Sam was turned into Horses’ Honor at age 19 in 2008 when he was no longer sound enough for dressage riding. He is a handsome bay Thoroughbred gelding, now in his twenties. He had been aloof towards humans while at the rescue, suspicious of approach and nearly impossible to catch at worming time, seeming to tolerate grooming rather than enjoy being touched. He was happy to have nothing to do with people, content in his very large pasture with the company of several other horses. He gets senior feed to supplement his hay.
When Sam was moved to our permanent property in Lincoln, Eric made a concentrated effort to win him over, wooing him with hand fed carrots and loving touch. It has taken months but now Sam seems quite pleased to come forward for his twice daily treats and permits himself to be rubbed and scratched. He is still head shy, flinching when a hand approaches, only enduring being touched on the face, and retreating from the contact as soon as possible. Little wonder. While being examined by our Equine Veterinarian, Kris Bartow, a terrible truth was found, the reason Sam is afraid.
When a horse gets his teeth examined it is common practice to hold onto the tongue to avoid being bitten and to view the teeth. When Doc Kris reached in to grab Sam’s tongue he pulled his hand back in revulsion. Sam’s tongue is held on by the only the slightest band of flesh. Somewhere in his past, a rider used a bit so cruelly that his tongue was nearly severed. Poor Sam! No wonder he distrusts! No wonder he fears his face being touched!
Sam will live in permanent rescue here for the rest of his life. Never again will he endure mistreatment at the hands of mankind. He will be treated with loving respect until the end of his days.