Meet the Horses: Lexi
As we neared the finished products of our initial fencing phase of the dry lot and two paddocks, we prepared to bring home horses.
These first horses were to be the foundation of Bright Side Youth Ranch. It's hard to do equine mentoring without the equines, so you can imagine how much thought went into this process! We do desire to rescue horses, and how that looks comes in many different spectrums from simply needing a new purpose all the way to suffering under neglect or abuse. Since we are also gearing up to start session programs and officially open the ranch, we knew there would not be much time to re-train or re-hab any major cases, and healthy, balanced horses establish a sense of norm and teach so much to those in the process of recovery. So, we looked to taking on horses that needed a new venture and purpose in life but already had a love and a patience with kids.
We were planning to bring at least one horse we knew of for sure, but horses are herd animals and do so much better with transitions when with a buddy. So, the search began for the second horse.
The first horse, Alex (who you will meet in another blog soon), was a veteran in the show ring and spent his last few years teaching beginner lessons. So, we knew we were good to go with that one. Since I had to go to Kentucky to pick him up anyway, I reached out to a dear friend who I trust immensely when it comes to finding the right horse for the right job.
This is how I heard about Lexus (who we affectionately refer to as Lexi). The word of a mare made me a little nervous, but a dark bay Dutch Warmblood who had spent much of her life loving on children sounded perfect. I first met Lexi and her family when I traveled to Kentucky to pick up both horses, and I was so impressed by their love and adoration for this sweet mare.
They shared with me that they found Lexus through a horse trader and that she was 200 pounds underweight. Considering that she should weigh about 1200 pounds, that is a significant amount! They purchased her and cared for her and brought her to a beautiful condition. And from there, she proceeded to take care of their child through all sorts of classes, including obstacle courses, jumping, and 4-H shows. Knowing all that this mare had seen and experienced helped me hope she would be a good fit.
Here is Lexi's story from this sweet family:
We found Lexus through word of mouth from a friend. She had been traded around a few horse traders for a few months. She was traded in for a younger quarter horse because the people that had her decided to start barrel racing. The trader she end up at had no idea what to do with a horse that rode English or jumped. They didn't even have an english saddle. It was a very cold February morning when we went to go see her. They had her in a small round pen in western tack and using a bag of shaving and a metal pole as a jump. I had already been told by friend that had seen the horse the day before that she was special and need someone that wanted to jump her. Even in all the craziness she was patient, kind and looking after Casey (who at the time was 10 and just starting to ride). We decided that day that she had to be Casey's new horse. We had no idea that she would be the best teacher Casey needed. Lexus taught Casey how to jump. She was patient, she would easily hop over the jumps always trying to keep Casey in balance. Casey and Lexus went from ground poles and cross-rails to 2' -2'6" jumps. The last year Casey showed Lexus they won Reserve High Point at KY state 4H horse show. They had a great bond and a deep love for each other.
Lexus x-rays showed she had arthritis in her hocks and we decided that she had been way to good to us for us not to let her retire from jumping and do something easier for the rest of her life. We just had to find that place. I promised Casey I would not let her go anywhere unless it seemed perfect. That is when Shelley told us about you and Bright Side Youth Ranch. Our prayers had been answered and Lexus got to go on to her new job. (Which we new she would be a star at) Some horses have more heart than others and Lexus has the biggest one I have ever seen. She loves everyone and is always trying and willing to please! She loves having a job and loves people (especially ones that have treats)!
We only had Lexus 3 and half years but she has really made a an impact on Casey's riding and taught her more than just how to ride. She taught her responsibility, love, patience, humility, and compassion. Even though we miss her we couldn't be happier for her.
Lexi and Alex were turned out together for one night prior to the trip home, and it was love at first sight. They got along perfectly, and there was no kicking, running, or squealing (as first meetings can sometimes go). They both trailered like champs through the mountains and acclimated very quickly and quietly to their new home at Bright Side.
Since then, Lexi has been the sweetest, kindest horse imaginable and is adored by everyone who steps foot on the property. She is quick to come to the fence line to say hello and hope for treats, and she falls asleep while kids brush her. Lexi loves attention and is so patient with children, both on the ground and under saddle. Kids as young as 6 have sat on her and learned to trust a horse to carry them forward with confidence. Every day I interact with her and see how well she responds to children and visitors, I thank the Lord for my friend who made the connection and the sweet family that donated her to the ranch. Lexi is a blessing and makes being around horses fun.
If you would like to come meet her, email us at [email protected] or call (803) 487-7786 to schedule a visit or a session. We would love for you to see this lovely mare in person.