Back on Track ‘Horse Therapy’: Bailey & Crocker

“We can get through anything if we believe.”


My name is Bailey Knepper and this is a story about one of the hardest times of my life. I compete in the equine event known as rodeo. I have been competing in rodeo since I was four.  Now I am fifteen and I still love the sport.

About three months ago I received news that I never thought would happen to my horse, even though growing up I had seen many horses be affected. The thing that I am talking about is navicular, the thing every horse owner dreads. My main rodeo horse at the time, known as Crocker, was diagnosed with a start of ringbone and navicular.

One day, I tacked Crocker up as I was getting him ready to travel to Wyoming and compete in the National High School Rodeo. As I was riding him, he seemed to be off; I sent a video to my vet. My vet told me to come down the next day since I was leaving at the end of that week. As we were viewing the x-rays he pointed out that navicular and ringbone were starting to develop.

When I found this out, I lost all hope. I did not know how to handle the situation and thought my rodeo season was over. My vet reassured me that Crocker and I would make it through with treatments and therapy. The treatment would stop the development and the therapy would help him feel better. Even hearing this I still had little hope.

Crocker received his treatment and we turned to Back On Track for the therapy. Treating him daily by wrapping his legs with my Back On Track no-bow wraps helped him tremendously. As the days went by I feared that the rodeo in Wyoming would be the last time I would get to run the horse I had been riding since I was eleven and traveled the country competing on.

Then one day while riding Crocker I noticed that he was riding like he did the first year I got him. It changed my perspective that everything would be alright, and that this was only happening for a reason. We traveled to Wyoming all the way from Ohio. Crocker handled everything well, and went out in the arena and ran like he did when he was at the top of his game. He showed me that all I had to do was believe.

Incredibly, Crocker is still sound and the problems that I thought were going to end my career with him have been pushed to the side. We are back and competitive in breakaway roping and goat tying. Crocker coming up lame has opened many doors for me, such a receiving a new barrel horse that is my pride and joy, and respecting all of the effort that Crocker has provided.

My horse Crocker taught me that we can get through anything if we believe and when something bad happens there is something great to come!

Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines and the lessons horses have taught us — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!

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