We are very pleased to announce that Brutus has found his new home! His new mom, Kelley, is a long-time friend of Hanaeleh. We met Kelley when she was running a private school and her students were coming out to work with horses at Bethany’s Gait, when we were sharing the same facility. We lost touch with Kelley, but she came out to our Evening at Hanaeleh event about three years ago.
“Scott,” she told her now husband, “I am not going there to get a horse. I’m just going there to look at the horses and to support Hanaeleh.”
Famous last words.
Yes, on that one eventful night, Kelley saw and fell in love with a silly three year-old Thoroughbred who I was very adamant was nowhere near adoptable at that time. We had taken in Brutus, who was underweight and had little socialization. He was only about 14 hands, and while he was really about three years old, due to malnutrition, he only looked to be about 18 months. You can read more about Brutus’ first week at Hanaeleh <here>. Brutus was not only physically stunted, but he was emotionally and mentally challenged as well; because he had never been gelded, he was never socialized with other horses, and still acted as if he were a baby- to the point of clacking his teeth when he got scared. The more I worked with Brutus, the more I realized that I was not going to be able to train him in the same way that I would another horse. He wanted to learn, but got frustrated very easily, and it took him a long time to process what we were trying to teach him. I’m a teacher, so I just decided he was on his own 504 plan, which meant that he was not going to be measured by what other horses were able to do, but that he was on his own plan to progress.
Kelley asked if she could come out and volunteer at the ranch, and even work with Brutus. I admit that I was very hesitant, and really couldn’t understand why someone would want to adopt a semi-crazy, mildly neurological Thoroughbred whose favorite thing in the world was biting me, or attempting to bite me. I figured that she would work with him, realize he was a TON of work, and move on to a much easier horse.
Three years later, Kelley’s determination to adopt our silly guy finally came to fruition. She not only spent three years working with him, but moved to another house in order to have horse property, then expanded the stalls in order to accommodate Brutus. Kelley also adopted Chance earlier this year, a warmblood who was in need of a home. We could not have imagined anyone (well, besides us), who would go to such lengths for a horse. We honestly did not believe that Brutus would find someone who would be so very patient with him and dedicated enough to work with him. Kelley, however, never gave up on this guy, and her love for him has shown through all of the training and time she has spent with him.
We are so very happy for both Brutus and Kelley, and look forward to hearing about their future together. They are truly a match made in horsie heaven!