Custom blog header by Bre!

In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Success Stories

(Sunday Success Stories are a new series here at Eventing-A-Gogo. Each week, we feature a reader's own personal journey through overcoming difficulty and adversity, sometimes against all odds, and pulling through no matter what. These stories are about those who never gave up, and who made a difference in the life of an animal who just needed a little love and care in order to turn around and really bloom again. Send your success stories, past or present, to!)

This week's Sunday Success Story comes from our very own Denali's Mom, who blogs over at Green N' Green = Black N' Blue. (Find more about Denali's background here.) Denali has had more than her fair share of bad luck, from getting dumped at the auction to contracting EPM to injuring her suspensory, and yet her mother never gives up (and gives us lots to read about every day!). Theirs is a story of neverending perseverance, and I know I can speak for all of us when I say we're cheering them on every day. Denali's Mom is currently saving up money to send Denali to the Pegasus Rehabilitation Center, and saving ain't easy - trust me, I know! If you are interested in helping them along, go check out Denali's rehab blog and donate!

Denali's Story

I was not horse shopping. I was leasing an awesome ex-eventer named Yukon and loved him dearly. I went to the Enumclaw Auction for the tack. I joked that I left my check book at home on purpose. Good thing they take Discover!

We got there late and I decided to wander around and look at the horses. I knew it would depress me, but I figured I could love on them and hopefully make them feel better. I counted the horses and wished each of them luck. At number 32 I saw her. Head down, and nose in the corner of her "stall (cell?)" She looked so sad. She perked up when she saw me and gave me this look. This look that said, "Lady I don't know you, and you don't know me, but I need out of here now." I talked to her owner and she told me that she was a 3 year old Appendix. I didn't care what she was, I felt a connection to her and new that she couldn't go out of the auction to a feed lot.

Next thing I knew I was standing in line to pay for my black/bay mare with my Discover Card. We loaded her up and took her home. Somewhere between Enumclaw and Redmond the ACE wore off and I unloaded a wild animal. She was scared, she was crazy, and she was beautiful. She galloped around the arena and it seemed to take hours for her to finally calm down. She wouldn't let anyone near her and she'd kick if they tried. We seemed to have an understanding, and I was able to get a halter on her and we worked on leading. In the next few days all I needed to know about my new horse, Denali, would come into light. She threw a shoe, I found her tattoo, and realized just how much over my head I was. My 3 year old Appendix was really a 4 year old Thoroughbred. I called the Jockey Club and found out her registered name was "Storm City Slew."

I contacted her trainer at Emerald Downs and he cried when I told him where I bought her from. I found out that wife of the most winningest jockey at Emerald Downs promised her a forever home. That lasted for about 4 hours and then she went to the auction.

We worked on natural horsemanship and she grew to trust me. Two months later, September 2008, I moved to Denmark. I left her with a friend and thought about her every single day. All day. I came home in January 2009 to a totally different horse. She was 200 pounds under weight and spooked at everything. EVERYTHING. She would try to kick me any chance she had. She was depressed, and very upset. She hadn't been turned out in more than a paddock, and had no muscle tone.

I quickly moved her to a new barn when my issues started. I was terrified of her. I bawled when the trailer came to pick her up. I couldn't even load her. My dream horse, the horse I had worked so hard with to trust me, was angry and unsafe.

Through lots of time off, and re-starting her undersaddle she's come back around. She is amazing undersaddle and works hard. I'm still getting over my fear issues of her, but love her more than anything. In September she hurt her leg, in October she was diagnosed with EPM and was successfully treated and now she tore her suspensory. I can't tell you how much money I've spent on her, I refuse to add it up again. I can tell you that neither of us are perfect, but that we've both been through hell. We're still going through it. I hope to ride out on the other side with her.

There is much more to be read over at Green N' Green = Black N' Blue. Denali and Gogo have some pretty similar tendencies, I can tell you that!! Send all your healing thoughts over to Denali and her momma, they need them now for sure!

(Send your submissions and stories to! This series is new and can't get underway without YOU! Gogo wants you to!)


Gryph said...

I donated as much as I could afford. Please get better soon, Denali! Maybe someday your mom'll let me come visit you! (If I can ever afford to get to the opposite side of the country, too.)


Denali's Mom said...

Gryph! A million thank yous!! If you ever want to come visit you are more than welcome!

Andrea, thanks for such a wonderful intro! It's beautiful! Now Ms. Slew is getting surgery on her other leg. Seriously. Ugh!