To advocate for and rescue, protect, and defend equine from abuse and neglect in Tennessee.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Comanche - Formerly "Duke"

Our first Before and After feature is Comanche, a 7 year old Tennessee Walker gelding. When Comanche first came to Horse Haven his name was Duke. He came in with a group of other Tennessee Walkers. These horses were all in various stages of emaciation and had horrible feet. The saddest thing about them was that their former owners were actually riding them while they were this skinny! Comanche was shod on all four feet, but it had been so long since his feet had been trimmed that he had thrown one of the shoes. These weren't good shoes either, they were the wrong size and stuck off the back of his hooves. They had also been put on with roofing nails.

Here's Comanche during his first week at Horse Haven:

Luckily for Comanche, Candice, one of the Horse Haven volunteers, brought her husband with her that morning in February to help with barn chores. As soon as Joe laid eyes on Comanche, it was true love! Candice had just gotten a horse for herself and they were looking for a horse for Joe. Comanche was the perfect height, had a sweet personality and being gaited was a plus for beginner-rider Joe. So Candice and Joe filled out the application, went through the adoption process and took Comanche home.

Comanche on his first day at his new home:

It would be a month or so of lots of grain and hay before Comanche had enough weight on him to start working. Nothing much was known about his history except for that his owners had been riding him and there had been an incident where he was hitched to a cart and took off with the driver, breaking the cart. For a few weeks, ground work was the name of the game. There was lots of lunging, round-penning, grooming and teaching manners. Comanche seemed to enjoy working and had a very eager-to-please attitude and plenty of enthusiasm!

Comanche lunging for the first time:

Finally, after months of groceries and patience, the time came to tack him up and ride for the first time. Fellow volunteer Kelly tried him out first and he did great! His steering was rusty and we knew we needed a new bit, but there was no hesitation, balking, or fear from Comanche! He just wanted to ride!

Kelly and Comanche's first ride:

In fact, Comanche did so well that we all felt safe and comfortable enough to let Joe have his first ride too!

Now Joe and Comanche go trail riding every weekend. Comanche has shed out beautifully and has gained all of his weight back. He's even developing some nice muscle!

Comanche is just one example of an awesome horse adopted from Horse Haven. There are so many more horses just like Comanche, so stay tuned to meet even more of our success stories! And take a peek at, and maybe you'll see your next dream horse!!

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