Hope you had a great day with those you love, celebrating all the things you are thankful for. I am grateful for many things, family and friends in particular. But this year I am also thankful to have a new member of our family.
This is Nicki-Jones in February of this year (2021) when she arrived from a “kill lot” (next step, dog food in Mexico) in Louisiana to a quarantine pasture. She was lame and had a large wicked scar on the front of her left back leg and a patterned scarring on the back of the other leg that makes me think she got tangle in barbed wire at some point. The circular sticker on her withers was her lot #. She had a brand under her mane from the track, so I was able to confirm that she was a 16 year-old Standardbred. She was sweet, but had no idea what a treat was or even that eating out of a human hand was a possibility, which speaks to her former life as a work horse—pulling a sulky (a one-person cart) on a pacer race track and then with the Amish, where I assume she pulled a cart or wagon. I don’t know how long she had been at the kill lot, but they don’t keep them long because feeding her is an expense.
We took her in with another mare to give our gelding a companion and her a safe place to grow older and get loved on. Never thought I would be riding her! But she put on weight and gloss and healed up and definitely knows what a treat is now! Her coat even changed from brown to black this summer.
This is the first time I’ve been on her. Wasn’t sure what she would do, as I don’t know if she’s ever had anyone on her back, only pulled things. She caught on quickly, though, and I was really happy on this beautiful day to be in the saddle! It’s been a long time for the old lady on the top. Not sure Nicki-Jones felt the same way, but hoping we have some adventures ahead of us on the trails and lots of years to get to know each other and to be thankful for.
T.K. is a retired police captain who writes Books, which, like this blog, go wherever her interest and imagination take her.