2008 Palomino gelding
Pilgrim comes to us for continued training from the Santana Center in Rhode Island. Originally rescued from the kill pen on Thanksgiving Day of 2017, Pilgrim spent six months regaining health and beginning groundwork at the Santana Center before being fostered out and subsequently adopted in 2018.
Despite every effort on the part of his adopted family, including clinics and a month of training with a professional in MA, it was ultimately decided that Pilgrim would need to return to his home rescue. While he made significant progress during the past year, including becoming much happier and more comfortable in his interactions with people, Pilgrim was simply not able to be the relaxed trail horse his family needed. This boy is sweet and handsome but has some fear issues from whatever occurred in his past. Thanks to the good work done by his adopters, Pilgrim now has lovely ground manners, is quiet for vet and farrier, and connects well with his handlers. He loves attention, wants to be everyone’s friend, and has a very “in your pocket” personality. He has done various versatility clinics, and was ridden Western this past year.
After evaluating Pilgrim, we found that despite his extensive under saddle experience, he would get anxious when being ridden. Because of this we have been taking our time, with our goal being to restore Pilgrim’s confidence and help him learn to enjoy his time under saddle. We do this by helping him learn to stretch, balance himself correctly, and relax through his body.
Update: In late fall 2019, Pilgrim developed some soundness issues with his front feet. The winter shoes he was wearing put too much pressure on his thin soles, and that combined with the frozen ground made him extremely uncomfortable. The result was deep bruising in both feet. With a lot of time, patience and careful farrier work, Pilgrim is finally starting to feel like himself again! He was a perfect patient throughout the stall rest, vet checks, and lengthy farrier work. He is currently wearing therapeutic shoes with a pour-in pad, which have been invaluable in helping his feet recover. We have now been able to slowly start Pilgrim back into a rehab program. He seems to be enjoying going back to work, and we hope to help him slowly build up strength and muscle tone. Pilgrim is currently up to an hour under saddle, and is doing approximately 15-20 minutes of trot. We have also started to reintroduce hill work to Pilgrim as well as another tool to help him build muscle. Pilgrim seems to be really enjoying hitting the trails with a friend for company, and we think with more miles and confidence, he could make someone a great trail partner.
Though we are impressed with Pilgrim’s daily progress and how well he has rebounded, Pilgrim still carries a lot of tension and can often get tight and nervous under saddle. This is something we are currently helping him through, but at this point in time we do not feel he is suitable for a beginner. Pilgrim has won us all over with his goofy and affectionate personality. We have high hopes that he will make someone a great lifelong partner!