The Making of a War Horse



From time to time, we are offered horses as donations to The War horse Project.  This is always a difficult decision for us, as there is much to consider in the short term and in the long term.  In this post, I will begin to explain the process, and actually follow in real time, the making of a War Horse.

Last week we got a call from Jenn Rodehutskors, of Rock Ridge Sport Horses in Perth, ON   { }  telling us about her 17 yr old Hanoverian/TB cross mare who is looking for a new job.  She has been a wonderful broodmare, having produced 7 beautiful Canadian Sport Horse babies.  This mare was started as a 4 year old, but did such an amazing job of producing beautiful, level minded babies, that she spent most of her time at pasture rearing youngsters.

Jenn, who knows this mare inside and out, knows she is kind, calm, engaging, and very easygoing and thinks re-starting her should be a breeze.  Her kind disposition naturally draws people in, and Katherine Schutt (our trainer) and I were both sucked into those soft brown eyes, and left with a hopeful feeling that she should be an easy re-start.  Jenn and her trainer are confident that this mare will be an asset to The War Horse Project, and our other therapy programs.

We will follow her progress in real time, as her re-training has started this week.  Jenn will keep us posted on her progress, but hopeful as we are, this is not a done deal.  This big beauty has to prove to us that she can handle a rider who’s stress and anxiety can flare at a moments notice, who’s fight/flight instinct is more hyper vigilant than her own.  She must prove to us that she can handle new situations and new ‘scary’ things that may come her way.

The other part of this process, and a very important one, is finding sponsors who will support her financially.  The cost of keeping, feeding, and vaccinating one of the War Horses is $3,500 annually.  This cost does not reflect tack and equipment, or any veterinary bills for unexpected illness or injury.   Currently, we use over a dozen horses in our programs, and only 2 are fully sponsored!

The se-starting process will take about 30 days.  We will post frequently as this beautiful mare goes through each step of the re-starting process.  And, if you haven’t noticed, we have not mentioned this mare’s name.  That is because we will be taking suggestions from YOU as to what we should call her!  Let’s watch this process unfold, and see if you are inspired by a name that reflects this beauty’s character!