Jessica + Zabarajad

by | Dec 2017 | Story

Breed Thoroughbred

Age 9

Sex Gelding

Color Bay

Height 16.1hh

My husband and I imported Zabarajad from Ireland in 2012. He is an extremely well-bred and well-built horse. By age two, he was famous and expectations in Ireland were very high. He raced in Ireland and Dubai. He did not perform as expected, and was deemed by many that worked with him to be a “difficult horse.” Two years later, he ended up at the Horses In Training auction in Ireland. My husband, a racehorse trainer, fell in love with him. He was shipped to us in the United States a week later.

Zabarajad was a difficult racehorse, and aggressively biting people was not uncommon. He was extremely fast, but ran many mediocre races and was generally grouchy. However, my husband always said he was good to ride and continued to try different things. Zabarajad did end up winning a very respectable turf race by 2.5 lengths.

After some more racing, Zabarajad developed a chip in his knee which we had removed. My husband had him x-rayed after his recovery time, before he put him back into training. We discussed the x-ray with our vet and he said he could race but would develop arthritis in the knee which would get worse from running. We decided to retire him that day. Scott initially planned on making Zabarajad a pony horse, so he went to be trained for two months. While he was away being trained, the plan somehow shifted from him becoming a pony horse to him becoming my horse. It was a shocking idea, though I was getting great reports from the gentlemen that was retraining him. I have a type of muscular dystrophy and am not that strong; Zabarajad is extremely strong and, as mentioned, can be very feisty.

I went to the trainer’s farm and very nervously got on Zabarajad for the first time in a western saddle. I normally ride English, but I felt that I needed the extra security of a western. The ride went really well. We didn’t do anything fancy, but it was exhilarating…and that is how the last three years has gone for us.

Zabarajad has always been gentle and kind to me. He has given me countless hours of joy, and has given me confidence in my riding again. He is strong where I am not, he is fast when I am not, and he is a rock when I am uncertain. In return, I have given him understanding that I don’t think he’s ever had. He did not want to be a racehorse…he wanted to be my horse.


What #RightHorse means to me

A #RightHorse means a relationship between a horse and a person where both sides are getting absolute fulfillment.


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