Germaniac arrived at Kate’s after being released from his racing career by his trainers into a program called Turning For Home. He had suffered a sesamoid injury while racing.
This was no ordinary Thoroughbred.
For starters, he prances around as if the entire world is watching just him. He holds his tail up high and then it flops over into a curl, while his neck arches into the perfect imitation of a dressage horse. I’ve seen him lift up each leg as he gallops as if he is a ballerina. He snorts and blows into the air catching every scent.
I had promised myself to NOT fall in love with another OTTB from Turning for Home sent to Safe Haven. The first two were not going to be mine because for starters, we lived in brand new house on a tiny plot of land fifteen minutes away.
If I’m going to fall in love with a dream horse, the dream house would have to go.
And it did.
Germaniac was nicknamed named “Manny” by Kate’s barn of volunteers who exercise the horses, muck stalls and do the never ending chores that all stables demand.
I showed up one day and there he was in one of the round pens getting exercise.
Manny presented me with a peacock feather that he plucked from one of Kate’s peacocks that had strolled inside and presented it to me.
We bought him a big blue ball.
Kate gave him all the time he needed to rest and heal until he was ready for his new home.
Nobody would take him. He was given the prognosis of “pasture horse” and “maybe lightly ridden”.
But he would have to calm down and this was a horse that was afraid of rain puddles.
We bought him a farm. It was 2017. We named the property Dancing Timber.
Adoption of a horse through Turning for Home is an adoption for the life of the horse. If you can’t for any reason keep the horse, they take it back and find it a new forever home.
The barn restoration would have taken years.
Manny needed a friend.
More Land Please
We left a new sparkling perfect house with maroon shutters and drywall to live in the most incredibly gorgeous stone farmhouse with authentic wood floors, 3 working fireplaces (out of five), an inground pool and home office featuring real stone walls and last 2 years.
Manny and my husband really needed more land.
We settled at the end of December 2019 on a 10 acre property in the next county bordering a gigantic state park and had a 3 stall, one tack room barn built while Manny lived at Safe Haven and ran with many horses.
When the barn was up, and we had built the beginnings of space for horses to be horses, Kate arrived with her truck and horse trailer. This time she came with Manny and another horse to keep him company.
Ten months later, she switched out horses and delivered another OTTB nicknamed Billy. He and Manny became fast friends. We built a riding ring and wait for Kate to match me with a horse I can ride.
We know Safe Haven is a place of magic. Kate is gifted in her work matching humans and horses. When you visit Safe Haven Thoroughbred Rescue you might see stalls filled with horses in varying stages of healing or training for their next careers once they are no longer racehorses.
You also may figure out that this famous woman has made nearly every financial, health and personal sacrifice for them.
With their new non-profit status, it is easy to support Safe Haven now. There are many horses who need their forever homes and people hoping to find them.
Written by: Kim Krause Berg
A longer version of this story and photo gallery are located at How A Horse Sold Real Estate