New Horse!

Appologies for the lack of blog posts recently…  Life got a bit overwhelming and stressful, and I just haven’t had the time or ambition to keep up with everything. 

My beloved heart horse, Ink, sustained an injury while riding.  I didn’t have the perfect size hoof boots with me, so I used a half size bigger than would be ideal.  Half size, no big deal, right? Wrong.  We were cantering when a boot flipped off and I felt her take a funny step.  I got off and fixed the boot, but she didn’t want to trot anymore, which is very unusual for the very forward minded Ink.

  I walked her back to the trailer and gave her a week off, thinking she may have bruised a hoof since it was rocky footing where the boot came off.  However, a week later she was still off and hesitant to move out.  I knew it was bad news.  The vet visit and ultrasound confirmed it.  The dreaded S word:  suspensory.  As my vet said, when it comes to leg injuries, the more letters in the word, the worse.  ‘Suspensory’ and ‘ligament’ are looooong words.  Luckily, since we knew exactly when it happened and hadn’t worked her since, it was very mild in terms of suspensory tears.  Even with it being mild, we are looking at 9 months off and a slow gradual return to work.  The vet guessed approximately 75% chance of returning to endurance.  At minimum, she should be able to at least trail ride for sure.  Good.  As I said, she is my heart horse.  So the rehab plan has begun – phase one involves 60 days of stall/small paddock rest with hand walking, then recheck the ultrasound to assess healing.

I was absolutely devastated at the bad news, on top of everything else that has happened recently.  I need my equine therapy now more than ever.  So what am I going to do without my horse for 9+ months?  My amazingly intuitive and wise husband had the answer:  get another horse.  Obviously. Like it was even in question.  Okay, I said.  So the search began.  I already knew exactly what I wanted: a Standardbred.

I looked on all the rescue websites and even emailed them to see if there was anything not yet listed, but nothing quite fit the bill.  I reached out to everyone I knew in the area that had connections to the Standardbred harness racing industry.  Within days, a friend got word of the perfect 5 year old mare who was retiring sound and looking for a new career.  Turns out her owner and trainer really loved her and just wanted her to go to a good home where she would be happy, as she did not enjoy racing.  They sent pictures showing her lovely conformation and discussed in detail everything about her.  We drove up to Michigan the next day to pick her up.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was both beautiful and sweet.  So we loaded her up and took her home.


Fresh off the trailer, just arrived home


Meeting Ink for the first time


Who says Standardbreds can't have a pretty face?!?

She has been with us for almost 2 weeks now.  We’re calling her Moxie, and the name sure fits.  She is the sweetest horse, very silly and affectionate, but respectful and not pushy.  She is very intelligent and is learning quickly, progressing through my training program extra fast like all Standardbreds seem to.  They are so easy to train.  So willing, so much try, so smart.  I just love the breed.  Moxie is a bit more emotionally sensitive than most Standardbreds, which I kind of like, as it is very similar to Ink’s personality.  Moxie learned groundwork exercises and despooking quickly, and has ponied from reliable Squidy for short walks around the surrounding farm land and neighborhood, which she handled quite well. 


Ponying on neighboring farm land


Ponying in nearby neighborhood. Lots to spook at, but she was perfect.

Next was starting her under saddle.  We have 3 rides in so far and she makes progress very quickly.  We’ve already graduated to riding in the open field, trotting or slow stepping pace (which is surprisingly smooth), stopping, backing up, lateral flexions, crossing the creek, going up and down banks, etc.  It sure helps that she was already trained to drive.


Second ride ever. Such a good girl.


Pretty in blue!

My goal is to get her well trained with dressage basics and good trail manners, then start gradually conditioning her for endurance.  I think we are going to make a good team.  Eventually, once Ink is healed and back in full work, I would like to take both horses to endurance rides and ride one on each day.  It will also be nice to have a back up horse when one needs to take a break for any reason.  Stay tuned for updates on our adventures!



  1. Diane Rowley

    Oh Kirrily, I know you said Ink had a suspensory problem but I hadn’t realized how bad it was. I am so sorry. I’m sure you’re aware of treatments that might accelerate the healing such as stem cell injections and shock wave therapy but I know they are expensive and somewhat iffy as to how much they can help. You are such a wonderful horsewoman and it goes to show that we all are always living on the brink of disaster with our horses–so sorry you have had more than your share lately–as I’ve said before, the unpredictabilities of horse ownership is why so many professional horse people are alcoholics! BUT, I the meantime, Moxie looks gorgeous and very sweet– a real find. I look forward to seeing you on the trails with her soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Moxie sounds like a sweet girl with a good head! So sorry to hear about Ink’s injury though….I’m two and half months into managing with a RF suspensory issue on my endurance mare. This was going to be our first competition season together- I was totally heartbroken. I’m sure you have done your research and already have a game plan for treating Ink but FWIW we went the shockwave route- my girl is back in pasture (she was unmanageable in a stall or small paddock) and doing very well with her rehab. Best wishes for Ink!


    • Sorry to hear about your horse too! It is no fun!
      We discussed shockwave therapy with the vet, but decided that since we are on a tight budget we will just rest her longer and take more time bringing her back. That was part of the reason for Moxie – so I can be patient with Ink and not feel rushed bringing her back to work. I can’t wait until Ink is cleared for full turn out with friends though! This individual small paddock rest and hand walking routine is no fun for either of us!
      Good luck with your rehab! Hopefully we can both report back with good news soon!



  1. Moxie’s Wound Saga | The Other Horse
  2. Cheap Easy Hoof Wrap | The Other Horse
  3. Ink Rehab Update | The Other Horse

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: