I would like to introduce you to Thomas, our newest resident on our farm. We have one more on the way and I then I cannot squeeze in another resident at this time! Thomas is beautiful, stunning, gorgeous – you can pick your superlative and it would apply. Thomas arrived in the middle of one of our dental days a couple of weeks ago. Jason, myself, Amy, the dentist, my dad – we all just crowded ourselves around his stall door and admired him for a few minutes. I have yet to take a picture of Thomas that comes even remotely close to capturing his beautiful self, not one of the pictures in this post comes even close to showing what he looks like when you see him in person.
Thomas has one of the most gorgeous necks I’ve ever seen on a horse, and it is attached to a really pretty head. Thomas is a Holsteiner that was imported from Germany as a three year old. Unfortunately he has made his way to our farm needing to be fully retired at the age of seven. His owner deserves a medal and a lot of recognition for her commitment to Thomas.
Thomas started off as a show hunter, competing on elite circuits like the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. When he was six his owners decided to sell him as a dressage horse because he was a beautiful mover and not in love with jumping even though his form over the jumps was great. His owner bought him to be her dressage horse.
She had only had Thomas for a few weeks when he began exhibiting some pretty strong behavior problems under saddle. She immediately began looking for physical causes and began her long and frustrating journey that lasted for the last year. They were already working to correct his front feet and a bone scan revealed issues in three different areas of his body.
As she said, that began her several month journey of trying to treat Thomas’ soundness issues. I won’t go into detail on everything she did but she went all out with various joint injections, shockwave treatments on four different areas of his body, treatment with Tildren . . . the list is long and distinguished.
At one point, several months into all of the treatments, it seemed like they were making progress. Thomas appeared to be sound and was going well under saddle. However her hopes were dashed again when the behavior problems came back and were as bad as they had ever been. Back x-rays revealed that he had kissing spine, which was probably secondary due to some of his other problems. She said she decided to stop torturing both of them at that point and accept that Thomas was going to have to be retired.
Please join me in welcoming Thomas and recognizing his amazing owner for making such hard choices for her horse. She certainly deserved a lot of recognition for her handling of the situation. She has absolutely earned my respect. The saying of one man’s trash is another man’s treasure definitely applies to this situation as we are thrilled to welcome Thomas to our family!