Profile of a Therapy Horse

IMG_3481aBaxter’s Pass “Baxter” started life out as a race horse in California. He’s a great big Thoroughbred – 16.3 (and a smidge more) hands tall and built big and stocky like a ‘Warmblood’ rather than your typical fine-boned Thoroughbred, but he was also a winner, bringing home over $300,000 before leaving the track.

However, as might be expected, this hard-pounding work on young bones took its toll early and has continued to be a problem for Baxter. Early on Baxter head shot 3Baxter had a torn Suspensory Ligament. The man who owned him took him off the track and allowed him to heal for 6 months, but then put him back on the track. When he was re-injured his owner decided to consider him done and gave Baxter to his daughter.

The daughter again allowed Baxter to heal. He then began his second career as a show horse, being ridden in several disciplines, including dressage. Luckily, the gal cared enough not to push Baxter to be a ‘jumper’ though he is certainly built for it!

Baxter was working as a lesson horse when we found him. Bambi states that she knew Baxter getting to know youwas her horse the very first time she saw a picture of him and when they met, Baxter and Bambi immediately clicked!

Though Baxter is a very big horse, he seems to draw the attention of everyone from the smallest child Leading 3ato the most tentative grownup. Even though he has occasionally had issues with his legs and hooves (thin soles requiring special shoes), he has always been willing and eager to work his magic.

Cyla 6Sadly, nearly a year ago Baxter became ‘lame,’ limping and obviously in pain, especially on his left front leg. The x-rays and exams show that he has arthritis and ‘Ringbone‘. We have given him all kinds of medications and even had several types of injections done, some of which have helped for awhile. However, nothing has provided the long-term relief we hoped for and Baxter has continued to Last grnd polefret on the sidelines while the other horses in his herd work with our clients.

Our veterinarians has advised us that as a last resort, we consider ‘nerving‘ Baxter.  Frankly, we feel that we have done all we can at this point, and though the surgery isn’t inexpensive and does pose some risks, we feel that Baxter deserves to have a happy and pain-free life for as long as possible. So, with some very kind assistance, Baxter will be traveling to Comstock Veterinarian Clinic on Monday for his procedure. We anticipate that he will have at least a 6 week recovery/reconditioning period, but hope that by early May, P1040944he is back in the game doing the work he loves!

We appreciate any healing thoughts you are able to send his way. He is an awesome horse and we look forward to many happy and healthy days ahead for him. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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2 Responses to Profile of a Therapy Horse

  1. Kimberly Maxwell says:

    Hi am a boarder at Equine Training Center. I own the The Kind Drafty Blk Glending. I spoke to Vicky and she said that you may be intertrested in using He has been used as a therphy horse with my husbamd and myself. He has huntingtons chorea. I have Deperssion and physical issues with my back. I ride to keep my back felxible. I do have a note from my doctor and insurance. He wrote one but he may have to write another. To fit just right.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks for getting in touch with us! We have met Duke and think he is a pretty nice guy. We are moving mid-June and once we get settled we would like to talk with you more about our program and about the possibility of us trying Duke out as a potential therapy horse…Feel free to call me at 775-750-9823 if you want to chat. All the best, Laurie

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