Horses and Hope 2014 calendar preview: MAY!
Chance is a seven-year-old gelding who ended up at the auction. His breed is unknown, but by the way he flies around the pasture, it’s thought that he’s a Thoroughbred. Melissa Butensky saw his picture online and decided he was the one for her. After a rocky start, Melissa made a plan: she took Chance back to the beginning of his training, and taught him all the things his previous handlers left out. He’s now a confident and fun mount for Melissa, and the two of them fly together.
"Slim Chance. That’s what I thought the odds were that I’d ever have my own horse. As a girl, I tried to convince my parents to keep a horse in our one-car garage and harvest hay from the lawn. That didn’t work, so I rode whenever I could and enjoyed even challenging horses.
One morning in May, I was sipping coffee and looking at the Camelot horses on Facebook, hoping to offer a comment or anything that might help. Then I saw him - hip #348, a thin, nameless gray who had trust issues and didn’t like the bit.
|Chance at auction (mis-numbered 344- he was actually Hip 348)|
With well-trained horses running through every week, what were his chances of getting out of there safely? Slim at best.
It was at that moment that I lost my mind. No magic fairy was ever going to show up with a gift horse, and looking at pictures was not going to save a life. Life is too short; I just had to make it work. With the support of my wonderful husband and enthusiastic boys, #348 became mine.
Ours was not an easy journey. Chance wouldn’t stand still for anything. He would seem quiet when he was actually nervous, and would act nervous when he was just being bossy.
After a year of struggling, I was afraid I’d never be able to ride him, but the sale loomed large and I could not give up on him.
Expert trainer Jeane DeVries taught me to recognize the difference between scared and obstinate, and gave me the tools and skills I needed to work with him.
Today, Chance is a different horse – curious, willing, energetic, funny, & a bit of a nosey rascal. Every milestone we reach together is a thrill to me." - owner Melissa Butensky
Whether Chance races around the pasture at liberty of floats across the arena under saddle with Melissa, it is clear that he is relaxed, settled, and comfortable. With hours of patient work, Melissa unlocked his potential and has helped him to become a lovely riding horse. She had no timeline, no deadline, and no expectations, and Chance rewarded her patience. It is a joy to see the two of them out on the trails or just spending time together at the barn. Every horse should be so lucky to have a human who not only takes a "chance" but also works hard to understand him. - Sarah Andrew
Horses and Hope 2014 Calendar
Please click here to reserve your copy now for November delivery
Chance is one of the many horses featured in my 2014 Horses and Hope calendar. With the help of Gina Keesling of HoofPrints, the 2012 and 2013 Horses and Hope calendars featured stories and photos of hundreds of horses. Thanks to the support of horse lovers everywhere, it raised thousands of dollars for One Horse At A Time, helping hundreds of horses in need directly, and untold others indirectly through increased public awareness. Now that we have two calendars' worth of experience to draw upon, the 2014 version promises to be even more exciting, even more creative, and as always, inspirational and positive.