When I started training at the facility in Moorpark that I am currently at (about three years ago), the owners had "Killian" and Echo boarded there. As I understand, they had been there for quite some time around three and a half years. During the time that I was working there, while the horses were still being boarded there, I had maybe seen the horses get out three times, and two of those times we had turned the horses out ourselves to do some tractor work in front of their stalls.
The condition of those two horses was just obscene. The horses' coats were caked with some kind of a rain rot or summer's itch condition from hardly ever getting groomed, except when one of the boarders felt sorry for the horses and brushed them out. The horses were never kept up to date on farrier appointments, and would always be extremely long and chipped up. When we couldn't take it any longer (we meaning the ranch) we would go ahead and deworm them and give them their annual vaccinations on our tab, because otherwise we knew it just would never get done. From being cooped up in their stalls all the time, the horses were so atrofied that when they did get out, just walking down the hill to the arena would put them in a sweat and cause them to breathe heavily, and stamina forget about it. I'm sure the owners must have thought in their own minds that they had taken "Killian" out of a bad situation and saved her, and in a way they did. However, I can't say that that horse was ever happy in the situation she was in, and had been living in for some time. Actually, I can say she was most likely miserable, and wondering what the point of being taken out of that feedlot was, because sitting year after year in that 20x20 stall in total neglect was not her opinion of a grand life.
Feeling sorry for the situation that those two horses had been put in, and especially "Killian" (I just always felt that she deserved better), I had offered to turn out the horses free of charge a couple times a week for the owners. That way the horses could at least stretch, to say the least. But they declined all of my offers, I'm not quite sure why. After not seeing the owners for over six months, the owner of the ranch stopped them when they were paying a portion of their board, and told them they better take a look at their horses and do something with them, because they were looking worse than her 20 year old TB with cancer. And it was true. There was only so much we could do to make the horses look decent when the owners refused our help.
So that week they took the horses out of our stable without paying their board that they owed and thought it was over. But no, we took them to court trying to get paid what board they had owed, and instead, after months of trips in and out of the courtroom, always in our favor, we ended up seizing Miss "Killian".
After two months or so of conditioning, we tried to sell her for what board money was owed to the ranch, but every time someone came out to look at her, this horse was just absolutely awful. And as soon as the potential buyer would leave the horse was an angel for me. Not to mention I could hop on her at any time with simply a halter and take her for a spin around the property no problem. It was as if she just did not want to be sold. So I ended up buying her for what the court fees had cost, because she had chosen me to be her new owner.
The first thing I did was change her very unladylike name to Karmella, because she's as sweet as caramel and matches in color. Her full name is Karamel Koated Mistress. Since her time of purchase I have trailered her out all over, run through riverbeds and crossed bridges ridden to the beach and up in the hills. She just loves going. And she really is the sweetest, most grateful horse about everything. I have had her for 13 months now, and never question the reason I ended up with Karmella. I believe it was just meant to be. But Karmella is still with me and is now finally able to get out and enjoy life. She no longer searches for the reason she was pulled out of the feedlot. She lives it.