Josie is a lovely jet black Quarter Horse mare. It is hard to tell how old she is because she is a cribber and has worn most of her front top teeth away. We estimate her to be in her mid to late 20's. Her owner abandoned her at a local farm where she lived outside for several years. One woman in particular looked out for Josie over the years, but she could not afford to take her. The farm owners no longer wanted Josie on the property. Her old owner's number had been changed and she'd left no forwarding address. This left Josie in a very vulnerable spot. If a home couldn't be found Josie would be sent to the auction where she would go for slaughter. There was even talk of her being used for research where she would have spent her life as a guinea pig, only to be destroyed when she was no longer useful.
However, the passing of Lena had opened up a spot on our farm, and we were able to take Josie in.
Josie had once been a brood mare, but little else was known about her. We think she was a halter horse and she may be broke to ride, but we don't know for sure. It was clear right away that she wasn't comfortable when she arrived. She stood with her belly tucked up and walked stiffly. Josie struggled to stand when we had her hooves trimmed. The vet came out and examined her and felt not only did she have bad arthritis in her hocks, but also a problem with her left stifle. We decided to have her hock lower joints injected to hopefully make her more comfortable. Within a few days she seemed much better; She was not so tucked up, and did not carry herself so stiffly.
Josie is special. She has a very kind and gentle quality about her. We've watched her bring Clyde around. He was anxious after being moved from Connecticut to the auction and then to our farm. He would pace the fence when turned out. Josie went up to him and at first he wanted nothing to do with her. But Josie kept trying and was patient with Clyde. She would stand closer to him, nudge him. Over the next few weeks she calmed him down. He stopped pacing all the time and went out into the paddock to graze next to her. Now they are good friends.
We're hoping the special needs students that come to the farm can brush Josie; perhaps her kind and gentle spirit will also bring them some peace as well.
Note: Josie passed away late August 2013. You can read her memorial here.