Catherine + Sparkle + Freedom
Last year, my husband and I purchased some land and began our hobby farm. Because of our adoptive hearts, we have always rescued our animals. Even the dog that I had before we were married was adopted from the shelter. It was no different once we started our life as a married couple.
We began with Abby James, a pit bull mix that my husband found sleeping next to a dumpster. With that, the rescue fire in our hearts was ignited and we haven’t stopped since. The land afforded us the space to add animals as they walked into our life. My husband grew up around horses and we always knew we wanted to have our own someday. (Little did we know a horse would claim us while we were in the midst of very stressful home repairs and projects last year.)
My eyes came to rest upon Sparkle while we were riding our four wheeler on the property one afternoon. She was tied up behind our neighbor’s trailer with hardly any grass in the junkiest yard. She wouldn’t look away from me as I watched her through the brush. It was as if she asked me to save her and free her from the bondage she was in behind that trailer. The stirring in my heart began and shortly thereafter. We were able to negotiate the horse with our neighbor.
Sparkle was 100 pounds underweight, had large patches of missing hair, untrimmed hooves and an untrusting nature – but she was beautiful. We were going through a very hard year emotionally, and Sparkle brought the joy back. Her very presence in our pasture was what we needed to help us through a grueling repair list for our home. Routine vet visits, some good feed, regular farrier visits and grooming brought Sparkle from a sad story to a shining gem.
Sparkle adores my husband, and over time my bond with her is getting stronger. After 11 years of mistreatment, it took time for her to regain her confidence as a horse and trust in humans. All she needed was love, and we are now enjoying some beautiful pasture rides together.
Our second horse, Freedom, has an even more unique story. We saw someone walking him down the street weeks before we found him, but we didn’t know where he ended up. One afternoon, my husband saw Freedom walking down our street by himself. He was able to coax the horse into our front yard. Once we got a good look at him, we realized he was in pretty poor shape. Worms or maggots were eating at rotten flesh in some areas. He had a deep gash on his fetlock that we suspect came from the line he was tied up with. And much like Sparkle had been, Freedom was severely underweight. Because of issues we had experienced with our neighbor, we contacted Animal Control so that we could officially adopt this horse when it came time.
Animal Control kept him for a few days. We applied for his adoption, paying the fees and obtaining the proper paperwork. Freedom received vet treatment and nothing but love and care from then on. Toda, his coat is beautiful and his gash is fully healed. His story is still unfolding with us, as he is only three years old. We now have his young and stubborn nature to battle with on a daily basis. As with Sparkle, it will take time, but we are patient. When I saw Freedom’s condition in our front yard that first evening, I felt that same tug on my heart and I knew I must help. God has always spoken to me with each rescue. As long as I listen, I am never disappointed in the outcome. Sparkle and Freedom have flourished at our farm and I look forward to the possibilities the future holds for all of us.
This is what “right horse” means to me.
I am a firm believer in God’s plan for my life, and I strongly feel animals come into your life for a reason and sometimes just a season. The “Right Horse” has many layers for me, including a connection for both the horse and the owner. A relationship with your horse is one that is beneficial not only for you as an owner and rider, but also beneficial to your horse. The “Right Horse” wants to be in your presence and feels safe with you as their leader. The “Right Horse” is one that also has a story, a past, a need and God has brought our two worlds together in a way that was always meant to be. One may think the right horse is the fastest runner or the prettiest pedigree, but in my opinion, the right horse is the one the universe picks for me. Each of my rescues and adopted horses found their way to our farm and because I was open and receptive. I was blessed with two amazing horses, the right horses for our farm.