Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Horses and Hope: TJ's Story

“He is stumbling and stiff in the shoulder,  
And splints from the hoof to the knee,
But never a horse on the station 
Has half such a spirit as he.”
~ William Ogilvie, "The Pearl Of Them All"
Every horse has a story, and this is the story of TJ.
TJ's The Bomb was presented at the auction looking handsome, but moving badly. Lame at even a walk, the typical muscular Quarter Horse standing on smallish feet was pegged as a lost cause by bidders. Navicular disease is a serious condition that can render a horse unsound for the rest of its life. New Jersey horsewoman Sarah Kampel was not looking for a project, but this guy caught her eye and his sunny disposition won her heart. Turns out TJ was beautifully trained, and had a show record to boot. In the springtime, his original owner (who lives halfway across the country) fell on hard times and sold him to a good home. After that, his story gets unclear and by June, he was sore-footed and selling at a New Jersey auction house.

Shown here is TJ's Horses and Hope calendar page, and it includes TJ's owner's account of his story: 

Horses and Hope: TJ's Story
"I met TJ in the course of my volunteer work taking pictures and writing descriptions of horses on sale night. The horses were loose in the pen; when I went in the extremely lame TJ hobbled up to greet me. He followed me around as I took notes on the rest of the horses, reminding me that he was there by gently touching his chin to my shoulder or his lips to my hair. He sat for almost a week with no interest - probably due to his lameness. I couldn't stop thinking about him so I brought him home. We addressed the problems with his feet; lameness evaluations and x-rays were done and a treatment plan was set up. A lot of people were involved in helping him and after months of therapeutic work, he is sound. TJ is a wonderful friend and partner who now has a family who loves him dearly."
-Sarah Kampel
It turned out that TJ's lameness, while still serious, is NOT navicular. He's being treated by a great team of equine health and hoof professionals and is now sound for riding. 
Horses and Hope: TJ's Story
TJ gets a hoof evaluation from Daisy Bicking from
 Horses and Hope 2014 Calendar

TJ's story is one of the many featured in the 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.  

- Sarah Andrew


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