Monday, February 21, 2011

Here's a nice story about finding The Horse, even if it never should have happened.

I have a favor to ask. When you guys send me a story, don't just send me a web page. It's a pain to scan and get it up on the chronicles.....

Anyway, this comes from Rachael at


It has been almost a year since her death. I am still quite shaken by it, she was taken way too soon from me.

I met Dogde (AKA Dukes Angel) sometime in March of last year. When I saw her I though that I could NEVER take her on; she was skinny, overgrown hooves, and needed a stud chain to even walk 2 ft. The first time I saw her lunged, my eyes just about bugged right out of my head. This horse had zero manners unless that chain was snapped.

I had been taking lessons for over a year and at the time, was VERY unprepared for what horse ownership would bring to me. Though, I don't think that mattered because Dodge trampled over my whole life. All I had ridden up to that time was QH's in my lessons since I was at the moment fantasizing about Western style riding. I was fairly certain all I wanted was a QH. From nowhere here comes this large black Tennessee Walker that took me over in no way a person could, not even my husband.

When I first took her on she needed a bath because she had HORRID rain rot from standing in a stall and being just very un-kept for a year. She LOVED her bath, I still remember her quiet eyes just watching me while I bathed. After that day with the bath she quickly calmed down and just waited for me to do anything with her. I then fell in love with her, nothing was going to keep us apart.

I went out the next week and bought a lunge whip, a lead rope with a chain, treats, and called a farrier. I was terrified she had founder, since she had been standing in grossness and her hooves were HORRID. When farrier came out and trimmed saying that she was fine I was beyond relieved. I had clearance to do whatever I wanted with her. I got her on a better feed and she started putting weight on quite fast. We dove right into training, well half-assed training since I really didn't have a clue what I was doing.

Despite being a total newb, I was out at her place every other day mucking her stall, put down fresh shavings, cleaned out her water trough, made sure she had plenty of food, and did all the care for her. She and I became attached to each other quite quickly and I think we both taught each other a lot.

The first time I rode her was the shakiest thing ever as I was completely terrified. She was bareback, I had just put on her bridle, and I expected her to *at least* not throw me off. We went nowhere, but she tolerated me. We did that quite a few times before I moved her to a boarding facility and learned what blood, sweat, and tears really meant.

I got bucked, ran into a wall, bit, totally worn down, broken toe, and a almost smashed in face, but I would do it all again. We worked through so many issues together and the only one I feel bad about was her woah, I gave too many mixed signals and that was the one we never got put together.

I remember our last ride together, her ears pointed forward; doing exactly everything I asked her to. This was the ride I had been working 3 months for. The ride I had always wanted with her, all the way down to opening and closing the gate with me on her back. I still tear up thinking about the last time I was with her, because it was everything I had ever dreamed about as a kid.

The call from my barn owner was one of tears one rainy Sunday morning letting me know that Dodge had passed on in the middle of the night. The autopsy revealed that she had gotten intestinal colic and it ruptured. I spent many nights after she passed questioning what did it and how it happened. I had her pasture boarded since she had been kept in a stall over a year and I just wanted her to be a horse. I had fed her one cup of grain before turning her out after our last ride together, but that was almost 30 minutes after the ride was over and she was cooled out. The vet said it best to me, that sometimes there aren't reasons for losing the ones we love.

If I wasn't going to school these next 2 years I would already have another horse. What she taught me in our time together was beyond what I got in lessons. I gave her everything and she gave it right back to me. I love you Dodge. May you forever rest in peace and know that because of you, I will always own a Tennessee Walker.


Anonymous said...

Hey Rachael:
Thanks for such a heartfelt story. It was easy to tell that you truly loved Dodge and that she taught you so much.
I love a story that starts out a mess and turns out okay. I have one of those in my front yard right now. Well....we are still pretty much in the mess stage right now....:D
I hope your next equine friend brings you as much joy as Dodge did.

Anonymous said...

Good timing for this post. We just had to put down a gelding today because of colic, such a hard thing to have to go through. It's always the really special ones that are taken away too soon.

nagonmom said...

I am sorry you lost her so soon, but I am glad she found you before it was too late. Kudos on rehabbing her, and loving her.

RachelLynne said...

I am so happy that this story got posted and thank you guys for your comments! Dodge died about 2 years ago at this point and I do have another Walker now that is my world.

Getting Dodge was a mess, I tried for 3 weeks to find her a home because I was afraid to take her on a first time horseowner. Now I'm glad that I did :D

Shadow Rider said...

Love your story, it could be mine too. My first horse was a wild-eyed, green broke ex big lick TWH mare. We went through so much together, good and bad. I still have her daughter, 25 now and retired.

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