12-5-2010 While attending the Ridge Riders 11th Annual Horse Show/TIER benefit in early December, we were approached about a mare that was currently participating in the show who needed to find a home. Her name is Petra (still trying to find out her registered name)and she had been abandoned at a stable by her owner who had moved out of state. Since there wasn't anyone paying to board Petra, she was getting minimum care in the way of feed, farrier, etc.
TIER & TIER VolunTIERS (Suzy & Alex)began networking to try to help.
4/10/2011 - Learning Curve! HA!
From Alex's Mom:  From Alex's Mom:  You are right about me learning about horses instead of just hearing about it.
Here is an example of how ignorant I was when I got Petra.
After Petra arrived at the barn, Gretchen (the trainer) checked her out and gave me a report.  I was on pins and needles, because I had absolutely no idea what I had gotten myself into. Gretchen had previously looked at the photos I had taken of Petra, and had spoken to Petra's previous caretaker,&rdquo but she hadn't met the old mare in person.  Imagine my relief when Gretchen said that although she needed some work (feet, teeth, muscle tone etc.), overall she was in pretty good shape.  Gretchen then mentioned that Petra was hot.&rdquo
I was stoked, because I thought that "hot&rdquo meant really good-looking,&rdquo like how Paris Hilton says hot.&rdquo  I mean, Petra really is quite pretty she has a lovely face and her gorgeous tail is almost to the ground.  But for Gretchen, who is not known to pass out compliments willy-nilly, to say that she was hot, then Petra must be Something Else!!
My elation turned to suspicion, though, when Gretchen cautioned me to buy Senior Feed that wouldn't make Petra even hotter.  What?  Don't you want the horses to be as hot as possible?  Would't it be good for Petra&rsquos self-esteem if she were hot, and to have the other horses to think that she was hot, too?  I mean, when I get old like Petra, I would want everybody to think I am still pretty hot for my age.
So, I turned to the internet.  I Googled "hot horse&rdquo and, once I skipped over the porno sites, I found the following definitions:
"A horse that is overly aggressive or fast under saddle,&rdquo "anxious,&rdquo "lots of energy,&rdquo "like a bomb ready to blow up.&rdquo  Oh, so that is what hot is.  Hot is not what I imagined it to be.
So, I now know what hot means, and Petra is definitely hot.  But that's OK she's in her mid-twenties and she acts like she's five.  That is a good problem to have, in my opinion.  Gretchen is working with her, and she and Alex are really starting to relax with each other.  She is such a sweetie-pie that, hot or not, we couldn't imagine being without her.
Despite being "HOT" (snicker)....Alex & Petra are going through their own special learning curve:
1/9/2011 - Update
Petra is doing really well.  The dentist was finally able to come out and work on her teeth.  Her right rear, upper&ampampnbspmolar was so long, it had worn the lower molar down to almost nothing, and undoubtedly was making her mouth very, very sore.  She was such a sweet girl for never complaining about it, and allowing herself to be tacked up and ridden without incident.  Alex rode her just a few hours after her mouth was fixed, and the improvement in her movement (particularly when tracking right) was immediate and noticable.  That poor baby!!  I wonder how long her mouth had been bothering her.  Petra's appetite was never a problem, and now she just vacuums up her food.  More importantly, she is now chewing her food properly and it is digesting better.  Her weight gain in the past few weeks has been noticable, and she is feeling even better than she was before.
Alex has been riding her a lot, both alone and under Gretchen's (Alex's instructor) watchful eye.  Alex and Petra are still getting used to each other--Petra is much more forward that Alex is accustomed to (his lesson horse before Petra was practically comatose).   So, Alex is learing to relax on her more, and Petra is learing that Alex does not always want to "cross the finish line first."
Gretchen has also been working with Petra.  Petra has been a very good girl for her, quite responsive, and willing to learn.  She is already well trained, so she just needs a little bit more work.  Petra seems to enjoy having a job to do, and having a boy of her very own.
So, Gail, chalk this one up as another success story.  Thank you for playing matchmaker.  Petra and Alex would have never found each other if it weren't for you!
Suzy-Alex & Petra's Mom
I was so frustrated about this situation because TIER is just not in a position to take any horses in at this time.  Especially after the wet weather (MUD up to your eyeballs!) we have had.
It is difficult to find homes for the elderly horses who have given so much.  It takes that special someone to step up for that special horse.  The outcome of this situation is just the bestest!
Alex had his second ride on Petra the other day.  His first ride was when his instructor sent him over to where Petra was located to "test drive" her for the instructor.  It was really to see if they were compatible as Alex had no idea that he would be getting Petra for Xmas if it was a good match!
So,  as Alex was lunging her the instructor said "So, are you going to ride her or what??!"  Nuff said.  It's awesome that Petra has the knowledge and Alex has the 'learnability".
12/28/2010 - Christmas Success Story!!
12/25/2010  Merry Christmas!  Alex loves his horse.  He didn't even understand the present at first, because he wasn't expecting it.  (He got a stall plate with his name and Petra's on it). I got a big hug when he finally figured it out.  He even teared up, but he was being a little man about it so I didn't mention it.
Petra was in need of a few more groceries suited to her age, some dental work, and farrier work.  Suzy & Alex have already had her feet done, scheduled the dentist and are providing a more nutritious feeding program for this lovely girl.
Petra is feeling much, much better.  We got her hooves trimmed and put her on senior feed and high-fat rice bran pellets, in addition to the hay.  She was getting only hay for several months before we got her, so she was pretty thin and low-energy.   Alex hasn't ridden her yet because it's been too muddy.  But OMG, she is a diva.  Petra won't lay down in the mud like all of the other horses (thank God for that--they get filthy), and she loves having her feet picked and brushed.  And she is getting gorgeous.
Petra is quite lively.  24 going on 4.  That's a good thing, but I was expecting to get some easy, broken-down, docile old timer for Alex's first horse.  Instead his little pony turned out to be some prima donna ex-racehorce who is literally rearin' to go.  (Ed. note:  I never noticed how many horse idioms there are.  She's feeling her oats, too.)  So, Alex's equestrian learning curve has turned out to be steeper than he was planning on, but Karma dictated that he get a wiggly, intelligent horse with no attention span.  Paybacks are abear , right, Alex?!  And I thought I had to wait until he had children of his own to be able to say that.
Networking with others, caring people and a horse that needed her very own boy came together for a wonderful Christmas Success Story.
12/5/2010 - Christmas Success Story!
12-4-2010 While attending the Ridge Riders 11th Annual Horse Show/TIER benefit, we were approached by a trainer that needed to find a home for Petra.  Petra had been abandoned at the trainer's stable by her owner who had moved out of state.
Volunteers Suzy and her son Alex had come to help with our booth at the show.  TIER knew that Alex has been taking riding and horsemanship lessons and thought that Petra and Alex might be a good match.  We told Alex's mom about the horse, introduced both Alex and mom to Petra and asked them to talk to their trainer to see if she might have room in her lesson barn for this lovely mare.
We watched as Petra took her rider through the required movements and jumps at the show.  This sweet mare did everything she was asked without hesitation and with total willingness.  She stood quietly when asked and performed her tasks when asked.  We really thought this might be a good match for Alex.
Suzy contacted her trainer who then contacted the person who was trying to find Petra a home.  Petra was brought to the new barn and Suzy made plans to surprise Alex with his First Horse for Christmas.