OTTB Joey found his way home back to Caroline, from over 200 miles away, almost a month ago. Caroline had gotten Joey in pretty bad shape after he was rescued from a pasture in North Houston. She brought him along to be a well fed, well shod horse and trusted the world to take him from there.
Joey, out to a new barn to begin an eventing career, had his feed cut back and his expensive shoes removed. By the time he got to a rescuer in Weatherford, Texas, he was in bad shape, again. His rescuer, doing some research found this blog, and helped get Joey back to Caroline.
When he got off the trailer a month ago, he was badly crippled. He could not walk without pain on any of his feet. A trip to local vet, Buff Heldreth, DVM, diagnosed him with feet that had been cut too short. Days later, after a farrier visit, equipped with Equipak and new shoes, Joey started again. Day by day, Caroline has built up his rations, groomed his coat, and kept him sound.
In today’s pictures, he seems to be saying, “I don’t need anything, as long as Caroline is taking care of me!”
While far from the gleaming specimen he was earlier this year (you can see other photos by clicking on the category “A Joey Story”), he definitely looks happy!
I regularly read the OTTB Connect on Facebook, and day after day, there are ads for another OTTB for sale. For every great story someone has to tell, it seems someone else is having problems related to re-training, feeding, shoeing or some other issue.
As one of my friends noted the other day, if the breeders are breeding for that one in a million horse, what happens to the 999,999 that aren’t that special one on the track? There are so many beautiful, talented OTTBs without anywhere to go. And the places they go may not be equipped to handle the training and care of these hot-blooded horses.
While I am glad when I hear of someone taking on an OTTB as a project (there were three at our trainer’s alone this season), I am also concerned. The fees for these horses are low. Their pedigrees are from legends. Everyone (myself included) gets a little bit of savior complex. We are going to make this horse the best hunter, jumper, eventer or whatever!
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with the mighty OTTB. So many of us are doing wonderful, admirable jobs of caring for them as long as our health, money and lives allow. It is the best we can do.
Today, I am glad to see Joey one of the lucky ones who found his way back to great care and love. Thanks for riding along.