Saturday, March 7, 2009

first, Scotty

Nina came into my life because of Scotty.

I have owned several OTTBs (off-track-thoroughbred). This is the sport horse world's shorthand name for these horses.
The most recent before Nina was a horse called Highlander, his barn name was Scotty.
Scotty raced until he was nearly 8 years old when a bowed tendon forced his retirement.

He was one of the fortunate ones. His bloodlines were known to jump trainers as being talented in show jumping. So he was purchased by a trainer, turned out to let time heal the tendon, consigned to another trainer for sale, where I purchased him.
Scotty was the love of my life. 17h, 1500# he was occasionally reminiscent of a runaway freight train, but he was honest, didn't have a mean bone in his body, loved to jump and taught me much.
Scotty died of colic at age 15. I had just let his insurance drop as the rates go from inexpensive to astronomical when a horse reaches that age. His death was devastating emotionally and financially. He was my friend, my partner; I spent hours everyday with him. Without insurance there was no way that I could afford to replace him, and I had the vet bills to pay.
Being without a horse to ride was not an option. I tried leasing, I rode horses for my trainer, but I really needed a horse to ride and school on my own.

So I started looking at cheap horses. That is a most depressing way to spend time.
Horses that were crippled or crazy, owners who thought they were worth money even though the owner couldn't catch them or ride them, didn't feed them well or take care of their feet. The list goes on and on. There are diamonds in the rough, it just takes a lot of digging.
This is how I found Nina.

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