July 2017 will mark two years that Yordi has been with me.
Who is Yordi, you ask? This is Yordi.She is one of the most beautiful horses you will ever meet. Truly. Even if you despise thoroughbreds, you will be hard pressed not to admit she’s easy on the eyes.
She didn’t always look like this though. I met her when she was 11yo but I’m sure she had her gangly tb days.
By 11 years old, Yordi had already endured more than any horse should. For starters, this fighter of a mare (before her awesome owner purchased her) had purposely been poisoned with arsenic….and survived. Can you believe it?!
That alone ranks her higher than most horses.
I didn’t know her then either though. I met her after she had spent about 5 years with her current owner struggling through typical young horse shenanigans. It would be great and then it would be awful. Her trainer was at wits end and suggested having another trainer get on her.
She hauled to a friends barn for me to assess Yordi. She longed her in a halter and she was well behaved…and only bending left, in both directions.
So I decide to get on and feel what on earth is happening. I go to put the reins over her head and she flies backwards, nearly to the opposite end of the arena, with me going with her.
“Is this normal behavior or is it my charm scaring the daylights out of her?”
I was told it’s normal behavior. *I make another mental note*
Bridled, saddled, mounted. We walk and Yordi is super defensive and agitated. Head up, base of neck and back dropped, hind end left in the back field.
Well, you can’t feel anything that the horse is blocking you out from. So we walk calmly, gently touching the bit. We walk some more. And more still. After about 20-30 minutes of walking, she takes a breath and relaxes. *finally*
Unfortunately, her relaxing allowed me to feel what she was protecting.
I halt in front of the owner and say, “I know you said she’s had her neck worked on….but what in the h*** is going on behind the saddle? That is a major issue.”
The owner tells me she’s been through numerous vets, farrier’s, acu/chiro people but to no avail. One vet had flexed her, positive on both hind legs, and told her it was normal and to proceed working…
[I have a habit of slow blinking people. Let me explain. It’s when you hear something so utterly moronic that your only reaction is to stare at them for a long time and eventually blink once, VERY SLOWLY, as if to convey your disbelievment of ‘wtf was just said to me?’]
Now this is not to say I was implying the owner was a moron. Oh no. That judgement was for whatever vet had imparted that advice on her.
I told the owner, “I don’t know if I can fix this and I’m not making any promises but I’m willing to try and I have a great team (vet/farrier/act/chiro) to help us get your horse on the right track.”
They trailered her straight to the barn I was working out of and left her with me.
After one month with me I learned a bunch of things:
1) Yordi panics when horses ride towards her
2) Yordi will break cross ties if there is no wall behind her
3) Yordi doesn’t trust food.
4) Yordi is spooky in her stall
5) Yordi started to relax and trust the rider enough to almost totally stop any bad or spooky behavior, including running away from oncoming horses
6) now that Yordi is trusting me, it’s clear she has major hind end issues
We had two options. Retire Yordi and buy a new horse or sink the time and money into her to try and fix the poor mare.
The owner has an undying love for this horse and doesn’t have dreams of the Grand Prix. She just wanted this horse to be fixed and as comfortable as possible, even if that means we start over and maybe she shows and maybe she doesn’t. Fair enough. I’ll call my vet.
Enter: my vet
Yordi hates vets, chiro/acu/farrier. Anything that effects or manipulates her could cause her to leave the situation. With or without you.
Ironically enough, our vet is Yordi’s teddy bear. She never once tried to steamroll him…well, except that one time 😂
Lameness exam complete, he gave the owner more answers and information than she had received from past medical professionals combined. Next step: bone scan, to confirm.
Yordi is beautiful inside and out and her bone scan was equally as beautiful. She lit up like a flippin’ Christmas tree. 🙀 *gulp*
Everything is treatable. There are two things, though, that are not fixable but can be maintained and she will be comfortable.
Could she have saved the thousands of dollars on treatment and bought another horse? Yup. But even knowing Yordi’s physical limitations, she loved this horse enough to want to provide the quality of life as best she could. So we went for it.