Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Day I Had to Rescue a Horse

Some of you know that I've been fretting for months over the fate of three horses down the road from us.  We've donated hay, we've watched the animal control truck drive by (on more than one occasion), and we've waited.  Last week as temperatures dropped, the wind picked up, and sleet dripped from the sky steady and constant, I couldn't stop thinking about the horses.  Especially the older one, who has become a rack of bones, not destined to survive through the winter, and not enough fat to keep her warm in the elements. 

On Thanksgiving day, on the way to my parents, I made Paul drive up there.  Piles of rubble, mud, abandoned junk cars, and random mountains of metal line the rough dirt driveway.  In the middle of this mess, is a small muddy lot with over a foot of manure built up, and not a blade of grass to be found. This is where the horses live. 

I carried with me a high quality all-weather horse blanket.  I knocked on the door and when they opened it I apologized for bothering them so early on Thanksgiving morning.  Then I talked to them about the older, sickest horse.  They said the vet had been out and told them there was nothing to be done for her.  I explained that she was too skinny to stay warm.  I asked if I could put a blanket on her to keep her more comfortable.  They were thankful.  These people - they mean well.  They don't mean to make the horses suffer.  I want to believe that they want to do right by them.  They just don't have the knowledge or the money to do so.

I walked through the muck, glad it was frozen so that I wouldn't sink knee-deep in the piles of manure.  The older mare didn't object as I slipped the warm, thick blanket over her skeletal frame.  As I tightened the buckles beneath her belly, one of the young horses came over.  A little bay mare, malnourished, stuck her small nose under the belly of the older one, and gently sniffed my fingers as I fussed with the buckles.  I looked at the little mare.  She looked at me, with curiosity and hope in her eyes.  She wasn't too far gone - not yet - she still had a chance.  The little one hadn't given up.  Not yet.

All day long, as I enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with my family, I thought of her.  I remembered her sweet brown eyes.  I thought of how she wasn't eating that day - Thanksgiving -  there was no hay in her enclosure, and hadn't been for a couple of days.

After two days of obsessing, I went back.  Armed with 50 pound bags of alfalfa cubes and some cash, I knocked on the door again.  I was happy to see that a round bale of hay had been purchased since I was there last.  I offered and bartered.  Successfully.  And I walked back home with a weak little mare by my side; my hopes for her high. 

Meet Francie.
I will update you on her progress as we go.  She has a long road ahead of her.  But she has a good head on her shoulders, under those endearing pointy ears. 

And I haven't given up on helping the other two.  I have plans for them yet.  Stay tuned. 

43 comments:

Terri Buster said...

You made me cry this morning. You are such a sweet soul, Lisa.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I have seen some lean horses around but nothing like the ones you found. It is a bad year as the grass looks like it does after Christmas instead of Thanksgiving. You may have not only saved the horse but helped keep the owners from getting in trouble as well.

Out on the prairie said...

You have along road ahead, I hope it works out.

Melanie said...

Lisa, what an amazing opportunity for both of you! I look forward to watching this weak mare transform into the healthy and strong mare that she deserves to be! She will love your forever for what you are doing for her!

Mary said...

What a wonderful, loving thing you've done. She looks like a sweet, loving girl. Encouraging, grateful hugs to you!

Linda said...

Just like Terri, you made me cry. Bless you for taking in that dear horse and helping those dear people. Hugs, Linda@Wetcreek Blog

Barbara said...

I was getting teary eyed reading the post! You are an amazing person!

Sally said...

Oh yes, the tears.

Francie could not find a better home than with you, Lisa.

TexWisGirl said...

you are an ANGEL!!! bless you, lisa!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Bless you.
Darn it makes me sad.

Karen said...

Lisa, you just made my day!!!! Awesome thing you've done, I am sooo looking forward to your progress with Francie... and let me know if there is anything I can do for the others. WOW. You are an angel.

(Terry) My Journey With Candida said...

Poor thing looks in sad shape, but I bet you have him up and running in no time.

Rob-bear said...

I didn't quite dissolve into tears, but I was deeply touched by your care for those horses. I'm not much of a judge of horses, but Francie does look worn down to me.

What a kind and generous heart you have Lisa! And more important, I admire your courage in acting on what touches your heart.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I've got tears in my eyes and hope in my heart for these horses, and thankfulness that there are angels like you, Lisa, to help the animals. Bless you for taking care of them and doing what you've done. Francie could not have found a better home.

There's a similar situation going on in Bedford County. A horse person in the county is trying to raise money to help a family who can't afford (apparently) to properly care for their horses. The animal control people say the people aren't doing anything illegal.

Monkeywrangler said...

Bless you, Lisa! I do some work with a dog rescue, and it breaks my heart knowing that we cannot save them all...

At least you have saved one, and shown mercy and kindness to the other two!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Oh this post has me in tears. I love your kind heart, Lisa. I'm so glad you rescued Francie and can't wait to hear about your plans for the others.

Debbie said...

oh lisa, what a heart warming story...your first sentence should have read "grab the tissues"!!

a true LOVE story, so glad i didn't miss it!!

Maggid said...

My Hero!
Thank You, Thank You!
May Love Always Surround You.

GardenOfDaisies said...

Oh Lisa, this just breaks my heart. So glad you have little Francie with you now. And I hope that help is on the way for the other two

Ginny said...

O.K., now I am really crying. This is THE best Christmas story I have heard!!! So she is yours now?? you are an absolute angel. You make me think of the song "Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world they have no voice, they have no choice... You are an angel.

Laura Lee said...

This is such a wonderful, wonderful thing you did. Keep us posted on how things go!

Enie Dub said...

Oh wow! You are some lady!

LONDONLULU said...

Bless you, Lisa, and the sweet little mare. Sending best wishes for the road ahead. Animals are often utterly helpless and voiceless - what a hopeful post you've shared, thank you!

mail4rosey said...

Aww, how sweet! I want to cheer. :) What a wonderful thing to do!

Michael Manning said...

Lisa: You have a tremendous heart, and I was very moved by your actions. I hope and pray there is a better place for all of these horses to be evaluated, treated and nourished back to health. Your caring is an example and an inspiration to all of us who stop by here.

M.E. Masterson said...

Tears are welling in my eyes as I read this...so glad you were able to rescue one.

Chasity said...

I am so happy that you had the courage and ability to help!

Loretta Thomas said...

Lisa I can barely type these words for the flow of tears! This is so very touching...before finishing it, in my mind and heart I knew you would take them home...how could you not! You are that kind of person!!
Thanks you Dear Friend for an act of kindness that will give Francie a forever home and the love and care she so desperately need!!! The boys will have a great time too!!!
Lovingly,
Loretta XX

rayfamily said...

This touches my heart. Such a sweet face, and with you as a guardian angel!

Linda said...

Oh, how sweet! Bless you for helping those poor horses!
Your story brought tears to my eyes. Good luck!

alissa apel said...

Such a sad story. I'm glad you are there helping out, and you're a super hero in your boy's eye for rescuing the one!

Grandma Bonnie said...

What a wonderful person you are. I will send my prayers for these horses. I can understand how some people get into a rough period and can not take care of their animals any longer. I am glad you are there to help these horses.

endah murniyati said...

You make me sad...

Harry Flashman said...

Lisa, you would really like my daughter. She rescued a horse up in Kentucky under the same dire circumstances and now he is well, and lives in a nice stall at a stable.

All of my ferrets except two have come from Elizabeth rescues.

I am going to send her the link to your blog because I know she will relate to this.

SweetMarie said...

tears are running down my face. you have such a good heart and so glad you listen to it. :)
she is beautiful...

Lynn said...

you've made me cry, what a sad and yet hopeful story...good luck with the other two...what huge kind hearts you and your family have :-).

Michaela said...

Hello Francie cutie!

Starry Dawn said...

Oh, dear Lisa,
You are an Angel of God!
I am reading your most touching story about the horses that has moved my heart and brought me into tears...
Of course, I'll be back for more updates on this beautiful baby who deserves to live just like the other horses. I think the world may need more people like you, with big hearts to help others in need.
You are a real blessing.
I am glad to have met you in Blogland, Lisa.
God bless your beautiful heart.
Big Hugs & All the Best,
Starry.

Samantha K said...

You are a wonderful soul!!!

born ambitious. born imaginative. said...

love.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We could not get this story to open yesterday- so we are back now.
Bless you,, for helping..
your heart is love
thank you for helping the horseys.
love
tweedles

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Wow, Lisa. You are so generous and kind. I look forward to updates.

Lin said...

Oh my gosh. Thank you for taking her in! I hope you can help the other two--even if that just means making their last days more comfortable. Maybe you can start a donation for them or something.