The week before I had called my friend Kim, a wild horse and burro expert, to ask for help with this rescue. Kim not only had a stock trailer, but she was also experienced at coaxing frightened, barely handled horses into trailers. Kim agreed to help but she had one stipulation:
“So long as you’re sure you’re going to take her,” she told me over the phone. “My husband will divorce me if I bring home another horse.”
“No, no,” I promised. “I’m sure. We’ll take her.”
Only I wasn’t all that sure we were doing the right thing---for us or the pony. The little mare had had no real contact with people for the last eight years. No brushing, no hoof care, no veterinary care. She hadn’t even worn a halter. My husband Dave and I had owned horses for many years, but I worried about our ability to handle a semi-feral horse, even a small one. How had I gotten us into this situation in the first place?
It was the pony’s advertisement on Craigslist: “Free horse. First one Who catches her can take her.”
When I saw the ad I realized it referred to a pony that lived on a vacant lot less than two miles from our farm. The field was hidden behind a dense thicket along a rickety fence line so we’d had no inkling of her situation until we investigated the ad. As any horse person knows, kill buyers love free horses. We couldn’t let that happen.
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE