This is my Trail Horse: Slim

​By Jessica Gonzalez as told by Slim

​You may have noticed the cloudiness in my eye that was caused by an abscess. Or that my right eye droops and my right ear doesn’t move forward as a result of a small stroke. Then there’s the large bump or ‘crest’ on my neck, a side effect from a more serious problem called insulin resistance which resulted in laminitis. I was a mess when they took me in, but Jessica & Charles hauled me all over central Texas to visit with farriers and vets to find the best way to treatment for my ailments.

Charles and Jessica have always been softies for animals that others might not give a second look, from dogs and cats, to motherless baby squirrels and goats, and yes, ME. They say I started it all. More than a few “unwanted” horses have touched their hearts. From the neglected Dude they picked up at an auction barn to the badly abused Jeep. Then there was baby Tuff, whose owner at the time just couldn’t afford to care for and feed him, a yearling with pneumonia and internal parasites who just needed some TLC. Then along came Roo, a little boy’s horse that was loved dearly by his family but they found they were emotionally unable to care for the horse after the loss of that same little boy. Charles and Jessica were able to give him a fresh start, working hard to make sure Roo could prove himself the title of a babysitter and it was that same Roo who ultimately gave a man confidence and purpose in his own life.

Their newest friend is Blue, who was left to fend for himself on a Boy Scout Ranch. They have been actively working with Blue on all the ACTHA obstacles, building a great foundation for a well- rounded trail mount. Clearly, Charles & Jessica have a big hearts when it comes to animals in need, wanting only that all of us to have a chance at life and love.

We horses need a purpose, a place to succeed and shine. Charles and Jessica found ACTHA and started competing about 3 years ago. They have traveled thousands of miles, explored some beautiful ranches in the southwest and made loads of new friends. Jessica helped me win bronze, silver and gold medals for my performance in the 2009-2010 season, as a team, Jessica and I finished as Region 2 Grand Champions that same year!

ACTHA provides the horse and rider team a friendly competitive sport where even a horse with a few imperfections can shine! In just one years’ time, Jeep learned to trust Charles was able to win him a bronze medal. While all the horses that come into Charles and Jessica’s lives do not stay here forever, they each are given the love, care and when able, training to participate in ACTHA. And more importantly, Charles and Jessica always strive to find each horse their perfect, forever guardians.

​From the perspective of one of those ‘unwanted’ horses, I ask, “what more can a horse ask for?” Clearly, the futures of those horses blessed to be taken in by Charles and Jessica, well that’s an adventure waiting to unfold.

Many thanks to Durvet Apple Wormer for sponsoring “This is my Trail Horse”.  Slim will recieve a gift from Durvet.

Share your “This is My Trailhorse” story with ACTHA Facebook by emailing

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