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From Rags to Riches
How A Shy Scruffy Horse Became A Magnificent Mare


My Mom and i were getting ready to leave to leave the barn when our instructor stopped us and asked the question that changed our lives forever. "I heard about this one horse going up for sale and she sounds perfect for you two but she's in bad shape. Are you up for the the challenge"? Then I thought to myself The last two times we were serious about getting a horse it got all screwed up. The first horse was a foal and we could not control him. The second was an appy mare but she was sold without us knowing. So what were our chances that things wouldn't screw up again? I'm sure my mom thought that too but she said "Why not"?

The next day we were ready to meet the horse the
only flaw was that we forgot our carrots at home, but that wouldn't matter, right? WRONG!!!! We went into the field and had not clue which horse she looked like until my instructor filled us in, "Her name is Taffy, she's the super tall bay". Our mouths dropped to the ground ,underneath all that mud was a beautiful horse, we just had to catch her. She was close to the heard but every time she tried to join them around the hay bale they would kick and bite her! So she just walked on the outside of the horses,alone. Another sad fact was that her owner would ride her really hard for 2 maybe 3 hours and put her back into the field for a couple of months and repeat. We called her name picked up some grass for treats, all she did was walk away. So we called it a day ( 2hours 45minutes you'd want to as well) The words that came out of me made my mother groan, "Can we try again tomorrow"?

"Halter check, carrots loaded,alright I think we are ready" I exclaimed. So the three of us went into the field to try again, somehow my instructor slipped Taffy a carrot and caught her!! We were too busy to see because we tried to keep all the horses away from biting her. So we took her up to the cross ties in the barn and took a good look at her, yes she was muddy but after we groomed her she looked like royalty, even though you could clearly see her rib cage. And I was the size over her back legs ( I'm 5' 6) She is about 16.2 hh and loves her carrots. We continued to do the catch, feed, groom, feed,put back. for about a month and a half. One day our instructor said "You can ride her now"

My mom and I jumped for joy when we heard the news until my instructor finished her sentence, "After we get her teeth floated" A big riot of awws and boooos echoed out of me but Taffy got through it amazingly. We also got her feet trimmed,after we had to wait a couple of days for her to relax and get used to the clipped toes and filed down teeth.

THE BIG DAY!!!!! We got up on her bareback and her owner showed
up and we rid her only at a walk and my mom talked to him for a while and later that night we bought a horse!!! Of course it was Taffy. I was so happy I hugged my mom and then the horse and then my mom and the horse an- you get the idea.

Two weeks later we put a saddle on her and her muscles were warmed up and ready to go and I got to trot her and she was so fast and bouncy I had to post ( I know I know western riders don't post, but I had no choice) after working hard on trotting and stopping and turning on the haunches for weeks and weeks on end I finally got to lope her! She was very smooth and elegant I was so happy. In august we took her to a competion where we all got a big shock.

"Come on lets unload these guys" I called out Taffy had trailered fine and she got out fine too. We were the first to arrive at the little compy, it was about 20 people having fun barrel racing and trail ridding, really cute. Taffy was eager to go out and strut her stuff. All the geldings tried to get her attention, they must of thought they were stallions?! The best part was that it rained and we got soaked but the arena didn't I don't know how it was outside too, uncovered. We carried on after we dried off a bit. Taffy brought home 11 ribbons 5 of which were first place. YAY!!!!
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Today she is a fast loping, sorta smooth trotting, carrot lovin beauty. She is spoiled rotten, she gets thigh massages every day, grain everyday, a full grooming everyday, rides and ground work everyday, and loved everyday. She repays us back by working hard on her trot, learning really quickly, being patient, being completely bombproof, affectionate, and the worlds best Standardbred of all time!

End note: We found out that Taffy raced when she was 2 until she was 4, and get this, she was a pacer and the paced one mile in a minute fifty five seconds!!!!!! Her registered name is Red Star Toffee.
- Katie Chapman
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