As we start preparing our new farm, where we will have some more room, we are welcoming a few horses off our waiting list. Dutch is one of the lucky horses whose owner waited patiently for over a year until we had an opening. Dutch arrived last week and he has been a wonderful addition to the farm. Although he is in his mid 20’s Dutch didn’t get that memo, or he subscribes to the philosophy that age is only a number, because most of the time he acts like he is about three years old!
When I say Dutch is lucky I mean he is VERY lucky. Dutch came dangerously close to having a one way trip to Mexico or Canada to a slaughter house. So for all of you who think that it is only the “fugly,” poorly bred, poorly conformed, dangerous or crippled horses that wind up at auctions you are wrong. This is a NICE horse, in conformation, movement and temperament. I’ve seen him trot many times and he has a big, floaty, ground-covering stride with a lot of push from behind. As far as his owner has been able to discover his only “crime” was that he got older and could no longer stand up to hard work anymore. So don’t kid yourself that anyone but you will provide for your old campaigner. Dutch was lucky, but most horses in his situation are not.
His owner has done her best to try and piece together some of Dutch’s background. Unfortunately there are a lot of gaps in his history but he is a Dutch Warmblood and was about 20 years old when he was purchased at the auction five years ago. A co-worker of her husband’s regularly went to the auction and would purchase horses to train/retrain/ and then resell. Thank goodness for Dutch that he was plucked from that auction.
His mom took basic dressage lessons on him and they also trail rode together. She had hoped to take him to some schooling shows but unfortunately they never made it to the show ring. Dutch suffered a ligament injury (which he recovered from), and when they were back to work his respiratory rate would get quite high very easily regardless of fitness level. So his mom changed her goals to fit her horse and they mainly did a lot of trail riding together. Dutch’s mom deserves a huge round of applause for all she has done for this horse!
As I mentioned earlier Dutch is in his mid 20’s going on 3. He notices everything and was quite fascinated with the goats the first few days. He would watch them any time they were within sight. When the mood strikes him he likes to run and buck and play. He thoroughly enjoys a good roll. He is very social with other horses and loves to groom his new friends. I find it very sad that a horse like Dutch found himself at an auction one step away from a slaughter truck. If I knew the name(s) of whomever dumped him at that auction I would post their names on a billboard with blinking neon lights and let the world know what charming, responsible people they are. His mom is a very special person for all that she has done for Dutch, and we are so appreciative that she trusts us with his care.
Dutch staring at Jo the fainting goat
Dutch staring at Mina the fainting goat