There are several old adages about horses: “don’t put the cart before the horse,” “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” and “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”
That last one is easier said than done with the horse in question won’t stop smiling.
Meet Atlas, an ex-race horse in need of a job. The bay Thoroughbred gelding is quite the character around the farm. On his Instagram page @Atlasthesmilinghorse he has quite the following.
What draws his followers in?
It would be his unique penchant for smiling. In his selfies…err, horsies, Atlas has his lips pulled back with a full grin on his face. With his floppy lips and pearly whites on display it’s hard not to smile when you are at the barn with this big guy.
Whether relaxing in his pasture, going on rides around the farm, or posing for pictures, Atlas is always smiling. Maybe he’s auditioning for a reboot of Mr. Ed or Hot to Trot. Somebody get this horse a manager!
With no formal training to learn his skill, Atlas is a simply a natural. He started one day and with the encouragement of his owner, has never stopped. He loves smiling for his human and horse friends alike. Pull out your camera, and he’s ready to shine.
When people think of Thoroughbred horses, they think of famous races like the Kentucky Derby. While only a small percentage of these horses will become household names, the lesser-known ones end up looking for jobs off the track.
Luckily, this breed is very versatile and can easily find other careers. Built for speed, they make excellent jumpers and dressage competitors. They are even becoming popular again at the Olympic Level.
There are several programs to show the versatility of the Thoroughbred horse after they retire from the track. They are highly retrainable animals and can be used in many events. These retraining programs save them from slaughter and let them land in a career where they can thrive.
Thanks for horses like Atlas, we can see what unique personalities these animals have and the joy they can spark.