It’s been some time since I’ve posted here at Sweethearts of the West. I apologize to my fellow Sweethearts and our readers for being away so long. I have a great horse story I hope will make up for my absence!
|In the Corral
My husband and I took a road trip with his brother and sister-in-law and two of their children a couple of weekends ago. It was a rescue mission. They are horse owners. Before our trip, they had three horses and room for one more. When they heard of a wild, abandoned horse on a large property outside Mobile, they decided to help.
The story of the horse unfortunately has a lot to do with the economic downturn. A family built a beautiful mansion in the woods outside Mobile. It’s removed from the city and sits on several acres. The family, however, couldn’t afford the house and were forced to give it up to foreclosure. Instead of finding their horses loving and caring homes, they left them to roam wild on the land that now belongs to the bank. It’s rumored that one of the horses died because by the time my brother- and sister-in-law got wind of it, there was only one horse on the property. The upside to this tragic story is that the bank was concerned for the remaining horse’s welfare, so much so that they offered it free of charge to whoever could catch it.
Several people tried and failed. One Saturday, my brother- and sister-in-law traveled with a horse trailer to Mobile to see if they could rescue the poor animal. They spent the better part of the day trying but couldn’t quite get the horse corralled. That night my brother-in-law called my husband, asking for his help. My husband agreed and the next day I tagged along for the ride.
|Brother-in-law & Hubby in the Corral with the Horse
When we pulled through the gate onto the property, we spotted the horse lingering around the house. She shied at our approach even when my sister-in-law got out of the truck and tried walking to her with a bucket of feed. We parked the truck and horse trailer. While their youngest child and I watched from the house, the horse ran into the woods and the others did their best to catch her. It was a hot day, as most are on the Gulf Coast in July. Thankfully, the bank had left the back door to the house open so we could take advantage of the air conditioning and restrooms if we needed to. My niece and I watched as the horse ran from the woods and into the fenced-in pasture where it was once stabled. The others hurried to build a corral with portable fencing we had brought in the truck at the entrance to the pasture. It took them less than an hour after building the corral for them to corner her inside. The four of them were already exhausted from running across the large property, but now that they had the horse in the corral they were so close to their end goal of getting her safely into the horse trailer that they couldn’t stop.
It was now clear to everyone that the horse hadn’t had any human contact for some time. Her diet was poor and she was dirty. The fact that she was small took everyone by surprise. My sister-in-law managed to get a look at her teeth when the horse took a treat from her hand. They were so tiny, she couldn’t have been older than two years. Still, she didn’t make it easy for my husband and his brother to get her into the horse trailer. By the time they finally did so, their clothes were soaked clean through and everyone was in desperate need of some cold beverages.
|Meeting her new family....
The ride back to our side of the bay was a long one, but we made it safely out of Mobile and soon brought the horse to her new, loving, caring home. It’s been a few weeks since she arrived at my brother- and sister-in-law’s house and she seems to be doing well on a healthy diet and in the shade of their front pasture. When my husband and I visited a few days ago, she even let me pet her face.
Thank goodness for people like my brother- and sister-in-law who are willing to go out of their way to help horses like this one. I thought it was an important story to tell because I know there are others horses out there who might have been abandoned or suffer from poor care. I personally don’t have much experience with horses, but I do know there has to be better options for those whose owners can no longer care for them. I also think it’s important to recognize everyday heroes like my brother- and sister-in-law, their children, and my husband who take action when an animal is in need.