Thursday, July 3, 2008

What types of horses do you have?

This morning, a reporter with the Caroline Progress asked what kinds of horses we have at the sanctuary. In thinking more about that question, we realized just what a variety of residents we've been priveledged to care for at Traveller's Rest.

In terms of breeds, we've hosted several Thoroughbreds (one a grandson of Secretariat,) a few Quarter Horses (to include Impressive and Poco Bueno descendants,) a Standardbred, two or three Arabians, a Friesian mare (Els B, the first mare to grace the cover of the Stud Book,) two Tennessee Walkers, a mule, two Shetland Pony crosses, a couple of draft crosses, and a plethora of wonderful grade horses (in other words, we don't know their breeding and don't care!)

We've cared for an eventer, a "big lick" Walker, a steeplechaser, several (former) brood mares, Western Pleasure mounts, dressage horses, a cow "pony," camp horses, trail horses, a harness racer, an endurance horse, a barrel racer, and some horses whose pasts are complete mysteries.

Some residents came to the sanctuary due to owners' financial, family, or health difficulties, some were abandoned at boarding stables, some "conveyed" with the property when farms were sold, and some were plainly neglected by owners who didn't care.

The conclusion seems to be that there is no "average" TREES resident. By the same token, no resident in more "special" than the others, regardless of pedigree or accomplishment. Retirement is the great equalizer in the world of equine elders. A Kentucky Derby winner is no more deserving of comfortable Golden Years than a camp horse who toted dozens (hundreds?) of squirming children up and down Blue Ridge trails.

Whatever their backgrounds, all of our residents are "golden" oldies. If you are in Virginia, whether you live here or are passing through, stop by and meet these wonderful old veterans. Forget the stereotype of "old nags." Our residents may surprise you.

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