Daphne is a four year old, 14.3 hh Thoroughbred cross owned by the MSSPA. Unfortunately, this pretty little mare has a rough past. In July of 2018, she was rescued with three other horses by an animal control officer in Southern Maine. At the time, she was suffering from a number of problems including; being severely underweight, ill from a heavy parasite load, infested with lice, and lacking dental and hoof care. Not only that but she was feral and couldn’t be easily caught or touched. She was also suffering from a dangerous, painful abdominal hernia. Daphne underwent surgery, requiring general anesthesia; only afterward was pregnancy suspected. Blood testing confirmed the young mare was in foal. Her delivery date was unknown at the time especially with hormonal fluctuation, but then on March 1, 2019, Daphne gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, named Windy River. The MSSPA has done a great job nursing Daphne back to health and starting the basics with her.
Daphne arrived at Horses with Hope in September, and she proved to be sweet, sensible, and athletic. We began with obstacle work, groundwork, lunging, and ground driving. Daphne has a solid foundation and is a lovely mover who did well in the initial phases of having a rider aboard. She could confidently walk and trot in the area, was just beginning to canter, and had started to hit the trails as well.
*Update: After making steady progress, Daphne began to develop some sourness under saddle once the canter was introduced. She was clearly trying to tell us something was amiss, so we checked for proper saddle fit, back soreness, etc. We found that she was sore in her hocks, and due to her young age our vet suggested that it probably developed over time with the introduction to becoming a riding horse and being asked to use her body in a balanced way. We decided to let Daphne have a little time off and worked with the vet to help address any inflammation she may have had. After some re-evaluation and time, we slowly started Daphne back in a reconditioning program. Our goal was to help her build the necessary muscles to be able to maintain balance in all three gaits before putting a rider aboard. We were hoping to show Daphne how to use her body in a more soft, balanced, and correct manner.
Unfortunately, due to the widespread uncertainties caused by Covid-19, it was determined that Daphne return to her home rescue at the MSSPA for the time being. Though we will miss this sweet little mare, we know she will be in great hands at the MSSPA. Please feel free to visit their website or reach out to them for more information regarding Daphne.