Beautiful Benjamin is our gentle giant, standing at 18 hands – a whole hand higher than the average height of a shire. He’s an old Irish draft horse who’s with us for his retirement years.
Like lots of larger horses, he’s spent most of his days in working environments. He was regarded as a highly valuable horse, beginning his working life as a stud horse, before becoming master of the hunt, and in time a school master. Later in his career, he was used as an RDA (riding for the disabled association) horse and then a trekking horse – he’s had quite a life.
However, unlike our other retired horses, Benjamin was not in good health. In fact, in his first vetting, the exercise part of the test had to be halted due to Benjamin’s alarming breathing. The vet we worked with can only be described as wonderful, spending 6 hours explaining his extensive health complications to us and creating a plan of action. To put it simply, Benjamin’s eyes and ears were the only parts of him that were sound. He was giving up.
The two years that followed saw Benjamin introduced to hard feed to get his weight back up, as well as an impressive number of supplements and wardrobe of rugs. His vet visits cost between £800 and £900 per go – he’s a big boy to medicate! But we were determined not to give up on Benjamin; he deserved a happy retirement and we wanted to provide it for him.
Thankfully, Benjamin is now thriving. He gets daily TLC, and some well-deserved rest and relaxation has brought his soul back to life. He has 13 acres to roam at his pleasure, as well as companionship, his open stable at night, large breakfasts, dinners and, of course, endless attention.
We’re happy to say Benjamin’s already lived past the life expectancy given to him by the veterinary professionals – in fact, in recent years, a farrier told us he had years left in him.
Our big boy is proof that older horses can not only enjoy but thrive in their retirement homes. To keep him healthy and happy in his later years, we ask you to consider helping us care for Benjamin by purchasing him a gift below.