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Riding DoubleNic

This is my horse, Nic. When I bought him 2 years ago he came with the name Nikky. I shortened his name to Nic because I got him just in the NIC OF TIME.

He was very much neglected and needed to be rescued.

My journey with Nic began by seeing a 'for sale' ad in our local pet food supply store: Registered Appendix Black Gelding, 6 years old, 16hh. This was exactly what my son, (who really wanted a black horse), and I were looking for.

I had not owned a horse for 20 years and my son was taking lessons and wanted a horse of his own. We contacted the owner and anxiously went to have a look. When we got there we saw three horses out in the paddock and were sadly disappointed when we saw their condition, Nic being the worst of the three. He was severely underweight, ribs, hips, and shoulders grossly noticeable, dandruff, rain rot, a brown shaggy coat, poor hoof condition, and the saddest eyes you ever did see.

He was curious of us and let us pat him. Nic was more than co-operative and let his owner saddle, bridle, and ride him in a very small ring. You could tell the horse had very low energy and I thought it cruel to even ride him. At the end of the sales pitch I was very frank with the owner and let her know that her horse was being neglected, which she blamed on the owners of the barn. I offered her a very low price for Nic and she accepted. Once we got Nic to the stable where we were going to board him, I then had a moment where I thought "What did I get myself into?".

Black horseOver the next couple of months Nic was given lots of hay, grain, grooming, dental care and farrier care. He was then able to be put out with other horses and started a more intense schedule of ground training. Within six months he had gained a considerable amount of weight, and the rain rot and dandruff had cleared. I started to ride him quietly on soft ground as his soles were still tender. Every week thereafter you could see what a beautiful horse Nic was becoming and the best part was that he kept his gentle nature. Not once has he shown to be mean in any way. Nic's only long term problem is a result of his neglected hooves. We've been very patient in giving Nic time for his hoof to strengthen, with excellent farrier care, basic hoof care maintenance and supplements. Today he is bare foot all around and is improving daily.

Nic has come a long way within the last 2 years and I really feel he appreciates the love he receives now. He has been trained (not fully) in western pleasure, flat english work, trail riding and I am looking forward to starting dressage and cow herding for fun. I say fun because that is exactly what keeps Nic interested and curious about trying new disciplines. Just the other day, for this photo shoot, I decided to double with my son on Nic for the first time and Nic was fine with it. Unfortunately I have seen many people not take time to enjoy their horse and just have some fun, if they did they would have a better relationship with their horse.

So, after I got Nic and wondered "What did I get myself into?", I realize now it was more of what I got out of this, which is a beautiful, well natured horse, a sense of pride for saving him and memories between my son, myself and Nic for years to come.

Congratulations to Nic for being our September 29th, 2008 Horse of the Week.

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