Cherokee came to us in 2007 through our Farrier. One of his other clients was losing their farm due to a nasty divorce. They asked him to transport her to the local auction for them. Fortunately, instead of taking her directly to the auction, he took a chance that one of our riding students might take a fancy to her, and dropped her off in our barn instead. We came home to a strange pony in the barn and a message on our answering machine from our farrier.
Given just a week to find her a home, we allowed all of our young advanced riding students to try her out. We could tell that she had only ever been ridden bareback in a halter. However, this young pony calmly accepted everything and everybody. By the end of that week, a young girl had fallen in love with her. That young girl just happened to be our daughter, Katie.
So, though we had sworn off ponies some years before, we ended up buying this pony.
Rarely do you ever run across the perfect pony. The pony who will tip toe while carrying frightened new little bitty riders on her back - but will also eagerly gallop 25 miles to top ten against Arabians with an experienced 8 year old on her back. Cherokee is that perfect one-in-a-million pony! The fact that she's both gaited and colorful are just icing on the cake.
In 2009, at the young age of 5, Cherokee began to develop a periodic cough. Despite the best of veterinary care and medications, by 2012, these mild allergies swiftly developed into chronic full blown asthma attacks. This is what heaves in horses basically is - allergy induced COPD and asthma. When all traditional treatments failed, we resorted to having her full allergy tested and started her on allergy shots. If this last ditch treatment didn't work, we had to consider euthanization as she did not have any quality of life.
Just six months later, Cherokee placed 2nd out of a field of 40+ arabians in a fast 25 mile endurance race! To say that allergy shots worked - is an understatement! They worked a miracle! From 2013-2016, she was one of our main LD endurance mounts. All thanks to continued allergy shots.
Due to the extreme nature of her allergies, Cherokee will likely need retesting and reformulation of allergy shots every 2 years. For us, the expense is more than worth it. Though she still sometimes has a mild cough due to ragweed pollen and weeds in the hay, she is enjoying life fully as the alpha lead mare of our small herd.
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