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Switch to Forum Live View Have you met a "throwaway" horse?
7 years ago  ::  Jan 23, 2008 - 11:46AM #1
AngelAnimals
Posts: 6

We love this story by Shirley Warnick.  It says so much on what a difference a person can make with devotion and love being the motivation to act. It was first published in the Angel Animals Story of the Week (www.angelanimals.net).


A THROWAWAY HORSE
By Shirley Warnick

A new horse has graced my life.  I surely wasn't looking for another one when I saw the shaggy little red mare step off the trailer with a group of others who had come in for quick sale where I kept my other three horses.  But animals like her seldom seem to come into our lives when we expect it.

She was eighteen years old and very malnourished.  She looked spent from a life of many owners who had taken all she had to offer and repeatedly sold this horse when they tired of her.  I felt an overwhelming sadness about her.  It seemed to me that somehow she expected she was at yet another home with someone who cared even less about her than the previous one.


One day I saw her with her head up and calling to one of the horses she'd come in with a month or so earlier.  She was beautiful, no other word for it, just beautiful.  I could see a shadow of her former self, and she was young and proud again, if only for a single moment in time.  However, buyers came and went, and none were the least bit interested in the gaunt, timid, old mare.

I couldn't get her out of my mind.  I tried several times to buy her, but my offers were repeatedly rejected.  "We're going to get some good money for that one," the owners would say. Or, "She's got good lines and someone can breed her," I was told.  They didn't even bother to give her a name.  She was only referred to as the skinny mare.  I wish I would have been able to come up with their asking price just to free her from the conditions, but there was no way I could raise such a large sum.


Things continued to get worse for her that winter.  She endured freezing temperatures and drenching rain with no shelter, thick mud up to her hocks, and what little feed she was able to grab before being driven off by the other horses.  I put one of my blankets on her, but the other horses tore it to shreds while picking on her. The light was dimming in her eyes.  It was all I could do not to cry every time I saw her.

Finally, the day came when I had to move my other horses to our summer place.  I tossed and turned all night and knew I had to find some way to take her with me.  I made one last desperate attempt to purchase her.  For some reason, this time, my offer was accepted.  I guess those good lines didn't seem to matter anymore.  She was too far gone, and no one wanted her.


It was my fear, but relief, that I had outbid the feedlot owner by just hours.  She had been scheduled to be picked up by the truck later that day.  The feedlot is the last stop for horses like her, a sadly welcome respite from the neglect to fatten them before they are slaughtered.

I cried happy tears that day as I loaded her onto my trailer.  She dutifully followed me.  Her sad brown eyes looked resigned to whatever fate awaited her, as I closed the divider and shut the door.  I'm sure she thought it was just another trip to somewhere else no different than all the rest.

That was three months ago. Today, no one recognizes her.  Copper is the horse of my dreams and almost completely restored to good health.  She has come out of her shell.  Her beautiful red coat shines, and her eyes sparkle again.  She got her name when I washed the mud off her and found that she shined like a new penny.


I have discovered that Copper is exquisitely trained with beautiful manners.  She has the heart of a lioness.  She outshines horses who are many times more her market value in loyalty and gentle spirit alone.

I cannot understand how anyone could have parted with Copper, but she will be my companion, my shiny penny, to the end. Copper is no longer anyone's throwaway horse.


BIO:
Shirley Warnick from Washington state is an avid horsewoman for the past forty years who loves and respects all animal life and tries to make a difference whenever she can.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:

Is a throwaway animal waiting to show you how brightly he or she can shine?
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2008 - 5:58PM #2
bear
Posts: 0

Yes I have come across alot of animals like that and the odd horse or two.I worked as a by-laws officer for many years and these animals cropped up all the time!


I was called out to a paddock of horses,some dead,others almost dead and foals trying to drink off mothers that were nothing more than walking corpses. On the legal side of it I could only look for the owner,destroy what could not stand and find feed for those that could eat.


After doing what I could on that day I went home shattered.The next day the horses greated me at the gate,I fed them etc over the next week or so,but could not find the owner.


After some weeks I finally traced the owner or should say he found me,he was a big agressive bloke that was "out to deal with the b***h that shot his horses. Never mind those that had died of starvation! I was 5"4' and only reasonably slim and not alot unnerved me but this bloke made my skin crawl.With only 8 out of 25 horses left I had made my mind up,these horses would "dissapear". And they did! I could have lost my job or my life over it,but no way was I going to stand by and watch this brute of a man do any more damage. He was charged but I didn't hold out hope that he would get what he had comming to him in a court even with all the evidence I had against him.I would have locked him away for the rest of his life ,but relistically he would get a fine,that he was unlikely to pay, and a slap on the wrist.Worst of all he would in all probabilty have these poor animals given back to him!


A group of local horse people got together and spirited the animals away,all reports that came back to me over the next few years was that these horses had all found great homes. I never did see any of them in the flesh again but lots of photos as each recovered.


Last I heard the bloke had been killed in a fight over some stock interstate,how true this is I can not say but it would not surprise me!

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 31, 2008 - 10:33AM #3
AngelAnimals
Posts: 6
Hi Bear -- You have so much compassion for horses and great courage. It was risky to take care of animals who couldn't fend for themselves but you did it with grace and creativity. Those horses are surely grateful for their new homes. Too bad there are those who don't know that -- what you do comes back to you! Thanks for sharing your story with all of us. -- Linda & Allen Anderson
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2008 - 10:35PM #4
bear
Posts: 0

Thankyou for your comments,I can not say how good it was to tell this story as it is not something that I share and it has been a relief to get it off my chest.I do still have night mares over my time as a by-laws officer and some of the sad sad sights I have seen will live with me for the rest of my life!


I live in Australia and still have many animals around me,stray,lost,neglected,injured and unwanted animals don't seem to have trouble finding me.


It has been a honour to have these creatures in my life.


Bear

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7 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2008 - 8:54PM #5
jjdenise
Posts: 6
I think that it was great what you did and i pray that their are more of you in this world. God bless you and peace and love be with you always Wink
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