Juliana suffered a horrific truck and trailer accident. Standing at about 16 hands, the beautiful halter horse was sold to her new owners for $10,000. Little did the family know what they were getting themselves into; Juliana’s mental scars troubled her new owners. After numerous trainers, the vet agreed with them, perhaps euthanasia was the only solution for a “crazy” untrainable horse like Juliana. She bucked, charged, bit and kicked. Juliana couldn’t get it together and everyone was just about fed up, except for Cassie Kendall ‘15.
“I feel as though horses shouldn’t be treated any different than humans. We all can persevere to find a valuable purpose in the world. Horses, if given the opportunity, can redeem themselves too. Knowing I can be a part of that is by far the best feeling in the world.” says Kendall. Kendall had to approach Juliana with poise and caution. Challenged by Juliana, Kendall struggled to catch her.
` It all began around winter time. Kendall had one goal, to be able to groom the horse from head to tail in a safe manner, meaning no kicks would be fired. Kendall’s method included working with Juliana four times a week, taking a half-hour to an hour focusing solely on grooming. At first, Kendall couldn’t get her hands anywhere past the horse’s face without Juliana trying to kick her. Through time and patience, though, Kendall and Juliana bonded, and the progress was noticeable. By April, Kendall could pick Juliana’s hooves and touch her rear with no difficulties. It was time for Kendall to hop on.
Juliana’s progress was put to the test during the Salvation Army Applefest, when another horse was diagnosed with an abscess the night before the big day. It was Juliana’s chance to prove herself. Despite the doubt the barn members had, Juliana ended up behaving better than all the other horses that attended. Her slow pace allowed for minimal discomfort for children of all ages. Juliana was in a new environment with countless unfamiliar people. Kendall led her around and because Juliana trusted Kendall, she knew that no harm would come her way.
Kendall’s learned a thing or two about perseverance when it comes to horses. She shared another story regarding Theo, a Persian and Paint crossbreed, who would buck her off at least three times in 40 minutes.
“If you don’t get back on in that moment, you’ll never get back on out of fear of what might happen,” Kendall shared.
And she’s completely right; the horses remember those days their rider faced defeat. Kendall never gave up, and through her actions, a superstar was created. Theo is now leased by a sophomore at Souhegan High School. Theo has proved his skills ,entering his first horse show [in dressage] this year.