This is a special horse and her owner Julee has asked me to help find someone to take over her care. Here’s Julee’s email to me and the story of the precious thoroughbred mare that she rescued. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post here….I know this horse personally as she has been at Avalon Farms the last few years. You can come out to the farm and see her if she catches your eye…if you’re not careful she’ll she’ll capture your heart too
This was Baby before…
Dept: Horse Sense
Subtitle: RESCUE OF LOVE
By SHERRY PAIGE
EDS: 3 photos w/cuts: photos by Vic Scoggin
“Life holds on given the slightest chance…” Beth Nielson Chapman
Rescue. It’s a story we rarely tire of hearing. The awareness that something made of flesh and blood is hurting, not getting enough to eat or drink, or perhaps neglected in other ways, stirs our sense of right and wrong – moves us beyond pity to compassion. If only someone would come to the rescue.
‘Need’ can be a hard thing to look upon. It cries out from sunken eye sockets, sallow cheeks, and bony ribcages to interrupt our day. It shatters the mundane with its urgency. “This creature needs help now!”
But we’re all so busy. We don’t know what to do. Should we stop to help or just keep going? We live in a culture that struggles to care. Non-profit organizations spring up to help those, who aren’t paying attention, realize where the needs for rescue are. Help! Over here! Food! Shelter! Yet whatever provision is most appropriate to the presenting “need”, the underlying crucial ingredient necessary to fully impact the victim is… love.
Every now and then an opportunity comes along that matches ‘a creature in need’ with another who needs to help save something worth saving. This is such a story, told mostly in these pictures and with a large brushstroke of an interview. This is a short, true story of how Julee and Baby rescued each other.
“Everything just want to be loved.” Celie from The Color Purple
It was about a year ago when Leipers Fork pilates instructor/business owner, Julee Jones, realized she’d been thinking about having a horse again. Having shown hunter/jumpers earlier in her career, she had always loved the equestrian sports. Though her musings had less to do with competitive performance than they did with just “having a horse”, she dismissed them as not currently realistic.
Sure enough, not long after that, a pilates client and friend arrived for a session with this question on her lips, “Can anyone take another horse?” Seems there was a mare on her road near the dead end that had that hollowed out look in the eyes, down the back, into the ribs, through the flanks…and before Jones knew what was happening they were in the car together driving to take a look. Julee remembers the thought that played through her mind, “Oh, if this is a sorrel thoroughbred, I’ll be hooked.”
Hooked she was! The horse was a sorrel thoroughbred mare named Baby. However, the playing out of this mare’s rescue was difficult, taking many twists and turns that involved media attention as well as animal control issues before it was settled. Jones had to die to the desire to somehow ‘make this horse her own’ many times. After all, Baby had begun a relationship with her over the fence sharing nose kisses! Finally, after all attempts by authorities to trailer-load this horse had failed, stillness settled in. Like the breath of God blowing these two together, Jones was granted possession for the price of one dollar.
Walking Baby down the road to her client/friend’s farm, Julee remembers the thrill as well as the reality of “what do I do now?” But the nature of a rescue like this is always apparent by the love – and that is exactly what both Julee and Baby received that day (when even the animals welcomed them) and have ever since. Friends and community members have shared feed, connected Jones to natural horsemanship trainers, helped Julee find the next right place for Baby to board and much more. (By her own admission, too many to thank by name here.)
“To lend each other a hand when we’re falling. Perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end.” Frederick Buechner
All that said, the real story here is between the two of them. Baby’s need for nourishment, apparent on the outside, mirrored Julee’s, on the inside. A fence they once leaned over to get to each other has become one they look out over together. It’s enough to make you wonder if the mare deliberately refused to load because she wanted Jones to lead her home. Whatever is true only Baby knows for sure. But what is sure is the miracle awaiting when you’re willing to hang yourself out there and just “be”.
“A horse will let you know where they are,” Jones says. “This is not about making something push button for a show. It’s about relationship – such a special gift.” She and Baby are taking it slowly with solid feeding and steady ground work, building muscle and trust all the way. This 16’2” sorrel mare who weighed less than 900 pounds when rescued weighs a healthy 1200 pounds today. And though blind in one eye from the malnutrition, sees Julee clearly with her heart.
Breath-taking and simple…yet allowing something so vulnerable to ‘easter up’ from inside us is a reminder of how it feels to be saved, cause… oh, baby, it’s a Rescue of Love! It is!
Sherry Paige is an equestrian, a writer, producer, and musician. She can be reached at HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Julee’s own words why she needs someone to step up and carry on the love and caring of this wonderful animal…
I have decided to try to find Baby a new owner to love her. The financial
stresses associated with this divorce and the lack of time to come out to
see her have made it apparent to me that I need to find someone who can
spend time with her and love her. So I am attaching a couple of pictures of
Baby, before I rescued her and after, along with the article that was
written about her. If you can pass this on and help me find her a new owner
who will love and care for her, I will appreciate it. I am not asking for
any money and will gladly donate her blanket and neck cover to go with her.
Its a tough decision, but one that I need to make now. She is 16.2 hands
high, thoroughbred and guess her to be around 12 years old. She is very
nice ride, but is blind in her right eye and as you know I have ridden her
in the arena quite safely, but have not trail ridden her. She is sweet, a
cribber, and I have her cribbing collar, but hopefully someone will want her
who has an electric fence system, or best, she can stay with you.
If you could both send this information out to the folks in your network, I
would so appreciate it.
Note: Baby does not wear the cribbing collar at Avalon Farms because we have electric fences and there is nothing for her to chew on. She lost the vision in one eye from her starvation time. She is sound and she has been trimmed (barefoot) regularly.