Ben came to us because his owners were struggling financially and could no longer afford to keep him. Ben is about 17 years old and his previous owners had had him most of his life – so although he hasn’t done much recently, he has always been cared for and appreciated.
We try not to take older horses here (ie we are not a sanctuary) just horses that we can make as good as they are capable of being (in physical health and behaviour) and then find them a 5* home for life, so we had reservations about taking Ben. But our reservations have proved to be without foundation as Ben is a complete gentleman and has quietly obliged with everything we have asked him to do.
Ben was a bit underweight and out of condition when he came so, as well as having food on hand 24/7, we have also had his teeth done just in case they were undermining his ability to eat efficiently. We’ve also had his feet trimmed, his back checked and given him an injection against Tetanus. He is also the proud possessor of a new passport now and is micro-chipped.
Ben has proved to be an unexpected pleasure here. He is getting his mojo back and seeming to enjoy life here and working his way up the horse pecking order to take quiet control of his own small herd. He is also riding out well now and we think he is going to have an important role as Mr Reliability – taking over from Rosie (who has gone to her fabulous new home), ie as a horse that anyone of any age or competence can safely handle or ride and who will also provide the face of calm stability to temper the many young and ridiculous horses that find their way here.
Ben has been another of those unexpectedly wonderful horses – for all sorts of reasons. Firstly, as we said earlier, we try not to take older horses (ie we are not a sanctuary), but in Ben’s case, because of the situation with his owner, we felt we had to take Ben here. And he has proved to be amazing, a real gent and for us good in every way to handle and to ride, plus we soon found that anyone could safely sit on Ben’s back.
Ben’s considerable talents meant that we decided that he should stay here and become our anchor horse – he was just too good to let go. However, whenever we make this sort of decision we get derailed. And sure enough, this fabulous lady called Lin contacted us saying that she was looking for a special older horse to ride. So what were we to do? Of course, Lin had to come and see Ben and of course, she thought he was just what she had been looking for.
So Ben has now found his way into a home that offers 24/7 gold star treatment – which includes having the radio played for him and his companion. How can we compete with that sort of thing ….?