On Tuesday, HN Classifeds re-posted this Lexington Craig’s List ad for a dressage horse that seemed too good to be true. What happened in the 48 hours that followed may leave you reaching for a tissue.
As posted on Horse Nation on Tuesday:
Here’s a synopsis of the rest of the story, as it played out on the Chronicle of the Horse dressage forums.
First, “RedRyderKy” posted a link to the ad, asking whether anyone recognized the horse. “I posted this in hopes that someone knows him and will go get him,” she explained. (The thread title has since been updated.)
Another poster, “carasmom,” recognized the seller as a local horse dealer with a spotty reputation. “Marex2” called the seller, who responded that she had limited knowledge of the horse’s history.
“NJRider” noticed an old ad on an Oklahoma dressage website for a horse named Eclipse that sounded strikingly similar to the one in the Craig’s List ad, except with a higher price tag and a couple year’s age difference.
The horse’s former trainer was contacted and it was confirmed that the Craig’s List horse was, in fact, Eclipse. How the horse went from being a competitive dressage horse to standing in a dealer’s lot in a western saddle was still a mystery. But what was immediately evident was the fact that the horse was in trouble.
Meanwhile, word continued to spread about the horse.
The search was on to find the horse a good home.
Someone was able to contact one of Eclipse’s former owners, Mary, and alert her to the situation.
The rest of Eclipse’s story surfaced shortly thereafter.
“Flying Hearts” went to try Eclipse and found him to be fairly lame, but noted that between bad arena footing and neglected hooves, it might be something that could be rectified. She was hesitant to spend $2,000 on a horse that may or may not be rideable, but then Eclipse’s former owner Mary stepped in with a generous offer to contribute toward the horse’s purchase price and retire him herself if he wasn’t up to a return to riding.
What a happy ending, and a testament to the power of social media and the heart of caring horse people!