Lucky was turned out with us two days after he arrived. He was put in with Shorty and me, in a smaller paddock, to make sure he would not get hurt. He was already looking so much better than when he came in. Good, regular food, even in smaller amounts, can make an animal look brighter . We all trotted around when first turned out, and Shorty and Lucky both rolled, but I didn’t want to ruin my nice brush job, so I cantered around a few times, chasing my shadow. Then we grazed for a while. I was amazed that even though Lucky’s ribs are visible he grazed slowly and very gentlehorsely. He is a nice addition to the herd.
Finally we all settled under a shade tree and he told us the rest of his story. Seems Lucky is actually a well bred animal. He came from a mid sized breeder that had nice mares and property. His sire was a horse that lived many states away and had a large stud fee. Lucky has never met his sire, but heard him referred to several times as an “improvement sire”. Lucky left his first home when he was two and was set to training a young female human. He said they worked together for several years, even winning in shows, and then she had to go to some place called “college” and could not remain with him.
Lucky’s next human was the start of his problems. She was not as good a rider, she didn’t understand a horse’s needs and by ignoring them she created problems that intimidated her. Lucky told me he worked with several different humans trainers, but none of them could get his personal human to work correctly. He ended up not being ridden, rarely visited and then finally sold to another human.
This next human was a nightpeople for poor Lucky. He was beaten for being spirited, had severe bits used and was often worked until he was exhausted. He lost weight and got moody and fearful. He was horrified to find himself dumped at an AUCTION! Oh I shuddered at the word. AUCTIONS are what our dams used to frighten us with when we were bad little foals! AUCTIONS are the end of the trail for so many horses! Those of us raised by, and partnered with, resposible people really have no concept of how terrible they are, but we guess and shiver.
Lucky told us about the AUCTION ( sorry I can’t help imagining it like that. Like FIRE! It is such a fearful word!) He was put in a small muddy pen with other sad horses. Some were skinny and had cuts and scars. Some were in better condition, but nervous and worried about their futures. Several horses in the pen next to his were clearly horsterical. He said you could tell they had not been around humans much. They were panicked from being hauled in the wheeled caves. Several wore halters, dragging ropes, which were caked in mud and manure. When it came time to visit the ring of horsehell they were chased through a runway and then galloped around madly in the ring, the ropes slapping their legs and sides. Lucky choked up and Shorty and I scratched his withers while he recollected himself. He dropped his head when he told us that all of the frightened horses ended up in the big double decker wheeled cave. We knew what that meant!
Lucky was finally led out of there by a “cowboy” looking fellow that he referred to as a “DEELER”. He made this human sound so evil and so scary. Shorty couldn’t even nibble on leaves any more; he was so shocked at the thought of Lucky’s life. I am so blessed with my human that I have nothing but sympathy for others that do not have the same life I do! I need to switch leads again back to Lucky’s story.
Lucky went home with the “DEELER” and was immediately made miserable. He lived in a small pen with several other horses, including some with injuries. The injuries were ignored for the most part, unless they were easily treatable with yellow spray. Horses were often dragged out and hosed off to be shown to humans. They were then lunged until they could barely move, so they would look gentle, and then put away sweaty and sore. I felt my skin just shivering at his words, like flies were crawling all over me. Thankfully he finished rather quickly.
The “DEELER” finally ran out of feed and the horses were starved. Several died, including a few mares and colts. Finally things got so bad that the “SHERIFT” showed up and shut the “DEELER” down. Humans came in and started loading horses into wheeled caves to take away. Lucky feared he was going to have to load into a double decker, but none of those ever arrived. While waiting to be taken, the remaining horses were fed and watered, and had their injuries treated. Lucky left in the last group, they were the horses in the BEST condition. Shorty and I shivered for several minutes, recalling how he looked when he arrived. He was finally haltered by a tall human, that smelled of warm grass and molasses, and led into a wheeled cave. He wasn’t sure if his ride was going to be his last, but he was grateful that he had a few moments of kindness before loading. When he was unloaded here he said he almost collapsed with relief. He said the last few days have been like a refoaling and he hopes his new human will give him time to get better so he can show her how grateful he is. I am so happy he was rescued by his human and brought here. I know he will do well now. More later.