Q&A Questions and Answers:
I stumbled onto your website this evening as I was searching for advice and tips on working with horses. I was particularly touched by the story about your Willy, which brought back memories of my "Kas." I purchased him when I was 18 and he was 6. I fell in love with him the first time I saw him. He was a bit of a rescue project and my first horse. The original owner tried to teach him to saddle by beating him, and he had become afraid of anyone on his back because he associated riders with pain. He was sweet as a lamb on the ground and I saw something special in his eyes. I was fortunate to find a good trainer who helped me rehabilitate Kas and he was my best friend until I put him down at 32. Like your Willy, he was a kind and gentle soul, and there is still a place in my heart where he lives on.
I currently have 3 horses, one of which is another rescue project. He is a registered paint horse and was born deaf. The original owner didn't know this and ended up dumping him once they found out about his condition (they thought he was un-trainable.) He had been considered a stubborn horse and not handled nicely as a result. He changed hands a couple of times and the young lady I purchased him from was afraid of him. I've had him for 6 years now (he is 11) and through consistent work and restarting him (with the help of another great trainer) he has transformed into a very successful show horse. My other two horses are also paints; one is my married daughter's horse and the other is a 9 month old colt. I leased the colt's dam and bred her to a nice paint stallion. He is turning out to be a really smart fellow and a lot of fun to work with. It is great to have a "fresh page."
I just wanted to drop a note to say thank you for the great website you have created and all the helpful information and funny anecdotes you have taken the time to share. It is nice to meet new equine enthusiasts through the Internet.
Thanks a lot for your wonderful note! It's great to meet a kindred soul... someone who has gone through some of the same feelings I have! I truly commend you for your willingness to take on some of the "difficult" cases. The difficulties may be greater, but so are the rewards when you see a good horse brought back "from the brink." Pity the poor folks who can't deal with a horse unless it matches their (mis)conception of "perfection"!
The problem of deafness among paint horses may be frustrating, but can be overcome with good training plus a bunch of love and patience. Many of those critters turn out to be top performers. After all, a horse communicates primarily through body language, rather than through hearing.
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