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Racing to Retirement: Gallon

Racing to Retirement: Gallon

By: Alexis Arbaugh

Lauren had been working at CANTER California for only two weeks when Gallon arrived on Halloween 2017. Gallon was a 12-year-old gelding who had joined the adoption program. When he first arrived, he had a rough appearance – he was underweight and under muscled. Unlike many horses at CANTER, Gallon hadn’t come directly from the racetrack. However, Lauren had a strong belief that this retired stakes winner had the potential to become stunning once he gained the weight and muscle he needed.

Lauren was very curious about him so she asked the CANTER employees if she could be his primary volunteer. They didn’t have an issue with that, so she started coming out every day to work with him.

Lauren’s curiosity about Gallon led her to request to become his primary volunteer. They allowed her to take on this role, and she began coming out to the facility every day to work with him.

Gallon’s past as a racehorse was indeed filled with stories and experiences. His racing career had taken him to various tracks and racing events. She started reseaching to figure out everything that she could about him, his racing history and gain insight into his personality and behavior during his racing days. This information would not only help Lauren bond with Gallon but also assist her in providing him with the care and training he needed for a successful transition into a new life beyond the racetrack.

There was a short period of him being sound enough to ride thanks to the CANTER team, but a little while later Gallon unfortunately was never sound enough to continue being ridden or to have another career. Lauren officially adopted him in April of 2018 and it made her so happy to have him at home with her.

Some months before Lauren adopted Gallon, she lost her childhood horse, so having Gallon by her side and to care for during that time bonded them even more. She could really explore his personality when she brought him home.

In the months leading up to Lauren’s adoption of Gallon, she experienced the loss of her childhood horse. This shared period of grief and the responsibility of caring for Gallon deepened their bond. During this time that she had the opportunity to truly get to know his personality after bringing him home. The best thing about Gallon was that he wasn’t perfect… and that’s what made him perfect. She adored his giant, moose-like head and all his weird quirks.

Since Gallon is retired, Lauren’s goal is to give him the retirement that he deserved, “he is doing great living his best retired life,” wrote Lauren. “He has the cutest ‘dad bod.’”

Gallon is approaching his 19th birthday and continues to live a wonderful life with two fellow Thoroughbred geldings in a multiacre pasture. Lauren is certain that he is enjoying his life as a retired old man. He is still playful when she goes out to visit him and seems to enjoy her company.

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