Enter Rowan Oak (Oak for short). Then Oakley. By the looks of him he is an eight year old Haflinger gelding. His background is completely unknown. The person I got him from rescued him from slaughter and then put him up for sale again two months later. She said she did not know anything about him but thinks he has been passed around a lot. The reason she cited for selling was that he was not the right fit for her farm because he was probably not going to be kids safe.
He came to me very healthy, but with obvious mis/no handling. I am going with mishandling because once he gets over his initial fear he acts like an old pro at many tasks. He is very distrustful of people, and very reactive. I think one of the reasons he made the seller so nervous is his propensity to kick out when frightened. Definitely not kid friendly! He has some scarring on his withers that my vet guesses came from a harness so maybe he was a driving pony? Either way it did not end well for him, and I don't think he has had an easy life so far.
Despite Oak's obvious baggage with people, he is the perfect new herd leader. He has restored order to our farm just as we had hoped he would. Without humans in the equation he is a calm, confident, rational creature. Go figure.
|Oak and Gray's first meeting|
I am slowly working to start/re-start Oak as a riding horse if he lets me. Not sure what our future holds yet. He is not as athletic or sporty as Bodhi so maybe not dressage, but who knows! I am loving the journey so far.