Our Angels who have passed on.......... they run now in forever green pastures, never to worry about the slight of man's hand again. Rest in peace my dear friends. I am honored to have had the time to love you and know you.
Queenie.....Arrived starved badly enough that she looked swaybacked. Complete body covered in the worst case of rain rot I've ever seen, hooves badly neglected and the heaves so bad every breath was a struggle. She had to use her stomach muscles to work her lungs. Our Vet, Doc Miller called her "the walking dead". She was a 15 year old grade mare. Queenie rebounded well. With the use of steroids and a special diet, she was able to breath, run and play. She acted and felt like a horse again. Queenie was a loving, sweet horse that adored the special needs children. Unfortunately, her feeling better, was in the end her ending. Queenie was running, bucking & playing right after a rain, caught a patch of mud on a hard turn in her run and went down, breaking her hock. I was standing there when it happened, watching in slow motion as she went down. Knowing before she ever attempted to get up it was going to be a bad break, by the way she went down. My heart was in my stomach and I choked back tears. After 3 months in which we thought she was going to recover, on 6/13/2011 Queenie lost her battle with her injury and went to greener pastures. She began to founder in her good back leg from the strain of her broken leg. This compounded by her health problems with severe heaves, it was the merciful thing to do. If we can't give quality of life, then we are no better than the culprits that put them in the shape they arrived in. It was a heart breaking decision for me personally. Queenie and I were very close after a year to the day of her arrival, of nursing her. But I am at peace knowing she is in green pastures, running like the wind now. I will always hold her close in my heart. and there is not one day that Queenie is not in the forefront of my mind. Daily her story drives me forward to help the next abused and neglected horse.
Rest In Peace My Dear Friend
I'll see you on the other side.
Prince Nikko......On June 12th 2011, Mr. Watson, myself and a child volunteer went and picked up this rescue pony, Prince Nikko. We had posted we had a call for rescue of this pony on face book. Sadly what we found was a heart breaking situation. The pony was 21 years old, had suffered a broken leg, that the muscle around had severely atrophied, he walked in circles, often a sign of neuro damage, had cushings disease and was skin, bone with a matted coat. I rode in the trailer home with him, because he was so weak and had little balance with the injured leg. My volunteer had to walk beside him and hold him up to walk him to the trailer or he would have fallen. We made Niko as comfortable on arrival back at the farm, as we could. I body shaved him so he could at least not burn up and had him in a cushy stall with fans. We fed him grain, gave him soaked alfalfa, tifton 44 and spoiled him with apple wafers. He ate readily and his appetite was quickly proven not to be an issue. I knew that his chances were next to nothing of being helped, because of the extent and oldness of his injury. I stayed with him through the night. But I held hope until Doc Miller could get here. Niko was sent to green pastures Monday night June 13th, where no one can ever harm him again. To be starved is a slow and painful process. He & Queenie are laying side by side, together forever. This pony didn't deserve what he received. He will remain in our hearts and serves to make us more determined that if we can't save them, we can at least end their suffering.
Rest in Peace little Prince
Boston...... Arrived here unlike the other horses, healthy and had always been loved. Boston was 27 years old when he came to live with us this summer. He had been at a stable in Hernando county that used him for adult special needs. This stable ran into difficulties and had to let their program close. Boston's "Mom" Jessica donated Boston to us knowing he could live his life out with us being loved & helping children. Boston was quite the character, unique and quirky. Everyone from myself to all of our volunteers quickly fell in love with the old man. He would cross his front feet, hang his tongue out at you and give you kisses that could send you flying if you weren't ready. He loved tic tacs and would literally dance for them. Boston did incredible magic with our special needs children. Especially Logan who was completely petrified of all animals until he paired up with Boston. Boston proved over and over again that a senior horse, that most consider of no value, in fact is of tremendous value. He worked magic day after day with children and he knew what he was doing. We lost Boston to cancer in his stomach. He went mercifully, surrounded by our teen volunteers who comforted him through his last breath. I know Boston is sharing pastures now with some noble horses that went before him. I'm glad to have had the time with this very special horse and he will live with us in our hearts and memories for a life time. I also believe Logan will never forget him. Rest in Peace dear friend until we meet again.
Present Moment....Present arrived here in October of 2010 a 23 year old TB mare.. Severly under weight, abcesses in both front hooves, laminitis and a cancerous tumor on her neck the size of a man's fist. She had not one but two foals pulled off her when she was loaded off the breeding farm to ship to us. She was scheduled to be destroyed, not because of her physical condition, but because she did not take on her last breeding. Present was literally bred till she had nothing left to give. Present Moment was an exceptional race horse, having won $178,000 in racing. So for her dedication and loyalty, her reward was over breeding and no retirement .Many equine breeding farms are just like puppy mills, putting only the bare necessities back into the horse, only caring about the dollar sign. Sadly Present was a victim of this. We had to make the hard choice of putting Present down on Dec 2, 2011, after exhausting all methods of treatment. It was the humane thing to do for her. We made the decision on Dec 1, 2011 and set the appointments needed. Present went down that night, instead of forcing her up, I gave her a pain shot, wrapped her in a blanket and stayed the night with her. She ate, drank and we talked through the night. We euthanized her the morning of Dec 2nd, calm and I know ready to go to greener pastures. Present represents all we battle from greedy breeders, to neglect and the never ending threat of the slaughter pipeline, with race horses sadly going off the track to slaughter way too often. After over a year of being with this horse, nursing her and loving her, there will never be a day she's not missed or in my thoughts and in her memory we continue our fight for the voiceless.
Phoenix .......Arrived here Dec 2011 a 8 year old mare, lineage unknown. She was seriously under weight with spine raised and complete rib count on arrival. Phoenix was rescued from abuse and then relinquished to us. She had never been trained nor was she halter or lead rope broke. She arrived here untouchable with a halter broken, from what I presume to be a pulley load, hanging around her neck. It took four days to win her trust to remove it. Working with her it was apparent she had withstood some serious abuse, but truly wanted human contact. Over the next almost year with us Phoenix battled ulcers and health issues and improved drastically. She also would allow me to put a halter on her, was lead rope trained, stood for her bath and would allow without tranquilizer her front feet trimmed. She became the most loving horse I have ever known, despite her emotional scars from what became clear to me to be severe abuse to include floggings. She followed the children like a puppy dog and was always ready for an apple wafer and love. We lost her on December 3, 2012 to a freak accident. Our hay man delivered round rolls. It was dark when he pulled out of the pasture she was in to leave, he rounded the curve of the round pen where Phoenix was laying down with his lights not catching her as they were pointed away from the curve where she laid. He ran his truck over her. No tires ran over her, just the front end and she was trapped in the under carriage Once they managed to free her, she got up and trotted to eat hay. I was not present when she was injured, but got to her quickly afterwards. Over the next two weeks, while under vet care, with no broken bones, a hematoma developed on the inside of her rear leg by her stomach. It seemed to be reacting to normal treatments per our vets instructions and then it blew up huge very quickly. She had perforated her gut wall and we had to put her down. My heart is heavy with this loss of a wonderful soul, who not only touched my heart so deep, but so many children's hearts. Our only comfort is in knowing she finally knew devotion and love, free from fear and a full belly. I will miss her beyond words and our late night meetings, where we spent so much one on one time together in the quiet of the night in a still barn. Here our souls intertwined. She will remain with me always until I see her again. RIP my dear friend........you touched so many hearts in your time here.
Katie..........Arrived here Dec 1, 2011 in her 30's and missing one eye .Her owner searched for her for ten years after having a family member sell her without her knowledge. When Katie's mom found her in a less than desirable rescue, north of here, she bought her and took her to a friends barn to begin the three month long process to heal her from malnutrition and a long neglected summer sore and eye infection. Katie's owner came to us needing a safe haven for her once she was built up. At Katie's age slaughter was a clear threat, so we gladly agreed to let her live her days out here in sanctuary. Not long after Katie's arrival we realized we weren't dealing with a summer sore, instead it was Equine pythiosis. After many treatments and surgeries, Katie succumbed to the disease and our Vet put her down. Katie was one of the most loving souls I have ever been honored to know. There is an empty spot in my heart and daily I miss her loving head rubs. Rest in peace Katie with some wonderful Angels that were waiting for you. .
Blue Jeans..............Arrived June of 2010, starved, covered in painful rain rot, hooves in horrible condition and the need for corrective shoeing to bring her off the slant to her legs. She was an 19 year old Arabian mare, who had been bought at auction after being seized by Hillsborough Sheriff's for abuse. She was then bred, starved, beaten and kicked aside. Some of her teeth on the right side of her mouth were knocked out and part of her lip is missing. On arrival you couldn't touch her head or face. Blue Jeans served as our horse for small special needs children until this last year when we had to retire her because of joint and suspension issues. She was laid to rest this summer of 2015 due to udder cancer. Blue Jeans touched so many hearts and lives. No one she touched will ever forget her love and her ability to not only forgive mankind, but help so many children.
Justice ....... Arrived here in July 2012 with both back legs swollen terribly, under weight and had cushings disease. Justice served mankind all his life, first as a race horse, then as a well known and very loved hunter and jumper. When he became too old and damaged to serve in his duties, an angel who was loyal to him found us to let him live his life out in sanctuary. Justice survived till the age of 32. He served special needs and at risk children here by simply loving them. He went blind here and his sight horse was Blue Jeans. Their bond was unbreakable. So bonded that the day Justice had a stroke in the summer of this year 2015, Blue Jeans stood beside him and steadied him with her nose until we took her away. Justice sadly had his entire right side taken by his stroke and we could only help him cross over the bridge. There is not a day he is not carried in my heart and so missed.
Rest in peace boy
The Horse's Prayer
Feed me, give me water, and care for me, and when the day's
work is done, give me shelter, a clean bed and a wide stall.
Talk to me. Your voice often substitutes for the reins for me.
Be good to me and I will serve you cheerfully and love you.
Don't jerk the reins and don't raise the whip.
Don't beat or kick me when I don't understand you,
but rather give me time to understand you.
Don't consider it disobedience if I don't follow your commands.
Perhaps there is a problem with my saddle and bridle or hooves.
Check my teeth if I don't eat, maybe I have a toothache.
You know how that hurts.
Don't halter me too short and don't dock my
tail... it's my only weapon against flies and mosquitoes.
And at the end, dear master, when I am no longer any use to you,
don't let me go hungry or freeze and don't sell me.
Don't give me a master who slowly tortures me to death and lets me starve,
but rather be merciful and take care of me,
by letting me run and enjoy a warm pasture.
Let me request this of you and please don't regard it as disrespectful
if I ask it in the name of Him who was born in a stable like me.
I'll lend you for a little while my grandest foal, HE said.
... for you to love while he's alive and mourn when he is dead.
It may be one or twenty years, or days or months, you see,
but will you, till I take him back, take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
you'll have treasured memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
but there are lessons taught on earth I want this foal to learn.
I've looked the wide world over In my search for teachers true.
and from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, with trust, I've chosen you.
Now will you give him total love? not think the labor vain,
nor hate me when I come here to take him back again?
I know you'll give him tenderness and love will bloom each day,
and for the happiness you've known, forever grateful stay.
But should I come and call for him much sooner than you'd planned,
you'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and someday, understand.