Quest

(1999 – )
Owned by Days End Farm Horse Rescue
Inducted: 2018

Photos

When Quest came to Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) in the summer of 2015, he was skeletal and riddled with parasites. He had the worst case of hoof neglect the DEFHR staff had ever seen. He and two other horses had been kept locked in stalls for over 10 years, and their hooves had never been trimmed. Quest's were 3 feet long!

Although he hadn't been handled in many years, on the day he was rescued, Quest seemed to know that the humans were there to help, and quietly walked onto the trailer to start his new life.

In critical care at DEFHR, the veterinarian teamed up with the farrier to develop a plan to carefully work on Quest's hooves and legs so that he could recover enough to be pain free. They knew it would take many months, and their hope was for him to be able to run with the herd and roam freely in green pastures. They didn't really think he would ever be able to do much more than that.

Quest would surprise everyone. Just five months after his arrival, the vet and farrier said his legs looked remarkably good, and he was cleared to start ground training. Leigha Schrader, DEFHR’s Assistant Trainer, started working with Quest, doing basic ground work to prepare him to be easily led and handled. Eventually she started him under saddle.

They had some ups and downs, but through it all, they developed an unmistakable connection and relationship. They explored trails together, demonstrated ground work to many volunteer groups as well as showed their talent as an at-liberty duo at several county fairs.

Leigha had fun teaching Quest tricks, like standing with his front legs on a step, bowing and lying down on command. Quest was a feature presentation at DEFHR’s Fall Festival in September 2017, where a packed crowd watched Leigha take him through their at-liberty program.

"Quest has inspired me every day with his forgiveness, his strength and his gratefulness for life all around him," said Leigha. "It would have been a miracle if he could just run in a field again, but Quest surpassed every odd he had against him. When I first started working with Quest, I had no idea he would transform into the pony he is today."

After being locked in a stall for over 10 years, everything was new for him. Leigha was there for so many firsts. His first bath. His first ride. His first time off the farm. His first show. His first trail ride. All of which he took in stride.

Quest became an equine ambassador at DEFHR, helping train volunteers doing horse chores, educate youths in horse care, raise awareness of equine abuse and neglect, and provide therapeutic down time for his grooming sponsors. At the farm, he touched the lives of dozens of supporters. At off-site events, his at-liberty performances with trainer Leigha Schrader stirred the hearts of thousands.

Following the September event, Quest was adopted and found his forever home. "I wish everyone has the opportunity to have a relationship with a horse this powerful," said Leigha. "I know that he is grateful for his new life, and I am grateful for what he did for me every day. He is just so special. He is one of those golden, once-in-a-life-time ponies."