Merky (aka Merk-A-Roo) is a 20 year old off-the-track Thoroughbred. He worked as a racehorse in New York for two years. His race record was not what you would call impressive – basically, he didn’t have the “fire in his belly” that would have made him want to win races. At least one vet has attributed his lackluster record to his temperament. He’s sweet, cooperative, and doesn’t compete with horses or humans for any sort of leadership/dominant role.
On the upside, what made him unsuccessful as a racehorse is what took him to his next job. His temperament was perfect for a “babysitter.” He basically hung out with younger horses teaching them horse manners and socialization. From what we know, he did this for a number of years before being sold to a riding instructor as a lesson horse. His kind temperament made him a great lesson horse, but being a Thoroughbred, he was pretty sensitive. He didn’t do well with beginner riders using hard cues. His feet were typical Thoroughbred feet and it became hard to keep weight on him. At this point, he simply became too expensive and unable to “earn his keep” and was sold.
Merky came to us when he was discovered to have a chronic issue with the navicular bursa and a tendon in his left front. It’s never good when you hear the words “permanent” “chronic” and “degenerative.” We will never know how the initial injury occurred, but the vets believed that it had been progressing over a period of years –and had reached the point that he suffered from a sore back and be off on the right rear when ridden.
Merky’s transition into the Saving Grace Farm fold has been an easy one. Through the generous donation of an anonymous sponsor, we are able to pay for his board and care at the same facility he’s lived at for the past five years. Not much has changed, from Merky’s perspective, he has the same friends, the same stall and the same routine he had before, but with no work required on his behalf. He’s not aware of the fact that we are now writing all of the checks—and, frankly, that is fine with me! He is perhaps the sweetest, most gentle, willing horse I’ve ever met – one look into his great big kind brown eyes and you know that he deserves a great retirement. And that is just what he’s going to get!