At first glance Charlotte may seem big, black, and ominous, but it doesn't take long after that first glance to realize she is the sweetest most easy-going horse around. She was born in Canada at a Premarin factory, and soon after her birth she was shipped to Salem, Virginia to a 16 year old girl at an eventing barn named Mount Regis. This girl trained her completely on her own, and eventually evented her a few times, but she had to result to selling her because Charlotte was not bred to do the upper level things this girl was ready for.
My mom bought her from this farm in 2006 and has been happy with her ever since. She has taken Charlotte to two Harry Whitney clinics, and each time their relationship grows and Charlotte becomes more willing to pass over the leadership to my mom.
I have ridden and worked with Charlotte quite a bit in the last four years that we've owner her, and she is truly a nice horse. She takes care of her rider and tends to be on the slower side, but when she gets going she moves really nicely as well. She is gentle natured and slow, which makes her great for trail riding or for carrying around our family who is not as experienced. She does great with kids, and is just all around a really spectacular horse.
However, Charlotte is the herd leader, and where she probably struggles most is handing over leadership and authority to humans. She likes to be in control, though she does so subtly. She will allow and tolerate a lot, but she also can have temper tantrums or moments in which she acts defiantly. She has become much more trusting in humans' plans in the past couple of years in the work we've been doing, but she still can have her moments of bossiness.
This past summer, while at the Harry Whitney clinic, Charlotte came up lame in her left front leg. No one at the camp was able to diagnose the lameness, so we thought it to be an abscess. After returning home, we gave her a couple weeks off in hopes to see some improvement in her gait, but this was to no avail. We scheduled the Virginia Tech vets to come out, and after several visits, x-rays, nerve blocks, and flexion tests, Charlotte was diagnosed with Navicular Syndrome.
This came as a shock to everyone who heard. This seemed like a very unlikely possibility because her feet were so healthy, she hadn't been ridden very hard in her life, and even her breeding didn't predispose her to the disease. However, there was radio-graphic evidence, so we changed her diet, and put corrective Natural Balance shoes on her. These shoes seemed to help her initially to move her break-over point further back along with provide heel pain relief, but the change wasn't consistent.
Now Charlotte shoes have been pulled, and we have opted for giving her time off to rest in the pasture. Sometimes all a horse needs is some time off, and often they can remedy themselves. Therefore, for the time being Charlotte is enjoying the pasture life in our field, and fills her days with monitoring the boys' antics and enjoying the daily scratches we give her.
Full Name: Sweet Charlotte
Nickname: Charlotte, Char
Age: 8 years old
Breed: Quarter Horse/Percheron
Height: 15.2 hh
Favorite Toy: anything she can chew on or pick up with her mouth
Favorite Treat: watermelon
Favorite Drink: Diet Coke
Favorite Place: wherever she can find lush grass
Favorite Activity: rolling in dirt