Northern California Racehorse Re-Education Alliance

The owners every rescue wishes for

Izzie, aka Iona Prospector

When Neigh Savers sent out the email about us, the Sonoma County Satellite, the CEO received an email from Trudy. Trudy had adopted Izzie a year or so ago and was having some issues and asked if we could come see what we thought about the situation

She wanted Devon the fearless to ride Izzie because Izzie had developed a rather strong aversion to work. Rearing, bucking and worse. Trudy’s trainer and her trainer’s assistant had both tried with Izzie and things were not going well. The vet had tried several things to ease Izzie’s arthritis and hormonal issues, but Izzie still insisted that riding was not her favorite past-time. Sometimes Izzie was fine and Trudy’s daughter Lindsay had ridden her quietly around the pasture not too long before Trudy reached out to us, but no one could count on her behavior from one day to the next.

Karen, Devon and I went to visit Trudy and Izzie and found a lovely 23-year old mare who is beautiful and quite fit and healthy-looking. A flea-bitten gray, Izzie is well-built and strong. She raced until she was eight and then became a brood mare, without a lot–if any–of riding between the track and now. (I have so many thoughts about not riding horses after they come off the track–particularly broodmares–but will save them for another post.)

As we talked about the medications Izzie is on and the things Trudy had tried, Izzie listened but fidgeted. There were many things, more expensive treatments, Trudy and Lindsay could do in order to ride this mare. But Izzie seems to be quite sure that she is not interested.

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Izzie is not impressed but she is lovely

Telling an owner we agree with her assessment that this horse would be better with some time off–if not permanently retired–is risky. Would Trudy and Lindsay want to give Izzie back? And how hard would it be to find Izzie a home then?

Luckily, they are the types of adopters every rescue dreams of. They not only will keep and continue to care for Izzie–even if they never ride her again–they are interested in adopting another horse, one they can train and ride regularly.

It may even turn out that Izzie can be gently ridden every now and then, all while enjoying semi-retirement.

A huge thank you to Trudy and Lindsay for your commitment to Izzie, to ex-racehorses and to Neigh Savers. If only we could clone you!

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This entry was published on May 10, 2012 at 5:35 am. It’s filed under Introductions and personal stories, Neigh Savers, OTTBs in the world and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “The owners every rescue wishes for

  1. God Bless Trudy and Lindsay!

  2. mary pepper on said:

    What do you think is wrong with Izzie. I have had several off track racehorses too and find them spectacular but do have one that randomly throws me. I firmly believe it is a physical issue from having successfully ran for 4 years. This mare was not a rescue but a survivor of the track. My daughters are both ballerinas and have many, many physical issues dealt with by message, accupunture, excersize, chiropracy, physical therapy and more. There needs to be a website dedicated to these racehorse vets that retire as victors with aches and pains that can make them buck and rear BUT NOT deserve the market.

    Really, what do you think is wrong with Izzie? My mare has been seen by dentists, saddle fitters, chiropracters, trainer and more. She loves me. I have ridden her more than a 1,000 times since I got her for free 1 1/2 years ago. She loves the ocean, rivers, bridges, big trucks, etc. – not kids, steep hills, and free range livestock. There needs to be support for these champions that want to please but can’t due to body issues.

    • Jessica Boyd on said:

      Hi, Mary.

      Izzie has several issues–primarily arthritis coupled with not a lot of interest. Izzie was a racehorse and then a brood mare for most of her life, so didn’t get a lot of post-racetrack under-saddle training. This is something (in my opinion) the race industry could and should do. It wouldn’t take a lot to cross-train just a little and it would make the post-track transition SO much better for all involved.

      Izzie had top-notch veterinary care, as well as chiropractic, good shoeing and saddle fit. She just wants to be retired or trail ridden.

      My OTTB loves many of the same things yours does–and dislikes some of the same things. Loud kids, loud people in general, etc. He is interested in real (but not mechanical) cows. He has gotten body work from our resident masseuse, Karen, and from me on a (mostly) daily basis. He also loves me and nobody else rides him, at least right now.

      You’re absolutely right. Dealing with the physical is so important. Patience and understanding are also important, and it sounds like you have both. Thank you for sharing your comments!!

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