Monday, December 15, 2008

Rescuing a Princess

This weekend I took part in a rescue reminiscent of a fantasy novel. Where the Princess was taken by trickery and held in drudgery. Abused, starved, she no longer looks royal. But some stout lad recognizes there is something special about her, and through adventures, and help from brave companions, she is saved and brought to a place of safety and love.

Last week, a mare was spotted in a kill pen. I won't list any details, because she could have been any breed, anywhere in the USA. By some miracle a rescue group spotted her and asked for information. She was in her teens, in foal, and wonder of wonders, her papers were with her. In the photo it looks like her back has been shaved? Strange, but a rescue list moves into action, appeals go out, and a life chain is formed. Money pours in for her and others. Literally hundreds of people co-ordinate to save these horses. Homes are found, shippers lined up. Volunteers phone each other.

Saturday the mare is picked up by one shipper, brought to a connection point where she is put into a second trailer. By sat night she is in a stall munching hay, and Sunday morning I pick her up and take her to her new home.

This mare was beautiful, had been shown successfully, had produced several foals, had been well cared for and cherished most of her life. But Sunday I picked up a mare that had to be a 1.5 on the scale. I could not only see every bone in her body, even the skin between her ribs was sunken in. What we thought was a shaved back was matted fur lying flat next to her backbone, which stuck up several inches and I could feel every bone of. I don't see how she was walking, I certainly don't see how she could be carrying a foal. But, she walked out of the stall with her head up like the Princess she was. You would have thought she had silk ribbons in her hair, and gold on her halter. She loaded and trailered like a lady, and at her new home walked past lessons, Christmas decorations, and chainsaws without hesitation. We were met by teenager riding students who welcomed her like the returning royalty she was.

Here was a mare that obviously made money for her owners, but not only was she tossed away, they didn't even bother to feed her before they did. Her quality was there to see for someone who knew how to look. Her head was very refined, perfect ears, excellent bone structure (rather easy to see, actually) and 4 of the straightest, cleanest legs I have seen in a long time. Big feet, nice bone, broad chest, I could see what she must have looked like before.

I look forward to visiting her when she is back to her full glory. I also have no doubt she will be back in the show ring sometime too.

Welcome home Princess.


Joy said...

found this through fugly's blog. Amazing story. Keep up the blogs about the rescued Princess. I'm so happy you have her.

Shadow Rider said...

Thanks Joy. I actually don't have her, she is at a wonderful barn in my state with hordes of kids to love on her. I was just the free transport, LOL! But there are so many other Princesses out there, looking for their own happy ending.

Kirri said...

Also came in through Fugly blog- we aren't all morons, in fact there aren't many of us who are!! Some even have manners!!
Anyway, greetings form sunny England, your Princess is now world famous!
I am so glad to hear a "Happy Ending" story for once, please, if you can, post pictures, and of course, we "Aunties" will want to see pictures of the baby!!
Do you have a donation set up??

Shadow Rider said...

I wish I had taken photos when I picked her up, but I didn't even think of it. More worried about her and getting on the road to home. I love to see the before and after on horses like this.

No donations needed, everything was covered by the rescue group who saved her, and she is in a good home now.

There are a lot of great groups out there who are really making a difference

LeadMare said...

Stoires like this make me angry, sad and happy all at once. I wasn't "into" horses (I have never rode) until a three years ago when my now 10 year old daughter got on her first horse and hasn't been off one since. Her passion became mine. Her pony, who we purchased almost three years ago, was taken care of by the people we bought him from but obviously abused by others in his life. With a lot of love from us and those at our barn, lots of advise from those at the barn that know way more than I do, and a bit of time the once head shy-stay in the back of the stall-pony now greets all who walk past him and would sit in our lap if we let him, I think!

Stories of abuse always touch this nerve of mine. Thanks for letting me vent.

Always good to read a happy ending.