Bucking mare with bad rep is now show horse
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From: Off Track Thoroughbreds
By: Susan Salk
She’d had a tough life, and she could be fierce.
Especially when bucking for all the world like a bronco, and not the broodmare she actually was.
But underneath the tough exterior beat the heart of a true friend, a good horse looking only for someone to unlock her potential.
“The first time I rode her, I put a western saddle on to give myself a fighting chance,” recalls Nora Tarpley, a horse trainer with 30 years experience who admits her reticence when saddling Chic the first time. “Everybody thought I was nuts for riding her.”
Back in 2005, she was a pregnant refugee from a devastated farm. So hard to look at when Tarpley first examined her that the longtime horseman couldn’t bare to take her photo. Who wanted to remember that?
But the image is still crystal clear: Chic’s ribs jutted sharply beneath a sparse tangle of matted hair and her mane grew into long dreadlocks.