"Don't get too attached to ‘em."
Carleigh Fedorka was well aware of the risks associated with life on a commercial thoroughbred breeding farm. Every year, a new crop of freshly foaled bundles of legs hit the ground and invariably steal the hearts of even the hardest of boots, and then, they’re gone. Off to all corners of the globe to put their pedigrees to work. Thus, not hitching your heart to any particular horse seems like good, solid emotional insurance in the grand scheme…
But come on...
So yes, Carleigh Fedorka knew better than to get attached to the foal she cradled in her arms after helping him through a perilous delivery five years ago, but wouldn’t ya know it, the colt she called “Bode” ultimately won her heart in their brief time together.
Fedorka followed Bode’s journey from the sale ring to the racetrack, from barn to barn, coast to coast. She wasn’t so much concerned with his results as much as simply knowing he was accounted for. So when Bode suddenly disappeared from the public radar last year, Fedorka went to work, determined to track him down and if needed, bring him back home.
See, this is exactly the type of emotional response they warn you about in the beginning; the type of emotional response every horse deserves, and needs.
It took a couple of months of digging and negotiating, but ultimately, Fedorka found her man. She ponied up her savings, bought him sight unseen and then had him shipped across the country without the slightest idea what condition he would be in and what his future entailed beyond some seriously overdue TLC.
Fedorka, who holds a PhD in OTTB (and also Veterinary Science), beautifully chronicled the journey on her blog, A Yankee in Paris:
“This morning Bode stepped off the trailer, back into the state in which he first drew breath. He looked up at the same two faces that were the first he ever saw. And as if no time had passed, he gently butted my hand, looking for a treat or two.
I do not know what will lie in store for this colt who stole my heart. If he is sound, then I hope to do what I do best – to retrain him into a second career and then find him a forever home that will love him just as much as I do. If he is pasture sound, then we will find him a herd of his own babies to watch over and supervise. And if there ever comes a time when he is neither, than the decision will be made by me, and that is all that I can ever ask for."
While in good spirits, Bode was clearly lame in his left front, which x-rays would diagnose as a particularly dicey P1 fracture in the pastern. With some down time and basic care, Bode's ankle will be re-evaluated to see if it can heal sufficiently on its own, or if surgical intervention is needed. In the meantime, the long-time supplement skeptic enlisted the services of Equithrive to help her boy along. Intrigued by the science behind the the products, the scientist gave it a shot.
She was shocked by the results.
"I would have put him at a 3-4/5 lame a month ago, and barely a 1/5 now.
So with just one month, some Equithrive Joint Supplement, and a lot of love later, we’re so much closer to what I call serviceably sound, and it makes me SO happy. When I see this level of soundness pre- major interference, it gives me hope of just what is possible after we inject him and he gets legged up!
And that is all I really need to get me going....that little bit of hope!"
A little hope, and a whole lotta love.