A month ago, we went and picked up Joey, the six-year-old thoroughbred that Sarah rescued from a very bad situation where he was covered in fungus, was at least 400 pounds underweight and had a serious cut to his pastern.
Sarah had started Joey on the right road, but he still has miles to go. In the month since he has been at his new mother, Caroline’s barn, Joey has had countless baths to help treat his coat. He has been fed enough bags of grain to feed an army of ponies. His coat and weight have been helped by the Nu Image and Amplify products. He presents a stunning before and after picture, already in just four weeks. But nothing we have done or not done, has changed Joey’s demeanour. He is the kindest, sweetest, most level-headed guy you could ever be around. No matter the weather, the kids (and there are a lot of them) or anything he has been asked to do, he does it whole heartedly and with joy.
We stopped by this last weekend and Jordyn just walked up to the big guy as he stood in the barn alleyway. She clamped her four-year arms around his front legs and gave him a huge hug. He just looked on as if amused. Caroline, too, seems quite taken with the man. She said he completes her barn (shades of Jerry Maguire) and as she had a big thoroughbred previously that lived out his days with her, perhaps it is like Ol’George is back with a new youthful spirit.
Caroline hasn’t started him over jumps yet, but I will be campaigning for that on Saturday when we plan to meet. I cannot imagine he will not just take the jumping in stride as he has everything else we have asked of him. Our farrier, a veteran of many thoroughbred race tracks, was suitably impressed with Joey’s pedigree. I, personally, had not realized how big he was, or at least remembered it correctly. I will bring the measuring stick this weekend but expect him to reach at least 17.1 or 17.2 hands. He is already almost 1200 pounds and could carry another hundred or two hundred pounds easily.
This is the joy of the Off the Track Thoroughbred (OTTB). Their pedigrees can be traced to kings but many are abandoned and forgotten, but when they connect with you and are given the food, attention and care they need, they give back in spades. Visit www.OTTBdesigns.com or www.afterthefinishline.org for more on these wonderful horses.
I remember sending the original picture of Joey to Dev, our trainer.
He stated he liked the horse’s hip but was not impressed with straight slope of his shoulder or shortness of Joey’s neck. Well, Dev will need to look again at this marvelous transformation that Caroline is enacting. I said before we might as well call him “Groceries” for all he will eat, but now we can call him “Handsome” as well. We hope the folks at OTTB Designs get in some new stock soon, because this guy will be heading to a show soon and we want him decked out right!