This is Jett; our very first Thoroughbred off the track. I took these photos today after I stuck this lone daisy in his bridle. The light was so pretty in the late afternoon, and I felt like trying my camera out on some artsy photos. They do not do Jett justice, though.
We never planned on getting Jett. We weren't even looking at buying any more horses. Let alone off the track Thoroughbreds. We had only been married a few months (last year) when one lazy afternoon, while watching a movie in the living room, we got a sudden phone call. A friend was in Philadelphia picking up a "lay up" horse from the track that was to be brought here to Virginia to recoup after surgery. They had a gelding they wanted to get rid of...... might we want him? I had a couple questions: was he injured, and was he broke to ride? Yes he was broke, and had been raced a lot. He had been retired after some stress fractures, or something. They had been using him on the track as a "pony" horse, accompanying other racehorses to and from the starting gate. I thought for about two seconds and said yes, yes, yes! We'd take him and give him a nice home.
We got Jett home and introduced him to his new surroundings. Sometimes, with certain horses, I have an instant bond. This does not happen very often for me. In my life I have been around, seen, and ridden hundreds and hundreds of horses. I love all horses, but there are very few I feel an instant bond and connection with. It happened to me as a teenager with an OTTTB mare I rode and loved. It happened a couple of other times, but that is it. Jett was one. The second he stepped off the trailer and I took his lead rope in my hand, he was mine, and I knew I could never let him go. The others we have gotten since then are special too; but Jett is extra special.
The others may find new homes with lovely owners, but I could never re-home Jett. He is our Big Man.
Since we got him about a year ago now, he has mostly been my Husband's ride. They have a strong bond also. We took Jett on a group trail ride a month or two after we got him, and acted like he had been trail ridden all his life, even though we know he had never been on such a large, organized ride. He seemed to think that, as long as we were there, and we were all together, he was OK with whatever we wanted to do. Except water crossings. That is still something he has trouble with. Everything we have asked of Jett, with the water crossing exception, he has done. He is so willing, trusting, and eager to please us in everything. We could not have asked for a more perfect horse; and when I think of how we got him I am still blown away. It is like we were meant to have him.... like God made him just for us, and sent him to us. And it is as if Jett knows this, too; and that he is grateful to have us. If only all unwanted horses could find a life, as Jett has, with people they were made for. I guess that is why I do what I do. To give all the horses I can a chance like Jett got. (Check out older posts from July to see Jett being ridden by my sister, Naomi.)