My name is Ellen and I live with my husband, twin sons (in college) and daughter in Southern Maine. I'm a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and work on the Psychaitric Consultation Liaison Team covering the emergency room, the inpatient psychiatric unit and psychiatric consultation/liaison for the general hospital. I have been involved with horses for over 50 years. I was originally planning to go to veterinary school but decided that I would have to sacrifice my time with my own animals, family, music not only during school, but for most of a large animal career. I have worked in both large and small animal hospitals over many years, have taught lower level riders, worked with therapeutic riding programs, and have been active in training my own horses alone and with professional guidance.
My parents have an empty barn having decided in their early 80's that they would not take on any new horses after the death at 35 yo of their last horse, a TB mare that we all loved for 26 years. Their love for horses lives on through us, their adult children. My sister in CT has retrained OTTB's and an OT Standardbred. Now that her riding horses have gone over the rainbow bridge, she now owns minis that she is training to drive. My sister in CA lost her last ridng horse, an OT standardbred to very old age. She now has a rescued pony and some mini donkeys.
My primary discipline is dressage, but I love to trail ride and just hang out with the animals. I currently have two geldings that I board at a beautiful farm with over 200 acres of fields and woods. That acreage is surrounded by many more miles of forest and fields. I purchased Forest, my 18 yo perch/tb gelding from a less than happy situation with a horse dealer. He is a wonderful horse and I'm grateful every day that I have him. My 12 yo gelding, Calculated Step (aka Cody), is a solid palomino paint that I took on from a very nice woman who rescued him from an auction. She realized that she wasn't succeeding with training him and couldn't afford to keep him as well as the horse who did meet her needs. He is a kind horse who loves to please but he will probably not ever be the reliable mount that I had hoped for. Nevertheless, I love him dearly, continue to work with him, and he has a home with me forever. (see below)
I've learned about the terrible ends that face too many animals. I've contacted congress people and senators with information and encouragement to take a stand against horse slaughter and animal cruelty, in general. I'm trying to share my own knowledge with others in my own community and through other online equine networks.
12/07/08 update: Forest, my 18 yo perch/TB gelding was euthanized on 11/08/08. He had an aggressive cancer that was not responding to treatment. I miss him every day but know that the decision to end his life before he began to suffer was the best one.
Jackson, an 8 yo OTTB gelding, joined my herd on 12/02. He's a lovely, sound, and affectionate horse. He will be joined in a few weeks by Hamlet, a 3yo Belgian/TB gelding.
My 12 yo palomino gelding, Cody, has decided that just maybe he'd like to be a riding horse after all. Never say never..
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