I think we all have some shadows chasing us, through our lives, and we stop occasionally, looking over our shoulder to keep them at bay.
Some horses, especially ones who have a spotty history, are no different.
Yes, Shadows Past is her actual race name, and she was born in NY, ran in 4 races in her career, and was then retrained to be a riding horse. Somehow, she ended up in the wrong hands, being starved and abused, and through responsible horse ownership and a fierce drive, her original owner once she came off the track managed to find Shadow. She came to Erin at Akindale a few years ago and asked her to take Shadow, so she'd know Shadow would never end up in danger, or hungry, again.
Erin, and Akindale, have lived up to that with flying colors, as always.
But, Shadow has more to give us. She is a beautiful horse, only 10 years old, and built very solidly. She has a kind eye and although she's a little aggressive at feed time, I've learned it's just a facade - she'll make faces at you, but I've never felt threatened or that she'd bite or kick.
She's at Starlight with the indoor, and we've been working hard the past few weeks. When I first started riding her, I had about a 5 minute window before she would blow up, rearing and rocking back and forth, shaking her head in distress and twitching her withers as if she couldn't stand the pressure of a saddle pad resting on them.
But, over the past few weeks, I've gradually increased her riding time, moment by moment, one ride at a time. And it's clicking.
Shadow is one of the best movers in the barn, with such a fluid, floating gate, she moves more like an imported Warmblood than a feisty Thoroughbred. She is poetry in motion. And some day, someone is going to love her to the moon and back.
Well, I love her, and she knows it.
Here's our ride from today...I am so proud of this girl!