anxiety. If it were just as simple as providing training, that would be easily solved. Horses are highly sensitive, intelligent creatures. Each has his own personality. Teddy is more sensitive than most, a perfectionist and a pleaser. Riding is a partnership between the horse a rider. Every time the rider’s leg, seat, or hands move, it sends a message to the horse. Some horses are not bothered by inconsistency, but Teddy’s sensitive nature causes him to react to the slightest movement. As a result, he needs a very consistent, experienced, and confident rider.
Why is he so sensitive? It could be just his nature, or the way he was started out. We are only now learning that part of his issue is, and probably always has been, pain. He may just have physical limitations simply from the way he was born. Just like people, not every horse CAN be a great athlete. Since he was recently diagnosed with a mild case of kissing spine (a condition where sections of vertebrae impinge on each other causing pain), we are working on making him comfortable so we have a better idea of what he can do. We need to take things slowly and constantly assess his level of soundness and pain. We are already seeing a difference in his anxiety level now that we are solving some of his pain issues.
The bottom line is he will likely never go on to be a high level horse. In a market that is flooded with horses, it’s difficult for a low level horse who needs a high level rider to find a home. This is a PERFECT example of a horse who would fall through the cracks.
Teddy is our first rescue – I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences. From day one, he has taught us so many valuable lessons. This isn’t easy stuff – where a dog can be adopted because he is cute and sweet, horses are a whole different ball game. The more we can learn from one horse, the better equipped we are to help future rescues. We have no doubt that he will find his perfect person, but until then, we will continue to give him every opportunity to meet his full potential ~ whatever that may be. In the mean time, no need to worry that Teddy feels unwanted. He and I share a HUGE bond. Until he finds a person who can be his rider, I am his person, and there’s nothing I would rather be.