Sensation, a 2006 APHA gelding, found himself in a rather ominous situation at
the beginning of his life. In 2007, the then yearling caught his right front leg
between a barbed wire fence and wound up losing a large chunk out of his hoof.
Coincidentally, a year before the colt’s birth, his owner, Lynn Simons, was in a
car crash and he was tragically killed. “I just wasn’t on top of taking care of that
many animals during that time,” Andrea Simons, wife of the late Lynn, told
GoHorseShow. “He was such a nice colt, but it was an awful accident, but he
really wanted to work.”
horse’s hoof was repaired and he was stall rested until he was a three year-old, putting
a real delay to his training. Ray Topper, from Niles Michigan, was
looking for an APHA horse for one of his youth clients, Emily
Hausman. Searching for an offspring of the stallion Zippos Sensation, Topper
came across “Big” on YouTube. He visited the gelding at the Simons’ and then sent
the video of the 4 year-old to Emily and explained to her how great the horse would
“My parents went to Texas with Ray to look at Big, while I stayed in
Michigan. They loved him, but told me about the foot problem," explained
Emily. “I just thought to myself that no one is going to want this horse. No
one will want to take the patience and time and then what would happen to him?
Where would he go? I decided I wanted him and I didn’t know what made me decide
that, but I wanted him. I wanted him to have a home. I wanted to take the
risk.” Andrea was hesitant, but because Emily wanted Big badly, she made an exception.
purchasing the gelding in 2010, the duo had a successful show year in 2011.
They accumulated 174 APHA points and were Reserve Champions in Zone Eight for
overall youth performance. However, a successful year soon took a downward turn
when the gelding began having issues with his scarred hoof. Even with intensive work by farrier Matthew Horrall, the hoof became worse. The horse had developed a small case of laminitis which is basically
inflammation of the lower hoof. He was put on stall rest for three months and was
taken to an expert who specialized in shoeing horses with this disease. Emily would occasionally doubt her decision.
“There were times where I got super frustrated and would think
about giving him away to a person who would leave him in a pasture and let him
be a horse,” Emily said. “But then I would go into his stall, look deep into
his eyes and I could tell he wanted to try so hard. I just don’t know what I
would do without him”
At the end
of three months of stall rest and hand walking, Big was sent to Ann Arbor to
meet with Dr. Thaler. The hoof began to improve and by March 2012, he seemed
fully sound. Then, as misfortunes usually follow one another, Big spooked and
pulled a ligament in his left hind leg. More stall rest followed but then, the
team was back to show by April.
“He’ll never be perfect on the hoof, so we have to be really careful and
take precautions like wrapping his legs and such,” the now 16 year old exhibitor told
GoHorseShow. The year 2012 was good to the young
team, but prospects for 2013 seem to be brighter. “We have the whole winter to
prepare and our first show will be in April.”
“He’s really been a nice horse for them and it worked out,” says Andrea.
Notorious Sensation have big dreams for 2013, including possibly showing at the
Paint World Show in the Youth All-Around events. Nothing can keep Emily and Big
down from succeeding and completing their dreams, not even a series of
misfortunes that were hurled toward them. GoHorseShow wishes Notorious Sensation
and Emily Hausman great and healthy show season in 2013 and for the many years
I don't think people realize that this horse is going to be in pain for the rest of his life as a show horse. Being under the stress of a show regimen is not going to do this horse any favors. He will be lucky to make it to his 8 year old year. In my eyes the right thing to have done would be to just turn him out and let him lead a happy life for as long as he's got left. This is really not fair to this horse, an I can't say that I am happy to see him in the show pen. He will never be truly "sound," which most horses are not but whos to say that they will not be coving up his lameness with bute for the rest of his life. it will kill him in the long run. Inspirational for some, cruel for others.
i have also seen this in alaska - lucky was the horses name ... stall rest for 3 years ... but took first place on trail course first show after three years ... with tears and frustrations and uncertainys and the poor owner fighting breast cancer too ... but lucky did well considering all that he went through and the owner of lucky too .... legandary
I really enjoyed your piece on Notorious Sensation overcomes Big Hurdles. I had a similar accident happen to my horse and he never wanted to stop trying. He had the fight and the will to recover and we were to the point of putting him down because his injury was so bad. Four vets gave us a 15% chance of him walking again to just be a pasture pal but I could see it in his eyes he was going to prove them wrong. As a yearling we bought him from a neighbor who said he was unsafe and aggressive. They couldnt handle him and he had gone through a fencwe line. We paid their vet bill and took him home and doctored him ourself. As a 3 year old he pulled a ligament in his hind leg, oposite of the one he injuried as a yearling, and was put on his second stall rest. After recovering from two injuries we thought we were clear but in November of 2011 he caught his leg in something while turned out in an indoor arena. The injury was bad, it had tore through his fetlock socket and looked as though he broke his leg just above the ankle. He never showed us any pain and strived to get better. He inspired us to not give up and sent him in for surgery. He bounced back but took lots of stall rest, medication, hand walking, corrected shoeing, therapy, accupuncture, and much more. He recovered but has problems now and then but know one could believe eight months later he was showing at the ABRA World Show in Tulsa, he took res at the ABRA pre world and third overall in many classes. Love him with all my heart and he has never shown a moment where he wouldn't try to be better. I would do it all again for those big brown carrying eyes and this piece you wrote just inspired me more. I'm glad to see another big boy making a recovery doing well. Thanks for writing such an inspiring piece.