Stories

Angela + Lorien

by | Jun 2021 | Story

Breed Thoroughbred

Age 5

Sex Mare

Color Grey

Height 17hh

This past winter, I retired my 22-year-old OTTB (off-the-track thoroughbred). I considered getting another horse, but I was hesitant. I realize now that my hesitancy was because I was generalizing across all thoroughbreds and certainly all racehorses. My 22-year old OTTB was given to me by his owner when he didn’t race well. He had been gelded so couldn’t be used for breeding and the owner wanted him to have a good home -I was so enthralled with the offer of a glistening $40,000 racehorse, and so full of respect for his blood lines, I accepted him sight unseen.
 

There started our journey, with all the ups and downs of any 22 year journey. For me, he was not only my first two-year-old and my first ex-racehorse, but he was also my first horse. I studied and applied the training techniques of Monty Roberts which gave me a solid foundation. But my gelding and I were never a match made in heaven -he was hot and sensitive; I was unconfident and anxious. We learned a lot from each other, I more from him most likely. But I often wondered if there were someone else out there that he would have been more successful with–I just didn’t know how to find them and I was dedicated to his wellbeing and didn’t want to chance sending him to someone who would not be good to him. He’s part of the family.

When I decided to retire him this year, I longed for a horse that I felt a deeper connection to; a horse that would take care of me, as much as I of him, a horse I would look forward to riding and being with. Enter Lorien -a five-year-old, grey, off-the-track gelding! I fell in love with his looks but I was determined this time around to base my decision on my interactions with the horse, so I spent a considerable amount of time just being with him -walking him, grooming him, hanging out in the pasture with him, watching him. His gentle spirit, his alert but grounded presence was a tonic to those feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. Within a week, my whole being relaxed, physiologically and emotionally. It’s difficult to describe except to say it felt healthy; it felt right.

 
Now I can’t wait to get out to the farm to be with Lorien. Some days we ride, some we just walk and explore, some days we train on something specific, some days are without an agenda or goal. He seems to enjoy our time together, always coming to me when I arrive at his pasture and always staying with me after our outing and his halter is off. It is a pleasant, easy relationship, and I feel so extraordinarily lucky to have him in my life.
 
Given my own experience, I now know it’s one’s own heart that tells you if it’s right. What’s important or unimportant, attractive or unattractive to others doesn’t matter. What their experience was with the horse doesn’t matter. It’s akin to love -you don’t choose the people you love, it happens, or it doesn’t happen. I credit Monty & Pat Roberts, The Right Horse Initiative, and their partners (in my case Win Place Home) for finding me my right horse. I communicated what I was looking for in my next equine partner, but I don’t think I was very hopeful that there existed such a horse. But low and behold, they found him for me

What #RightHorse means to me

Bridging connections between people and the horses that will make them wonderful partners is such important work when one thinks of all the horses out there that need a home and all the people looking for something specific. It’s an amazing organization doing beautiful work!

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