We thought we were at the right place, but a retired racehorse named Germaniac had different plans for us.
One moment it was the spring of 2014 and we were moving into a brand new house with colors we picked and shiny new appliance packages with those yellow energy savings stickers slapped onto them.
Three years later we rented it out and moved into a historic stone farmhouse built in 1865, with an even older barn and one stall deemed, “It might be safe for a horse.”
Turning For Us
I met Kate Goldenberg when I was 10 years old, and she was 14. Our families had purchased properties next to each other. My mother was an equestrian and gave horse riding lessons. Kate was born an equestrian and gave us all horse riding lessons.
We grew up. Our families sold the properties. There were husbands, and kids and horses and life’s journeys until one day my sister invited me to visit Kate at her large stables where volunteers help with rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming off-track racehorses.
I was in my 50’s.
At the time, my husband and I had reached a point in our lives where we had outgrown the small Cape Cod house and had raised our kids. This is why we moved into our nearly 4000 square foot dream house in a small housing development surrounded by farms and open fields.
One day at Kate’s my sister put me on Gumby. I hadn’t ridden since I was 24 years old. She led me around at first but to my surprise, my legs and body remembered what to do.
I went to Kate’s more often after that. I’d sit on the cement stoop steps of the new house with dirt for lawns to put on my riding boots, hop in the car and drive to Safe Haven Thoroughbred Rescue.
Three years later the lawns had grown grass, I had my own saddle, my husband would often join me going to Kate’s and we met the horse that made us move again.
Turning for Home
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 to me.
We bought him a big blue ball.