Astar’s Background Story


Absarokee Astar (originally Absarokee YoPy), a Foundation Appaloosa, born in Ohio, Absorokee Astaris a very sweet horse who came to me in 2002 abused and neglected…. as a 3 year old. In 2006, after watching the movie, “Dreamer”, where an injured race horse gets a second chance, God impressed upon me that my horse needed a new name.

My mom, who has a gifting of speaking with animals (yes, it’s real) asked him what he wanted his name to be and his answer was “I want to be a star” – which we interpreted as the name of a star in the sky. So we went on a search for a cool name of a star or a native american word that would have a meaning of strength, courage, calm yet strong. After searching the Native American dictionaries and translation rescource, trying out many names and my horse being nameless for several months it dawned on us that the name he had actually chosen was “Astar” I went outside the moment I learned this and called his name — “Astar” and he picked his head up and look square at me as if to say “you finally got it!… yes, that’s my name” I just smiled.

Since his name change Astar has really begun coming into his own and it is wonderful to watch!

Now – backing up — By the time Astar arrived at my dear friend Kaite’s house, his experiences included quite an abusive past — physically and mentally — Astar’s spirit was pretty much broken….I did not learn all the details of his abuse until much more recently….but we connected and understood each other from the moment we met. And although he seemed he didn’t want much to do with humans, my heart went out to him and realized that he IS the perfect horse for me just as my friend, Kaite had told me before she introduced us.

I became his 5th owner — and have often equated him to a foster child who was never fully given a chance by his previous owners; whose spirit was broken because he disobeyed; who never was seen for the truly wonderful horse that he could be; who nobody wanted…until now.

Absarokee AstarSince the day I said “yes” and took him into my heart, Astar has been my miracle horse both in physical and in spiritual ways! Some ways that are almost too big sometimes to explain or comprehend. Let me just take a moment to share some of the miracles we’ve experienced together – that God has done in Astar’s and my life.

When I purchased him, he was a cryptorchid – which for those of you who don’t know – that means that only one of his testicals had dropped. And if they hadn’t dropped by the time he was 3, then they probably weren’t going to….according to Veterinary Medicine. This meant, if I wanted to geld him, that he would have to have surgery – expensive surgery. I did not have the money but I knew God wanted me to have this horse. So I started praying and believing that Astar would be healed. Within months of praying and asking God, he dropped the other one and was able to have the normal, less expensive procedure to geld him! Truly a miracle.

And after he was gelded, I began working with him again and we made progress on a couple of his trust issues. My friend who was keeping him, was living in Lake City at the time so I would travel weekly to visit in hopes of one day being able to bring him to a place of my own. We went from not being able to touch his head to being able to put a halter on him; to walking him around the property, grooming him and even picking up his feet.

In 2003, I bought my farm in Archer, Florida, built a fence around a portion of my 5 acres and brought him here along with another horse, Damien, to live here…. with the craziness of settling in, we didn’t work together as much. And when we did, he had taken a few steps back and picking up the feet became an issue.

We kept practicing patience with Astar. With his abusive past, we were not about to push him into doing things — he had learned his only method of defense was to fight. Hi natural flight instinct had been taken away from him. We have had to let him know what we want him to do and always give him the option of saying “no”.

Recently, he had an eye infection / ulcer, which meant he had to be medicated 2-3 times / day. Oddly enough, it came as a blessing in disguise – after about 3 weeks of treatment AND constant attention several times a day AND one night of hands on prayer (for both mental and physical healing) – he is a different horse! He’s calmed and began to trust us like never before – he even let us give him some de-wormer paste in his mouth without a single bit of struggle!! Just two days ago, we looked at his eye again and there is not even a single bit of scarring!

I have been the proudest Momma about his progress – this is a horse that would barely let me handle him the first day we met and now he’s as loving, friendly and trusting as the others.

Having shared experiences of abusive pasts and of being adopted — we simply understand each other in a way some just can’t. THAT has been a comfort for me and I believe has given me the compassion to work with him and have the patience necessary to truly give him a chance in life. ….Astar is my miracle horse that God is truly watching over – he’s a testimony to everything that is possible with prayer and patience.

I am looking forward to saddling him up & taking him out for a ride in 2008!

Stay tuned for updates!

October 2009 Update

Well – 2008 Came and went and still not riding him.  In November of last year (2008), we planned on taking Astar to a Brent Graef clinic.  We figured out a plan for borrowing a trailer and my friend Carey kindly agreed to help haul him there with her truck.  We were even successful in getting his Coggins done!  OK, so we’re moving in the right direction.

So we pulled the trailer up, caught Astar and the “fun” began.  He took one look at the first trailer we had gotten (which was a 2-horse straight load) and he had already decided he wasn’t going in.  In fact, he fought hard enough to knock Kaite into the pen panel and even bent one of the pen panels down as he came down from a nice rearing up.  Not pretty at all.

OK – so that trailer wasn’t going to work.  Onto the next option… we borrowed one from one of Kaite’s students.  This one was larger, slant load, stock trailer, so we were hoping this would work.  NOPE!  We backed the trailer up and he would get one foot in and then decide “nahh, not going to go in there”.  We put food, hay, treats — anything to get him to go in the trailer. After several hours both the night before and the day of the clinic (we missed half of that clinic day), we ended up loading up giving up on Astar and taking our well-seasoned traveler, Irish to the clinic instead.  We had already paid and figured that someone should benefit from it.

Sadly, he lived in the stall for 2 weeks because he wouldn’t let us catch him… even after putting into practice some advice from Brent.  You might read on one of my posts that we were beginning to make progress and we saw some hope and then it went away.  We couldn’t even get the halter on his head.  So after 2 weeks feeding him in his stall, and unable to catch him, we decided it was time for him to go back out with his friends in the pasture so we just took the feed bucket and lead him there…. he faithfully followed the food.

So we had taken about 20 steps back on his progress.

Most animals do not hold a grudge.  However, this horse can hold one.  In fact for about 6 months or so, he would turn and walk the other direction when we went out the field.  He was not interested at all in coming over to talk to us.  Though the other 2 were.  He was still upset about the trailer.  Finally about 2 months ago, he let it go and decided we were ok again.  Now we are taking steps forward and we have had to start over in some respects.  I can walk up and groom him, pet him and touch him… I can even give him a short little hug, but still not interested in the halter.

So we wait and we keep on, keeping on.

Now I am looking for someone to come to our house and work with him regularly.  He needs a gentle, yet firm hand that is not as attached to him as I have become; that can be objective about him and help him get past his junk.  I have to admit that as his “mom”, I probably give him a little too much leeway.  I, myself, need to learn how to teach him what I would like to teach him.

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