My daughter, who lives in Los Angeles, rides at a horse ranch in the area. She has sent the following letter to everyone she knows, which I am posting in the hope that someone can help her save a horse who is being sorely neglected by his owner.
I have met Shane, and he is a lovely animal.
He needs a new home. He will die if that doesn't happen soon. Please take a few minutes to read Catie's letter, and if you know of anyone who can help, let me know. Thank you all.
It sucks to depend on humans for your care.
Apologies for the spam, but I need to get the word out to as many people as possible, quickly. The last time I sent out an email to my whole address book was after 9/11, so please believe this is serious, and cut me a little slack since i've put up with years of chain letters, personality tests, stupid animal tricks, find-your-porn-star-name, and god knows what kind of emails in an effort to communicate with you people. (I'm saying that in jest, if tone doesn't come through. Point is, we all have things we care about enough to get others involved with, and if you've ever sent me a "hey, lipstick is cancerous! pass it on!!" email-o-gram, this one's for you. :) Seriously.
So, basically-- my barn has a wonderful horse named "Shane" who colicked (basically a stomach upset that's very serious for horses and can twist the intestines so badly everything vital is cut off). Because he has a bit of a quirky personality and is getting on in years, the owners don't want to try to save him-- they're leaving him to rot in a dirty stall and ignoring him until he dies. They are neither feeding nor walking him-- and movement is crucial in this situation. There are animal cruelty issues here that must be dealt with, but the more pressing need right now is to save him, and time is truly of the essence. He is not suffering right at this moment-- I've been giving him Banamine for days and walking him as much as possible, but there isn't a lot of time he can exist like this.
My request is that you please help me save this beautiful horse if you can. It doesn't cost you anything.
Why? Because he hasn't yet given up on himSELF, he still has a lot of life in him, and sick as he is, he still pricks up his ears and looks right at you, as if he is trusting that someone cares. He is not a mean horse, but he is high spirited and mischievous, and people don't like him because there are easier horses to ride. That's why he's been left to die. They said it isn't "business-minded" of them to save him. This is not some communist missive that will end with "down with the rich people!"-- we all of us make sound business decisions every day. But someone else's life shouldn't fall under that same rubric. And saying it costs more than a being is "worth" to treat him just deep-down fundamentally bothers me.
Without being overly anthropomorphic, please consider for a moment how easy it is to be misunderstood, and just think if your life depended on that misunderstanding. He's a good horse. He just needs a chance, and someone with a little patience. Imagine if you needed urgent medical care, and no one wanted to help you because sometimes you're a little crabby. Shane has taught a lot of people a lot of things, but at the end of the day, just wasn't bred to be a lesson horse. Someone abandoned him many years ago after spending a ton of money to buy him-- his original owner saw a pretty horse and had to have him, but had no real idea what to do with him, and wasn't experienced enough to deal with his spiritedness. The barn management made him a lesson horse so he'd earn his keep, and for many years now he's been doing a job decently well that he shouldn't do at all-- but it isn't his nature to be ridden by amateurs all day, and every so often he sort of acts out. He is NOT dangerous-- he just has some tricks to riding him that a confident rider can quickly sort out. But rather than just accept they made a mistake trying to make money on this one, they've decided to let him die so they can get more docile animals any junior can ride. Most of us have at one time or another found ourselves in a situation at which we arrived purely by circumstance. But because we are beings with free will in a free world, we're able to generally wiggle ourselves out. Animals aren't so lucky. This is a trapped spirit reliant on humans to fight for him, and I hope you will help get him on the better path he deserves.
2 ways you can help. Neither involve money.
I have struck a deal with the barn owners not to put him down while i try to do what i can to help him-- I've got vet care under control, but if he makes it, I will want him rehomed.
- 1. If you know any horse lovers in SoCal who could give an excellent home to a nearly 20 year old Arabian gelding who is otherwise sound... please let me know immediately. He very much wants a person of his own with whom to bond. Arabians are not bred to be ridden into the ground by many people- they are loyal and loving and trusting when it's earned, and this particular horse needs someone kind who will shower him with personal attention, and not push him to heal too fast so they can keep making money. He will need a good 3 months solid time off from work, but I am betting he will again be sound and a great riding companion for many more years. He just needs an honest chance, and someone to watch over him and not throw him back into work with idiots as soon as he clears medical. I have ridden him extensively myself, and am more than happy to give a thoroughly candid assessment of his abilities, personality, etc. if you know anyone interested.
-2. That said, IF he pulls through is still up for debate. This is somewhat more personal than asking for a new home rec.... but please. If you can find a quiet moment, or better yet: several-- please just send your best and most healing thoughts, however you conceive of that. I do believe that helps tremendously. He has a heart and soul. I know it's probably corny, but if you saw him, you would know that. This horse has really no one on his side, and every bit of attention he gets seems to be helping right now. Like people, they get sad when they're sick and no one cares.
So that's really it. Long explanation, but it boils down to helping find him a new owner, and please just adding him to your prayers, good thoughts, and positive energy. Everyone at the barn expects him to die, and I want to counteract that somehow. This horse has really touched something in me.
Cynics among you, what can i say.
Philosophy friends: just think of this as a combination of a prayer wheel and pascal's wager.
Psych friends: am i over-personalizing this? have I over-identified with this animal? -No.
Old friends: have i gone and completely lost my mind? Maybe. I just don't think that putting forth good energy to this can hurt. I hope you'll help.