Today I figured we would take a trip in the time machine and revisit a story written by our late founder Nina Arbella.
This story was written about the arrival of Thursday and Zephyr back in 2013. Zephyr became one of the greatest loves in Nina's life and now is living with Jessica at Empowered Equines in Maine and showering her with all of his love.
I hope you enjoy this tale as much as I do!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2013
Precious new life.
After a great deal of soul searching, sleepless nights and prayers, I knew we had to take in a seriously underweight pony mare and her 4 month old colt. I am old and tired and ready to pass Eye of the Storm on to the younger capable people as the last of our aged sanctuary horses die off. I am here alone on so many days caring for them all and I am ready to give up my gross boot collection and disgusting fleece winter hats and retire. But one look at this pair of lost souls and I knew my work will probably go on until I die.
The mare, a lovely bay with a horse-type winter coat, not the fluffy fuzz-ball look of our little ponies, has slender elegant legs and perfectly trimmed hooves. Someone some where took very good care of her at one point. She is about 13 hands tall with a squiggly narrow blaze down her face. She is skin and bones. We can not find out a thing about her. Again secrets surrounding horses in this condition – no one wants to accept responsibility. I think she is around 15 years old. She is in serious need of dental care, but she is able (and willing!) to eat all the soft second cut hay we can give her and seems otherwise healthy.
The colt is elegantly beautiful as well and seems, so far, to be extremely gentle. Unlike our other monstrous baby – Viking Too, upon arrival! He appears to be absolutely perfect. With huge eyes, curly ear tips and a little velvet, very black muzzle that becomes flaming gold at a point just behind his lips and nostrils. Having been born in September he still has his baby coat so we don't know what his permanent color will be but his legs are coal black almost to his belly. He has no white markings. His father was probably an Arab or Morgan. He has a somewhat dishy face.
Against my practical judgment and at the risk of becoming a “horse hoarder”, I simply could never face myself again if anything horrible happened to this pair.
Jessica and I both entertained ourselves with two very different, but equally horrible, scenarios. Jess, who knew of a small pony who, at the end of her career as a lesson pony had to give pony rides. This pony had had it with children by this time, but in the hottest of summer days with a thick Cushing's coat and no comfort from the relentless hear, she work all day long. Her teeth were so overgrown that she could barely eat and could not stand to have her face toughed. The owner's excuse? No one could float her teeth because they couldn't touch her face. Well that's what veterinarians and good old tranquilizers are for. This pony's life could have been changed in an hour if someone had cared to spend $150 to help her. So even though she made thousands of dollars for them that summer, they couldn't do that for her. At the end of the season she disappeared into the world. We pray she is safely dead, no more a victim of human greed and stupidity. The poor little being should have been retired and spoiled and loved at the end of her life – not worked and tortured.
Now my scenarios. When I was young I hung around at a livestock farm because they had horses. They also had a slaughterhouse.
They acquired a beautiful pinto pony stallion. He was just full of himself, picking fights with the geldings, bossing around the mares, just peacock proud, he was. He would strut around, neck arched, blowing and snorting – he was king of the world! Just a pretty, pretty boy.
One day I looked into the slaughter house and just like that – the King's reign was over. It was illegal, I wasn't supposed to see, but I did. Some man from a horse eating country bought the pony, killed him and fed him to his family.
This still happens everywhere. People eat horses. But no one was going to do it to this mare and colt.
Now the chance of these two scenarios actually taking place will never be known, but both Jess and I were traumatized enough by our own experiences to make sure they didn't happen here.
These two will be moved on to new homes. They are not broken beyond repair. We will find them homes where their lives can be rich with good food and exciting things. They will not be slaves. They will be partners to their very own person forever. These ponies don't need sanctuary they need a life!
So we will feed momma mare, fix her teeth and keep her with her baby until she weans him herself. We will halter train and nurture him and teach him to love people. We will geld him then show him that life is good. Then we will entrust them to their own very special people. We will always know where they are. They will never be lost to the world. They will be Micro-Chipped!! They will always belong to EOTS. If necessary they can always come back to us. That is our promise to them.