Horse Stats
New Name: Africa
Age: 2002
Gender: gelding
Date Adopted: December 2011
Current Discipline: Hunter Hack, Trail Horse

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    "I am so excited to share the story of Out From Africa with you! He really is the embodiment of what New Vocations Racehorse Adoption is all about. As I look back I can hardly believe it has been 6 months since "Africa" came into my life. It seems like such a short time span, but it is amazing to see how much he has changed. "Africa" came to me in December 2011 a bitter, over-raced, untrusting soul with a penchant for biting and kicking. He had been rescued from the track in June 2011 after a long 7 year career consisting of 81 starts. And though I had been looking for an older, quiet trail/hunter hack prospect, there was something about him that made me take a chance on him.As I began working with him, each day brought to light new issues and challenges. His sour attitude and default aggressiveness as a defense mechanism were overwhelming. He didn't respond to petting or grooming- seemed to hate it, in fact- pinning his ears and biting whenever you touched him. He would charge at me on the longe line and panic if you so much as popped the lunge whip. Saddling him the first time was a nightmare-producing a total meltdown with rearing and fighting. It was ugly and I almost gave up on him. It just broke my heart that such a beautiful animal had become such damaged goods. But I persisted with the help of lots of peppermints, his favorite treat, and patience I began to break through that angry exterior to the horse with a tremendous heart on the inside.So we have been slowly making progress, I jokingly refer to him as my 10 year old weanling since we have started his (re-)training at square one. And it is wonderful to see him beginning to trust me and enjoy working again. I can see why he was a very good racehorse, because he is a bit of a Type A personality and now he looks at me like "What are we going to do today, Mom?" The challenge has become finding new tasks and situations that keep him interested but not too overwhelming at the same time. Our plans for this summer include beginning work under saddle and going off the farm for short visits to acclimate him to new environments. I also look forward to introducing him to the equine obstacle course at Happenstance Stables as a great trust-building exercise and trail training. And maybe one day, "Africa" willing, we may try for the "War Horse" in-hand class at the New Vocations Charity Horse Show.I know we still have a very long, and at times bumpy, road ahead of us but it has been such a fulfilling journey so far. To see "Africa" contentedly amble up to me in the field, looking for a scratch or a pat or respond willingly when I ask something new from him sends such a thrill through me. He is quite an amazing horse and it warms my heart to see him so happy knowing he is safe and loved in his forever home." - Molly McOwen, DVM Lebanon, OH