Lucky Lady

So I have been meaning to tell you all Lucky’s story (I still don’t know what I am going to do about the name). I don’t know all of it, but I don’t think anyone does so I will just tell you all about what I do know.

Lucky is a Thoroughbred. She was born to race and was registered with the Jockey Club at some point. I can’t make out her tattoo, but I think that the first letter might be a U or V. If that is the case she was born in 1991 or 1991 making her 20 or 21 years old!!! I have no idea if she raced or not or what her real name is. All I know is that at some point she was retired from the track and brought to a breeding farm in the state. We are not sure how many babies she had or how long she was at the farm, only that it was “a while”.

The owner of the breeding farm died suddenly one day. Since it was a larger operation there was a person leasing the farm in exchange for taking care of the breeding operations horses. The assumption of the owners children was that would continue to go on while the owners affairs were straightened out. The people leasing the farm did not feel the same way. I am not sure how long after the owners death that they stopped doing the work, but at some point the horses stopped being turned out, having their stalls cleaned and even given grain. Thank goodness for automatic watering systems!

I am not sure how it happened, but one day someone came to look at the horses. I have heard a version of the story that it was just a horsey friend who stopped in to check, another that it was the Farrier and a third version that it was an equine appraiser. Regardless, who ever saw it could not ignore a barn full of horses that were starving, especially considering the horses of the person leasing the farm were all fat and happy. For those of you who live in my area you probably heard of this rescue because it was big news when it happened.

Rumor has it that a call went in to animal control right away and that the response was it would take over a week to send someone out there. That could be a lie. All I know was that a desperate call went out to the horse people in the area…who had space for an extra Thoroughbred at their barn. Lucky’s Owner called My Trainer and Her Daughter and off they went with the trailer to save a horse or two.

Even though they had been warned that conditions were bad they all had a hard time. The horses were all near death. There was one mare who looked especially bad. She was so skinny that even the facial bones were showing through clear as day. She had a baby in the stall with her that was so tiny it was clear it had not been getting enough nutrition. The mare could hardly walk because she was so weak. Someone wanted the baby, but no one was willing to take on the mare that looked like she wouldn’t survive a trailer ride. Lucky’s Owner and the rest looked around and saw sweet gelding that they wanted to adopt, but they couldn’t get this sweet mare out of their heads. As the tiny foal got lifted in to the back seat of a car (yes, it was small enough to be carried and fit in a sedan) they knew that they would take both the mare and the gelding home with them.

It took a lot of doing to get her on to the trailer. When they loaded the gelding and closed it up they had a feeling that would be the last time they saw the mare alive. They took the 20 minute drive very slowly afraid each time they heard a sound coming from the trailer. When they got to the barn and opened the doors and found the mare still alive, and even still standing they knew they had a special horse on their hands. It was as she came off the trailer that they gave her the name Lucky Lady.

When people came to look at Lucky at first they were all horrified. The vet didn’t give her good odds, but Lucky’s Owner knew that there would be something special about her so she never gave up. Eventually a fat, happy horse emerged from that skeletal frame. Lucky’s Owner fell in love with her all over again, but in the years it had taken to fatten her up things had changed and so riding was not high on the priority list. When Lucky gives me a hard time I have to take it in stride because that stubbornness is what helped her not give up on her own life. Is it common to have a 19 or 20 year old horse that is just learning how to be ridden? Probably not, but I think that Lucky needed a few years to just chill and enjoy life before she got a job.

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9 thoughts on “Lucky Lady

  1. Wow. People can be so sick. That’s the second personal account I’ve heard from bloggers whose horses were once neglected (and I don’t follow many bloggers!). I’m glad everything turned out okay. Thanks for sharing.

  2. First anyone who mistreats a horse or horses like these need to be severely dealt with. I’m so happy Lucky Lady made it, what happened to her foal?

    It’s possible for a horse to be that old and not have been ridden. She had a different life, first at the track then at a breeding farm, and then recuperation. It’s good that you’re riding her now and she’s getting attention. She deserves every good thing that could possibly happen to her. You’re right about her attitude too, without it she wouldn’t have survived. I rather have a horse with a sassy personality than one that doesn’t it’s more fun that way. Give her a hug for me.

  3. Okay…with a story like that you HAVE to keep her name. Or maybe lengthen it to: Im One Lucky Lady (or does that sound too QH? Could be just One Lucky Lady?)

    Unfortunately, her story is not unique. All the people leasing the farm needed to do was tell the children that they weren’t comfortable taking care of the horses any more. I hope someone got arrested for this!

  4. A sad story with a lovely end.
    It is entirely possible for her to be that old and just starting ‘serious training’. I spent a few months riding a mare that was broke at 17. I taught her to jump and had some fun with her, just working on teaching to be a calm, confident trail horse for her owner. She was lovely (though a bit stubborn and unwilling to trust) and superb for me, but she turned out to be too much for her aging owner (breaking a horse in oyur 70’s can be a bit challenging) so now her owner’s looking for a new home where Launa can be loved and cared for. I can only hope Launa’s story will end as well as TM’s (or should I say Lucky Lady’s) has.

  5. People who do things like this to animals really deserve a special place in hell. An eye for an eye, I do believe. What a horrible thing to happen, but it was fantastic that someone took in the mare. I hope the rest of the starving horses were saved, too. Oh, if only we lived in a perfect world.

    My first horse was a TB mare named Lady. She was 18 when I got her, and she was green, too. She had raced until she was 4, then turned into a jumper, then a broodmare. She was an unridden broodmare for 6 years, and then 2 more just standing around in a field, after she would no longer conceive. By the time I got her, she had been someone’s riding horse that was too afraid to ride her and had only been on her twice. She owned her for over a year, and had stopped paying board on her 6 months earlier. I bought the mare for the amount of back board, and was a green rider myself, bringing back into riding a mare that hadn’t been ridden in nearly 10 years.

    She was a special girl. We had a short, firey, and loving life together, and she is dearly missed.

  6. Wow! This story is the almost exactly like the story of the mare “Lay Me Down” in a book by Susan Richards “Chosen by a Horse.” The mare in that story was a Standardbred. It is a wonderful story about horses and relationships. What a horrible situation and I hope this abuse stops.

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