Chances’ story differs slightly from the other residents. She is a 10 year old standardbred that spent most of her life in the racing industry – a harness racer. She had many successful races and won a lot of money in her short life. Sadly, once she began to lose, she became useless and was destined for the slaughter pipeline.
She was pulled directly off the race track and brought to her forever home at the sanctuary. It took nearly two years for her to settle in. She had no idea how to “be a horse”. She had spent the majority of her past life in stalls, training or racing and was never allowed to be free. Chances did not even know how to graze on grass, let alone interact with other horses. In the beginning she did not demonstrate a flight reaction. When all the other horses reacted by moving away after being startled, Chances would turn to fight. Raised in confinement and never turned out, her natural instinct to flight seemed to have not been lost. What's interesting is that she now reacts like her herd members, again proving that the most effective 'teachers' are a horse's own four legged companions.
She started out at the sanctuary with one other horse – Prince. She became very bonded to him and somewhat overprotective. Prince was in his senior years and not quite up to the task of living with the active Chances. She was introduced into a larger herd (the ladies!) and it was not long before she found herself. Today, Chances is a different horse. Slowly, using reward-based methods, we are building a mutual trust with her. It's been a privilege to watch her find her place in her little group of friends. She now feels confident enough to greet people and accept gentle interactions with them.
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