Told by Dr. Malone, our Clinical Psychologist
Splatt is a 17-year-old bay and white Paint mare. She was raised here at TROT. Her parents, Hattie and Rex, were therapy horses here until their deaths at a ripe old age.
They produced several foals, but the dearest one was Bee Splattered, so named because the children decided her colorful markings looked like someone took a paintbrush and “splattered” her with it.
We were fortunate enough to see Splatt born. It was an easy labor, and Hattie was a wonderful mother. From the beginning, there was something special about Splatt.
Melanie began her training the day of her birth, petting her all over to “imprint” her. “Imprinting” is a training technique where the human covers the foal with his/her scent to make it comforting and familiar. It is supposed to help the foal bond with the human and make future training easier.
Well … maybe. Splatt lives with Attention Deficit Disorder. Yep. From the get-go she had difficulty paying attention to ANYTHING except food. Melanie worked through it, and when Splatt was two and Melanie was 10, they had their first ride together.
Melanie continued her training with Splatt, turning her into a wonderful barrel horse who is quite adept at teaching young riders the correct way to run the pattern. Because if they don’t do it correctly, Splatt will delight in diving into barrels, knocking them over or squashing the rider’s leg against it.
Splatt is one of those unique horses who will do anything for you once you gain her respect, but gaining that respect is not easy. You must be skilled, strong-willed, but gentle. Getting angry at her will only result in her managing to do something passive-aggressive to make you even angrier.
Smart, lazy, and definitely ADD, Splatt is Thunder’s best buddy, and the two can be seen together at all times.
Splatt suffered an injury as a four-year-old and has arthritis. She requires arthritis medication to be comfortable, as well as special shoes.