First, Raven’s Backstory
We rescued Raven almost two years ago- she is about 17 years old now. She had been a broodmare in her past, and later given to a trainer as a lesson horse. When the trainer got on her, however, she quickly realized that Raven had no idea what she was asking- Raven was kind and forgiving, but had no formal training for driving or under saddle. The trainer had some family issues and did not have the time to train a completely green horse, so she asked if we would be able to take Raven. She wanted to make sure that Raven was safe and would get the training she needed.
When we got Raven in, we worked on putting weight on her- before she had gotten to the trainer she had not been exercised or fed appropriately, and even though the trainer had been feeding her and working with her, Raven was still underweight and under muscled. We put her on a diet that would help build up her muscle and improve her coat.
Raven’s Physical Issues
Raven came to us with some intermittent lameness issues, which we narrowed down to her right shoulder, but even though we had her assessed by the vet, farrier, chiropractor and massage therapist, they couldn’t identify what exactly was the problem; Raven would often walk out lame for no apparent reason. We were able to get her basic training completed so she was able to ground drive and can be ridden lightly, but her shoulder injury prevented us from actually hitching her to a cart or doing extensive riding. While no horse at Hanaeleh ever has to be ridden, some enjoy learning new things, and like going out for rides on the street and on the trails. Raven has continued to get a massage once a month, however, which she loves! Lisa from Five Star Equine is so great and massages several horses out at Hanaeleh!
We let Raven rest and set her own exercise pace and we noticed over the past few months that she was moving out serviceably sound, with no obvious lameness. We didn’t push her too much, but she let us know that she really wanted to run around and work more- so we started her back in ground training and she is doing great! She has been sound long enough now that we are going to go back to teaching her to pull the cart so she can continue to build up her muscle and learn new things! Again: we don’t expect any horse to have to be ridden or driven, but some horses really enjoy the extra attention, and Raven is one of those horses.
Raven Loves Everyone!
It’s very obvious that Raven is a very sociable horse not just with people, but has a lot of horsie friends at the ranch! One of her BFFs is Sierra, but when we tried to have them live as roommates, Sierra was kind of a bully (we’ve all had those roommates!). Next, we put Raven with Ruby, who was much kinder to her. Jesse was their neighbor, and we finally took the stall apart so all three could live together, and they loved being a small little herd! Ruby is, of course, the alpha, but Raven and Jesse have paired up as BFFs to even the odds (Think Three’s Company!).
Raven loves working with her favorite volunteers, Misa and Darin, who groom her every week. Misa also exercises Raven by asking her to walk around in the arena or round pen, and now that her lameness issues seem to be resolved, she also enjoys trotting and cantering around, letting us know how beautiful she is.
Can’t You See I’m Beautiful?
It is obvious that Raven is a very beautiful, and now that she is at an appropriate weight and she is moving out soundly, she very much lets us know how beautiful she is. Raven also believes that her beauty is often a reason for her not to have to do things, like anything she doesn’t necessarily want to do. Move out of the way so you can clean my feeder? Can’t you see I’m beautiful? Turn the other direction in the round pen? Can’t you see I’m beautiful? Walk instead of trot? Can’t you see I’m most beautiful when I’m trotting? Thankfully Raven’s calm personality helps to temper her obviously healthy sense of self, so we indulge her quite a bit.
One of the more interesting aspects of Raven’s transformation is her coat- her coat will grow in different directions, and when we reached out to the Friesian community, we were told that this is common in Friesians, and is often called “crushed velvet” or “puzzlecoat.” Whatever you call it, Raven is, obviously, beautiful.
Your help matters so much because we can’t do this without you. Did you know that you can sponsor Raven for as little as $10/month? Every dollar donated goes to her care (all humans are volunteer). CLICK HERE to join our Sponsor a Horse Club today!