Draft Horse Love Story – Patty and Bertina
Some people say a horse is just a horse. Or an animal is just animal. That say they won’t notice or they won’t mind changes. I, for one, disagree.
Each and every horse that has its own personality. We are lucky enough to get to see it every single day.
Patty’s adoption only lasted about 6 months. It just didn’t work. Patty can be very food aggressive and reasonably so considering the shape she was in when she first arrived.
Patty ended up kicking the mule that she was intended to be a companion for and her adopters were concerned for the mule and wanted to return her.
We welcomed Patty back as she (or any of our horses) will always have the security of a safe home here with us.
Patty’s return date was about 2 months after Bertina arrived. Bertina arrived as “Bert” (you would be surprised at the number of Belgian mares out there named Bert). We changed her name a bit as we already had another Bert here with us.
We put the two together. There wasn’t any of the usual snorting, squealing, or posturing. Bertina laid down for a rest and Patty stood watch for her. Like the same day. No real warm up time, just instant BFF’s.
Patty was/is the boss lady and Bertina was/is the follower. They just worked well together.
Patty’s food aggression showed back up when we tried to feed them together. Patty would steal Bertina’s food and Bertina would just let her.
We tried to separate them at feeding time but then Bertina would be so worried about where Patty was that she wouldn’t eat anyway.
It was as important to us as it was to them to solve their food struggles. This was the start of the feeding stations that we designed specifically with them in mind.
We made two box stalls out of round pen panels and put them right next to each other. Patty couldn’t steal Bertina’s food and Bertina didn’t have to worry about where Patty was. Both were able to eat without any stress.
We’ve continued to keep them together for almost everything.
We keep them together for hoof trims and veterinary visits. They are always in the same paddock together. They eat together. The rest together. They stand in the run-in shed together.
These two mares have now been here together for a few years. They rely on each other. The find comfort in each other. They are bonded.
We choose to honor and respect that bond.
Their companionship matters. Their comfort matters. Their ability to feel safe matters.
They both have worked so hard for their entire lives. They deserve to be able to come here and feel safe emotionally, as well getting the care they need physically.
It’s a big deal.
Patty and Bertina have both been here for quite a while now living their best lives. Your support plays a big role. Offering draft horses a forever home is no joke.
This story wouldn’t be possible without you.
Thank you for being on their team. Patty and Bertina are both very special mares and are lucky to have your support.