Mary Grace + Patch Parker
‘Patch Parker’ as I call him use to be a fine harness and park pleasure horse in the Southern states. He even attended the Saddlebred world championship show. He ended up in an auction pen in Kentucky before getting in a trailering accident that left his body with trauma. Thankfully the Saddlebred Legacy program was able to step in and save him.
I was cleaning stalls at a barn down the road from my family’s home, Mulligan Manor. A few weeks into working there on my weekends the Legacy program sent two horses up to the barn. The first morning after they arrived, I ended up cleaning one of the new horse’s stall. At first I was frightened of the tall wide eyed animal in the stall with me. Patch Parker slowly started to become more used to my presence and obviously the other people that saw him throughout the week. He came in the barn with the name ‘Patch.’ That needed to change in my mind so he became Patch Parker because I thought that was more refined and fitting for him.
I didn’t ride or drive him before I decided I needed to have him. I wanted him to have a good life just with peace and without the stress that he was used to. He enjoyed our time together when I brushed him in the afternoon after I got off work and hand walking. For my birthday I received a driving lesson with him, and I fell in love with the rush. Flash forward to the fall/winter of 2017 and he moved to Hudson, WI for me to just mess around with. His body had gone through much trauma that he needed to gain some additional weight. I hopped on him a few nights a week bareback and rode around for fun.
He had moments where he tried to bring out the old fancy show horse he was. Another flash forward to spring of 2018 I personally had moved into a house with a young upcoming trainer and was able to bring him with. It all started out the same; just messing around for fun, but the show horse moments kept coming. Mandy of Empyrean Stables saw them as well. She was able to get him into the show ring under saddle that June! It was such a great treat for me to watch.
I thought I needed to have a little fun as well, so a few months later she was able to pull him and I together to go to a local saddlebred show where they offered a class for rescue horses. It was so rewarding, I couldn’t have been happier with the big guy. Today we are back to our daily routine of messing around outside and late evening rides with long grooming sessions. We will see what next show season brings. Those are some highlights, but there was many ups and downs and I wouldn’t change it.
What #RightHorse means to me
#RightHorse is a horse that brought many ups and downs. With having small highlights that put you over the moon just thinking of how far he has come. He is an animal that challenges me in many ways and pushing my levels as a rider. I had been scared of driving and he opened my eyes to how fun it is. Patch Parker and I have very different personalities, but they play off each other. It’s cheesey but he needed me to just let him be a horse and to have a person that was his. I needed him to open my eyes to new things and grow my outlook on things as far as entering a new breed coming from the Arabian world.