It was a random day in April that 'Fred' came up on our timeline on Facebook. Fred was at the Bastrop Kill Pen and available for a small window of time for rescue before being shipped to Mexico for slaughter...

I don't know what it was about this big red boy, but he caught our eye. We've tried horse rescue before and it broke our hearts when we lost Amari back in the fall of 2015. We had rescued her from the kill lot in Kaufman, but despite our best efforts and the best vets in our area, we weren't able to help Amari overcome years of malnutrition and neglect.

So, with hopeful hearts, we paid for Fred, sight unseen on PayPal, and waited until we could pick him up. It turns out, Fred didn't have all of the necessary paperwork, so we had to wait over a week to pick him up. When his coggins finally came in, there was no name listed and since they didn't know his previous owner, they had to list the shipper who brought him from Indiana to Bastrop as the owner.

We did a lot of sleuthing to find out more about Fred. My mom called the auction where he was purchased to no avail. We tracked down the shipper and the vet who issued his coggins. Heck, my mom even called every microchip company online that we could find to get more info. 'Fred' had a microchip, but no one bothered to register it. 'Fred' was truly a 'horse with no name,' a complete mystery. Of course, he was advertised as a 12-year-old. Turns out he's closer to 17, but who's counting? He's supposedly a Belgian/TB cross who has fox hunted, but with nothing to reference, who knows?

It's tough when you don't know anything about an animal. Fred is a blank slate. Thankfully, he's been good as gold so far and all of his vet checks have gone well! He's still pretty banged up, but he's slowly putting on weight and only time, nutrition and a good farrier will straighten him and his poor feet out. So far the recipe for success with Fred has been groceries and lots of love and attention. The only thing he hasn't been good with so far is fly spray, but he probably didn't need it as much in Indiana as he does now... He's slowing getting the idea!

We brought Fred home to our farm after he quarantined with a friend for 21 days. After several check ups, we thought it was safe to forego the full 30 days. Plus, we couldn't wait to get him home!

So why the name 'Fred?' My mom liked it. He's big red Fred! Plus, he seems to answer to it, so why not? After all, the horse has gorgeous gaits/moves, so naming him after Fred Astaire isn't too weird, is it?

Either way, after lots of TLC and handling, yesterday was the day. My husband Keith has really connected with Fred and he wanted to be the first one to ride him, so who were we to argue! Here are some of the pictures and video from his first time under saddle in his new home... you know I can't wait to put an English saddle on his back!


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