Happy Endings


Chester Elliot used to be a Boston Carriage horse.

Chester Elliot was brought to a “half-way house” and was scheduled to go to the auctions at New Holland after working the streets of Boston as a carriage horse. A brown and white Clydesdale, he was in poor condition and underweight. We are told that his hairy winter coat hid a lot of damage but it was easy to feel just about every bone in his body. He had pastern dermatitis and thrush in all four feet and legs. In Chester Elliot’s case, his un-groomed feathers, contributed to pastern dermatitis. The thrush, which occurred inside his hooves, was most likely caused by his standing in filth all night in his stall and not being properly groomed. Because of his steel shoes, the circulation to his hooves was retarded due to constant pounding, which created another prime environment inside the hoof where microbes flourished. (To enlarge the photo of Chester Elliot, click on the photo or link)

Chester Elliot was also depressed and lay down a lot, including eating lying down. He was a sad and mistrusting boy. But people rallied together and raised money to save him from slaughter. A new home was provided by a caring family in Rhode Island. His new person describes him: “When Chester Elliot got here he was about 200 pounds underweight. He loves having a run-in stall living situation. Apparently he did not have turnout where he was stabled so his life was city streets all day, and I believe a straight stall at night. THAT'S IT. His belly was matted with urine stains so that is why I think he had a straight stall...He never gets locked in now, 24/7 turnout.”  (To enlarge the photo of Chester Elliot's leg, click on the photo or link)

She goes on to say that Chester Elliot “wore almost 1" thick steel horse shoes with huge road calks on heels and toes. They must way 5-7 lbs each. He was shod all four...we had to tranquilize him for the farrier as he is very mistrustful about his feet being handled. The shoes are off and he is happy about it, never to wear shoes again. Since Chester Elliot has been in his new home, he has gained 100 pounds, had a bath after six weeks and thoroughly enjoys grooming. This is a luxury for former carriage horses – most of whom never got proper currying and attention”.  (To enlarge the photo of Chester Elliot's shoe, click on the photo or link)

Horses are very sensitive and Chester Elliot is no different. His new guardian says that “his behavior is generally good except that in instances where you have to correct him, he gets extremely nervous. Also, if you ask him to do something and he doesn't understand it right away, he gets mistrustful. We are taking it very slow with him. Maybe we'll be able to trail ride him, but he is going to need a lot of time to learn to trust us and untangle his mind. We have time to give him.”  (To enlarge the photo of Chester Elliot, click on the photo or link)

About Chester Elliot’s shoes:

Carriage horses in New York City and Boston wear 1” thick heavy steel work shoes with a cleat at the heels and toes for grip. In Bermuda, the horses wear rubber shoes both for traction and to absorb the impact of shock to the joints – much like good jogging shoes for people. They reduce the stress on the horse’s legs. However, rubber shoes are more expensive. In addition, the horse’s footfalls are nearly silent – eliminating the “clip-clop” sound that draws attention and attracts tourists to want a ride.  (To enlarge the photo of Chester Elliot, click on the photo or link)


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