“A horse is a thing of such beauty…none will tire of looking at her as long as she displays herself in her splendor.” –Xenophon
2005 Oldenburg Mare
Raven was bred and raised by a dressage trainer in New York State. As a baby she sustained an eye injury, which severely limits the vision in her right eye. Because of this, Raven was given in good faith to another trainer- but unbeknownst to her breeder she ended up at an auction. This high-headed, super-sensitive mare ended up in an entirely unsuitable home as a western pleasure mount, and from there, Raven sold to the Hemphills sale yard in Maine, where we found her in 2010. After spending a winter in training at a hunter/jumper barn in Massachusetts, she settled into a new life at Horses With Hope.
Raven is gorgeous, strong-willed and talented. Like many mares, she has very clear likes and dislikes, but once she knows and trusts a rider she will give her whole heart towards success. Raven has come a long way in her training, and has become more relaxed and confident through exposure to a variety of activities. She has lovely movement on the flat and is currently schooling Training and First Level dressage. Raven loves hacking out and enjoys excursions to the beach and Acadia National Park. Like all of our horses, she has also been exposed to a wide array of obstacles in the arena.
Raven had done some jumping before she came to us, and we’ve recently begun schooling her more regularly over fences. She loves it, and with her natural boldness and athleticism we think she could excel as an eventer. Because we are taking this opportunity to further her training as a competition horse, Raven is not currently available to adopt but will instead serve as an ambassador for our program. In 2014 Raven participated in several eventing clinics and schooling shows, and completed her first recognized 3-phase event. Our goal for this year is to successfully complete several more events at the beginner novice level, with a move up to novice by the end of the season if all goes well.
UPDATE: Heartbreakingly, towards the end of 2016 Raven was diagnosed with ringbone, a progressive condition that often times becomes career ending. After her diagnosis we travelled in and out of state to various vet clinics, exploring all veterinary and other options available to keep her sound and ease her discomfort. But, despite our best efforts we could not stop this condition from progressing and causing her pain. By summer of 2018, it became clear that Raven was even uncomfortable at rest, while out at pasture. That, combined with the fact that she did not like to have “days off” due to her work ethic, meant that she became quite unsettled, in human terms we would call it “unhappy”. To watch her come to the gate or her stall door, with a look of “are we going to work now?” and then not get ridden was heartbreaking for her, and for us. We had some very tough soul searching to do.
The difficult decision was made to lay her to rest by humane euthanasia, with peace and dignity. It was a very sad day for everyone on the farm, as saying good bye is always the hardest part of what we do. People sometimes ask us how we know when it is the “right time,” because they are not sure of when that time is with their own animal. One thing we always keep in our heart and mind is something a vet said to us many years ago: “It is better a week too early, than a day too late,” and particularly with horses this statement could not be more true. Additionally, for Raven, we all felt very strongly that we loved and respected her too much to see her in pain and to see her spirit diminishing…in the end our gift to her was to carry her, and to give her her wings.