The whispers blew through the crowded stands like wind over fields of wheat. Each head bobbed and turned and spread the hushed words, “I heard he bought that mare for $1000!” And replies of, “No! I heard it was only $750.00.”
The Grand Prix mare in question flicked an irritated ear as she passed by the grandstands. Only the girl by the fence saw the mare roll her eyes at the people’s talk.
The girl Lily had been at horse shows all her life, as her mom was a competitor. Lily’s gentle soul laughed at the mare’s expression. She could hear the whispers too. Lily had heard gossip before, of course. But today, the amount of it was impressive. Lily would like to know the truth.
Suddenly having an idea, Lily turned around and watched the people. No one noticed her. But she watched the whispering waves moving about. Finally, she found what she was looking for. There! One lonely spot where no moving or whispering was happening. A man. He sat overly still, like a snowman, looking intently at the mare called Faith.
After Faith was finished with her ride, the man relaxed.
Lily grinned. She knew her target now.
The man watched Lily approach with a small smile on his face.
“You’re mare did well,” she said.
“Thank you,” he replied with a nod of his head.
Lily introduced herself and found out the man’s name was Ron, and that was indeed his mare named Faith.
“Could you please tell me your story?” asked Lily.
Ron was surprised. “Don’t you mean Faith’s story?”
Wise Lily said, “I think your story is the same as Faith’s story.”
And so the man told it.
“Well, Lily, when I was young I dreamed of owning a Grand Prix horse. Any breed, although I was fond of Hanovarians. All my life I had worked and saved to buy a quality horse. Not just good, but a great horse, you know?” Lily nodded.
“The jist of it is that I could never afford it. Just when I was close, either there were no great horses or something would happen I had to use some of the horse money.
One day, I realized time was flying by and half my life was now behind me. My friend Nancy suggested I buy a great, older mare and breed my own great baby. That’s risky, you know, but I thought worth a shot.
Nancy found Faith’s advertisement. She was a nine-year-old Hanovarian and had been going 4th Level. The ad specifically said, “Non-riding horse. Broodmare only.” We went to see Faith and the people had the hardest time parting with her. She was well-loved, you see.
They said, “You understand you can’t ride her, right? She’s just a broodmare now.”
I asked them what was wrong, but they couldn’t even tell me.
“We tried everything! She’s off, but you can’t tell where. And somedays you think it’s the right front leg, and then other days it’s one of the hind legs. We’ve spent thousands on diagnostics, but we just can’t anymore. And there’s no more diagnostics or treatments to even try. She’s the best horse and we love her. We just have too many mouths to feed and we don’t breed.”
So I bought her and she gave me a great baby! Ron showed Lily the picture of a gorgeous foal.
Lily asked, “But…she’s being ridden now. I thought you said she couldn’t be ridden?”
Ron continued. “So what happened was…
Faith’s baby’s disaster
“Faith’s baby slipped in the concrete aisle way one day and had a horrible fall. The kind where she did the splits on all four legs. The baby was only 3 months old, but now she was totally off and funky and even had a confused look on her face when she walked.
We had a veterinarian come out who specializes in chiropractic. Dr. Renee Tucker. She said the baby’s body was a “train wreck”. But she fixed it. Took two or three visits from Dr. Tucker because she was such a mess. Plus she was growing, so Dr. Tucker wanted to be positive everything was holding well.
It was so amazing to see a “confused-walking” baby become perfect again (and go on to sell for five figures), that I asked her about Faith.
Dr. Tucker checked out Faith. She examined every single inch of her. Then she said, “Well, Faith is far worse off than your ‘train wreck’ baby. But totally fixable. And I don’t see why you can’t ride her after she’s fixed and muscled up.”
Lily interrupted, “I wish I could have seen your face then!”
“Oh my gosh, yes.” Ron replied. “I hadn’t dared to have hope for riding Faith. Just didn’t let my mind go there. It kind of felt like the rug was pulled out from under me, but in a good way.”
Lily said, “I would have jumped up and down and shouted and twirled!”
Ron said, “Well that’s what I wanted to do, but I was frozen in shock, you know?”
Lily wisely nodded, “Just like a snowman.”
Ron agreed. “Just like a snowman.”
The rest of the story
“Well you know the rest of the story,” Ron continued. Dr. Tucker adjusted Faith and after one visit it became apparent she was going to be whole again. Faith just flew and floated around the arena after her treatment. It was the best day of my life. I finally had a great horse who could go Grand Prix.”
Lily looked shy. “Ron?” she asked. “The whispers say you paid $750.00 for her.”
“$750.00?” Ron was shocked, then he laughed. “Honestly, people do love a good story. I paid $4,000 for her. She’s easily worth 20 times that now. I am very blessed, for a snowman.”
Was this true?
The above story about the horse and owner is true, although Lily is fictional. It was written by Dr. Tucker. As a case study, “Faith” is an example. An example of horses written off as useless for riding, when all they need a competent bodyworker.
These are the types of cases Dr. Tucker sees on a daily basis. If your gut instinct is telling you your horse can be fixed, then keep looking for answers. They really are out there.
We are looking for submissions for Dr. Tucker's "Featured Cases." If you have a puzzling case you want solved, we would love to post it to help others. Pictures needed, videos welcome. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
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