Anyone who has been around horses for awhile has certainly heard the "I'll keep in contact, see how you two get along," comment when a horse is sold. It's usually just an expected nicety the seller utters to make the sale. No one really expects the former owner to check up on the horse he/she sold.
And in the Thoroughbred industry, breeders and trainers who don't keep track of their horses after is sale is pretty common. They just want the non-money makers out of the barn and off the expense sheet as soon as possible so they can get a wage-earner in that spot. Some race tracks in the east have even started penalizing and banning trainers whose horses are found in kill pens at auctions. Good for them for making them responsible for the horses they are "ditching."
Anyway, when I bought Gabe his owner said she'd keep in contact and would like updates on him. I kept in contact the first month and the second month, I sent her photos and kept her updated on his progress. Then I just kind of forgot about it.
Last night she called me, inquiring about him, asking how he's doing, how we are getting along and requesting some more pictures of him.
That just doesn't happen often enough, especially in the world of race horses.
You bet I was THRILLED to talk about the newest love of my life. People at work have learned not to ask about my horses. *grin* They get more information than they really wanted. Hehe! She got all the silly details about his delightful personality, I filled her in on his progress and about how much my entire family has come to just adore the big wonderful guy and I think she was more than happy to listen to me gush about him for awhile.
Thank goodness for the few out there in the horse industry who are like her...the ones who truly do care where their horses end up when they just don't fit into their particular program any longer. When I went out to look at him (and subsequently put a downpayment on him) she said she absolutely adored him, but knew he didn't like his job as a racehorse.
"I just can't keep asking him to do a job he hates," she explained. "I know he has the ability to do it, I know he can run, he just doesn't want to. His heart isn't in it. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to wake up every morning to do a job I hated and I don't want to do that to him."
Truer words never spoken. I just hope he likes his new job as a pleasure horse more than he liked racing!