Brody, a special horse

Brody is a 17 year young bay gelding. We moved to Vancouver Island Jan 2009 and immediately became involved with local rescues as a foster home for both large and small animals. We are only here for two years but hoped to make a difference while we were here.

Brody was unfortunately in the wrong hands when we met him and thankfully was found and surrendered just in time. Because of my experience as a trained vet tech I was trusted to take Brody in and start the long rehab process. When our vet came she basically told me not to get attached and to please look at the situation realistically - here was a horse that had been starved to death, physically abused and some of his inside functions were beginning to shut down. She wanted to euthanize him but I asked for just a few days to see what happened.

I have never been one to give up an animal if there was even a small chance and I could see in Brody's eyes that there was still life so we took it one day at a time and by two weeks he had surprised everyone. He was starting to eat and getting
back on a refeeding program, move around and it was at that time I promised him that he would never be in bad hands again - we ended up adopting him! Those two weeks turned into a month, three months, 12 months - each day getting stronger! The main thing I could not get over was the fact that he trusted us so much, even from the beginning after humans had nearly killed him.

After 12 months of rehab and of course many hours spent on the lunge line and hillwork to improve that topline I decided to try to ride, only a short ride with my husband leading us around. It was success and that day rivals with one of the happiest days of my life (and I have had a pretty happy life, lol!). It was clear that this horse had experience with a rider on his back so we started with short rides and built up over the next six months to long trail rides.

Today I can take this horse anywhere and through anything and I can trust him to take care of me even when the scary horse eating motorcycles come behind him!

Just for fun I took Brody out to a small scale local Dressage show (I am not necessarily a dressage rider but it was a quiet and well organized show to get both of our "first show jitters" out of the way). Many people have been waiting to meet Brody in person after knowing his story and before I knew it I had an application sitting in my email and full show attire pieced together from all of my friends. He did beautifully! He tried so hard for me - I swear that horse would try to jump to the moon if I asked him to!
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I received the results of the show a day later and Brody and I took home first place in Tack and Turnout!!!!! I was absolutely thrilled and it warmed my heart when the judge actually told me she did not believe that Brody was in such poor condition a year and half ago afterward because he was literally the most beautiful and shiny horse on the showgrounds that day :)
~Shannon Whitaker

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