|Dude in the sorrel in the middle|
I am totally forgetting to do things lately. I was supposed to introduce you to Dude on Monday after the Live Monday Meet and Greet (and I forgot!)
So here it goes:
What to say about Dude? Dude was originally one of our personal horses. We needed a horse to replace our first horse Tiny Dictator. This would be Dad's horse. We knew of someone selling a horse (i.e., Dude) and went for it. The joke is, the minute a horse puts hoof on the property, it stays forever (and it's been true except for three horses...two which were adopted and one I sent back to the owner because I knew even before seeing the horse it was a bad fit for the Sanctuary). For some inexplicable reason, I KNEW that we should never have kept Dude. I told Dad to put him back on the trailer, but he didn't listen.
After countless tosses to the ground and other moments of frustration, I went in search of another horse for Dad. We'd bought Dude in January 2001. There was something about Dude that I didn't like. I've since figured it out, He's a button pusher. He's not the placid horse that I like. He's a go getter and wants to do things...his way.
Fast forward to 2006 when I said Hell No to any more riding on Dude. He'd just flipped over on top of Dad and I said no more. So that's when he became a permanent resident to the Sanctuary. After a few more years went by, we finally figured out what was wrong as it became obvious. I'm not sure of the scientific term but my vet said Bear Hump...for the love of god, dont' google that! Look up Hunters Bump. I'm not sure that's exactly correct but it's close enough.
Before we bought Dude, he'd been in an accident. We were told he got into a fence and cut up his leg. I believe he got into much more and had fallen, thus causing the problem. He'd fallen and broken something either in his hip or the tail bone going into his hip. But we didnt' know and being fairly novice horse owners, we had no clue.
Fast forward to a few years ago and it has become apparent that Dude is lopsided when standing square. The broken piece in his hip causes him pain (hence the bucking and dumping of anyone riding him if it just so happened to catch).
We knew we could never sell Dude because someone would get hurt (or killed). He's a gorgeous horse (so everyone tells me,.... I just see his attitude). But knowing that everyone thinks him pretty, he'd get snapped up and repeatedly dumped, we knew we couldn't let him go.
So here he is, enjoying retirement. I said a couple times in the video that he's an arsehole. He's not really. He's in charge of the herd (although doesn't take care of them like a herd boss). But he's not the laid back kind of horse I prefer. Had he not been broken and unrideable, he would have been a fantastic horse.
It does seem that all my registered horses have problems. Dude is a registered Quarter Horse. His registered name is My Blazing Skip. He didn't look like a Blaze or a Skip when we got him and Dad thought he looked like a surfer dude...so Dude it was.
I am afraid that his hips will be the death of him. I can always tell when he hurts by the way he stands with his front legs splayed apart to try and take as much weight off the hips as possible. I always keep my fingers crossed during the winter that he doesn't fall on the ice. He gets more and more cautious as the years go by in the winter.
Only Chaos ever seems to challenge Dude and it's never really a challenge, rather just Dude's shadow. The only one to challenge him is ME because *I* am the one in charge. We've had a few go rounds about who's in charge and hopefully those lessons have stuck with him.
I sort of make him out to be a jerk but he really is a good guy. He's come a long way. He never did like his face touched but he's finally coming around to it. Hard to believe but we've now had him for 15 years!!! Holy cow! Unfortunately, most of that time has been in retirement but he's safe in retirement and there's no worries that he will ever be shipped to slaughter.
There's not a mean bone in his body, just a broken one and without knowing that there is a broken bone, his fate could have been a different one had he not landed at the Sanctuary.
Dude is a very easy keeper but in a very short time, we'll be looking at starting to grain him so that we can start using Buteless to help ease the pain in his hips. During the summer and fall his hips dont' seem to bother him but in the winter with the snow and ice and in the spring with the mud, there's definite signs that his hips bother him. So if anyone wants to sponsor him monthly, that would be fantastic ($100 for a month sponsorship, $50 for a partial sponsorship)...or if anyone wants to buy his Buteless ($50 for a container that lasts a long time) that we'll start to use in the next few months, that would be fantastic. Every little bit counts.
I may not always like Dude, but I am certainly glad that we have him. Just thinking of where he would have ended up had our paths never cross, makes me sad....because he would have most definitely ended up on a plate.