tl;dr – Kate is now living on a horse ranch near Deming, WA where she will be working to help manage Gypsy Vanner breedstock.
This spring we started realizing that full-time jobs, growing our own food, and experimenting with our chicken enterprise were negatively impacting our time with Kate. Many ‘horse people’ make their equine activities a centerpoint of their lives. Dressage, barrel racing, trail riding, showing, etc. But Kate had always been just one part of our life at Seven Trees, and it was becoming increasingly tough to do right by her. We sat down for a close look at the pros and cons of keeping vs. selling her, and got as far as writing up an ad page for the blog, but decided to give it another try.
Then Kate went to her annual vet check and we found out that she was 100# overweight. We quickly researched ideas for diet, exercise and housing changes, which would be better for Kate, but would greatly exacerbate our time & money crunch.
It was time to see if someone out there could give Kate a better life. It has been our experience with selling livestock that as soon as you want/need to rehome a critter, no one is interested, especially not at a fair price. We listed Kate on Craigslist, fully expecting that we might still need to care for her indefinitely. But within an hour of the ad going live we had numerous inquiries. People were looking for a dressage horse, trail horse, and more to our liking, a working ranch horse.
We ended up taking Kate out to her future new home to check the place out and see how she reacted. She was so excited to be around other horses, and to have room to really stretch out and run, that we knew this was the right choice. When it was time to load her back on the trailer, she was reluctant to leave. Her new person, also named Kate, was happy to take her right then and there, so the deal was made.
Kate will be used as a general ranch horse, since the breeding stock aren’t rideable. She has a show horse for a stable buddy, plus 24/7 people around. The facility is on 174 acres with Nooksack river frontage, 2 arenas, covered round pen, spotlessly clean & roomy stables, and plenty of equine friends to run with. Kate’s cart is going with her, so she can continue her driving lessons, and we have visiting privileges too.
It was a hard decision, but in the end, better for Kate and us. We hope to share some pictures of her soon, enjoying her new home.