Shelby is a mare and she is everything that implies! We were contacted by a boarding barn, Shelby’s owners quit paying board and she was going to be euthanized if we didn’t take her. We were told she was a kid’s horse but quickly found out that was not the case. Perhaps at one point someone had a kid riding her, and that could have been where things went south for Shelby.
See, she is a mare. There is a saying, tell a gelding, ask a mare. Sometimes mares say no. Shelby said no and got away with it a few too many times. She’s fine on the ground and actually has good ground manners, but when we got her, Shelby said NO to having a rider! We had her checked by several good lameness vets, her teeth have been checked, floated, and checked again. She’s had chiro, saddle fit is not an issue, and there is nothing physical wrong with her. We have a bullrider volunteer who occasionally comes out. He could get past her attitude and she was actually well broke, a good stop, steers, walk, trot, canter. She actually really loved and respected him because he handled her fairly through all of her attitude. She definitely has the potential to form a great bond with someone.
We sent her to a professional trainer in January 2012 where he really made a break through with Shelby. There’s no doubt she will still test a new rider, and will probably always need an experienced rider. She has much less attitude, we have a few tricks up our sleeve for redirecting that attitude, and she will do best the more she is ridden. This is a horse that truly needs a job. She’s not too tall and very stocky—maybe she has a career as a ranch horse? She’s not real spooky—maybe police work or search and rescue?
UPDATE: 4/22 we took Shelby on a trail ride off site and she was a PRO! She saw wild turkeys, deer, waited for traffic to cross roads. She led, she was in the middle, she was last. She tied next to strange horses, she drank on the road, she rode around bareback. Nothing phased her! Now Shelby is still Shelby. She will test her rider the first time that rider is on her back, but Michelle, her rider in these photos has been riding her occasionally. Shelby tested Michelle when she first started a couple of weeks ago and moved on. Michelle unloaded her, saddled her up, and got on. No lunging or other preparation and Shelby was just good!
Shelby is 15.1 hands high, always been barefoot with us, gets along fine in a herd, and is current on all cares. She did have a pending adoption but the adopter had a situation change and was no longer able to adopt her—it was not Shelby’s fault. Shelby is ready for her second chance, will you give it to her?
Update: Even though we had veterinarians looking at her from the time we first got Shelby it was only until the end of June 2012 that we were finally able to pinpoint Shelby's problem. Shelby had been doing really well undersaddle but was still not happy. After a trim she came up lame. We brought her to the vet once more where they did extensive radiographs and found an old injury to one of her ankles. Because of this we have made to decision to retire Shelby and adopt her out as a pasture pet only. She is no longer suitable as a riding horse.
We only adopt to a homes within a 3 hour radius of Champaign, Illinois and we do require that you fill out an application before we can schedule an appointment. An application is not a commitment from you, but we have over 40 horses for adoption and this allows our volunteers to make the best use of their time!