This is Speranza, rescued by a friend of mine who gave her the name, which is Italian for “hope.” Laura is great with horses, and seeing this one broke her heart. She couldn’t help but to take the mare in. If I were able, I would’ve done the same thing.
I can’t join the inevitable argument that the former owner was evil for letting the horse deteriorate to this state. I don’t know his situation. Sometimes former owners are just plain ignorant of what they’re getting into when they buy a horse. They don’t understand how expensive it is to care for a horse or don’t know the basics of how to do it. They figure the more domesticated horses are able to survive off the land just as the mustangs do out west.
That doesn’t make them evil–just stupid.
If you’re going to put a horse out to pasture, at least make sure the pasture has hay. Granted, Texas has been in an awful drought for the past several years, and last summer was killer. Temps soared over 110 with no rain to offer a break. Pasture hay didn’t survive. Ranchers who could afford it trucked hay in from other states, but not all horse owners could afford it.
Does that justify this? No, but it’s still a hard call. I doubt this was an unusual sight last year. I imagine auction barns were full of horses, put up for sale by owners who just couldn’t afford them anymore. With everyone in Texas in the same situation where feed prices and availability are concerned, I doubt the animals were in high demand. If they didn’t sell, they returned to their original owners–the ones who couldn’t afford them to begin with.
Most ranchers had to sell off huge percentages of their stock–some to buyers as far away as Nebraska. It wasn’t a seller’s market last year, and that goes for horses, too. It wouldn’t surprise me if the only buyers were hobbyists who found out the hard way just how expensive horse care can be.
The horse controversy is complex and multifaceted, so I can’t automatically come down on the side of the animal rights activists, any more than I can land squarely on the ranchers’ side. I do know, however, that closing the slaughter houses has caused some serious problems, as has changing the laws pertaining to how a horse can be put down in general. Reality can smack romanticism down, and the sometimes the reality is that euthanizing an animal is the least cruel answer to an overpopulation problem. While it’s hard to think of this as a viable alternative, it’s even harder to see Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in this deteriorated state.
Speranza was lucky–Laura was ready for a new horse, and the only thing wrong with this one was that she was underweight. You can still see her ribs here, but her flanks have filled out again.
God has a special place in his heart for animal rescuers, I just know it. I don’t think he’s overly fond of animal worship, but I believe he rewards the stewards who take good care of his creation. And I believe horses are his most beautiful creation.
People like my friend Laura are more precious than gold.
Speranza has hope because of her. Other horses out there have hope because of folks like her, and like Chris and Jen Micek, a couple I featured on this site earlier.
Speranza’s is a victory story!
Linda, it is so difficult for me to read this because I also see the images. I cannot look at these things. I turn off the sound and close my eyes or change the station when commercials come on for abused animals. It breaks my heart and brings me to tears. I’m so glad your friend took in this sweet horse and she’s recovering. This has become a widespread problem. So sad but glad there are those who care enough to nurse these animals back to health. Thanks!
Yeah, it hurts me too. The ASPCA commercials can rip ya to shreds, so I don’t watch either. I’ve had Speranza’s “before” pictures for quite some time, but wouldn’t post them without the “after.” I like to show when someone’s efforts are succeeding.
Chalk me up as another who can’t watch those commercials. Nor can I pass up a hungry animal. “Speaking of horses”, Linda, I looked out my window one morning, and in the adjoining field was a horse that looked much like Speranza. I called the owner of the field, and learned they had just “repossessed” it from someone who’d bought it, and then never fed it. I became it’s foster mother. I was telling a friend about it, who worked for a man who had a 600-acre ranch. And, Praise God, he was looking for a “companion” for one of his prize horses. Long story short. “Horse McQueen” went to live on a huge ranch, with his own personal trainer. I saw him a year later, and he was absolutely gorgeous. I hadn’t thought of him in awhile. I’m glad you reminded me.
That’s a great story, Lynne. I love happy endings!
Great story..glad she is filling out again. She’s a beautiful horse!
I haven’t seen her recently. Can’t wait for Laura to send me more pictures. She had some raw spots in her hide that I hope are healed now.
Amy and I just started vontrueenilg with HEART, and just two days ago filled out membership forms. Every day we are there is a joy. I cannot believe the welcome we received from Judy and Mark when we first showed up. This is a couple with a huge heart for horses. Their knowledge about horses is incredible. Everyday we are there is a day we learn somethings new. Amy and I already own a bay quarter horse and we also share the same love and respect for horses but we are green. It is amazing just how busy they are but they will always stop to explain something if needed. If you watch Judy as she speaks about each of the horses you will see in her eyes the love she has for each and she has a story for each one of them. Amy has fallen in love with one of the horses named hunter, what a great horse and we hope to welcome him as a new member of our family soon. There are still great horses waiting waiting for the right family to love them to, til then I know Judy, Mark, and all the members and volunteers of HEART will be giving them plenty of love.
Wow, those pictures really tell a story all by themselves. Glad to know she was saved!
Thanks for sharing this. Heartbreaking to see the first pics, but I knew it had to have a happy ending. As a child reared on a farm, I grew up loving horses, dogs, cats, cattle and even pigs. Thankfully there are others who are lovers too. Oh, and I also love people! How could I forget to mention that. . .
Sometimes it’s easy to forget mentioning people. They aren’t always so lovable! 😀