Story submitted by GEVA

Part I: The Arrival

A new horse has arrived at the sanctuary.

He was a racehorse.

He is

Only 7.

He raced

Only 5 years.

He ran more than 80 races.

He finished all but one of them.

In. Only. 5. Years!

How is that even possible?!

Why would anyone push a horse that hard?

It wasn’t because he was particularly talented—

Unless you count simply managing to survive.

In all those races he had

Only 2 firsts

Only 6 seconds

Only 14 thirds.

It makes me want to scream

“What were you thinking?!”

At the people who did this

To a creature who had

No power to refuse

No power to choose.

To a creature who had

Only the Greatness of Heart

To keep on trying

No matter

What was asked of him

No matter

How unreasonable the request

No matter

How much it cost him.

And yet, after all that,

This horse

Still has the

Generosity of Heart

To have

Only kindness

Only gentleness

Only goodwill

For people—

He whinnies loudly when

We come into the barn.

He walks right over to say hello when

We go into his paddock.

He likes to be touched.

So you try and convince yourself

That in spite of everything

He has endured

This guy is just fine.

If only he didn’t crib

If only he didn’t weave

If only he didn’t have that swollen leg

If only he didn’t look so much older than he is.

But he does.

***

Part 2: The Journey

So how does a racehorse get

From the track to a rescue or sanctuary?

Sometimes, if the horse is lucky,

It’s a direct path.

Sometimes, if the horse is less lucky,

It’s not.

Sometimes he or she ends up

At an auction house

Frequented by

Kill buyers

Who ship horses to Canada or Mexico

Where horse slaughter is legal.

That’s what happened to this horse.

He was thin

His coat was dull and scruffy

He had a bad leg

He had been run into the ground.

He had no chance of

Being bought by anyone

But a kill buyer.

Sometimes, though,

And beyond all reckoning,

Ending up in such a dreadful place

Can prove to be

The proverbial blessing in disguise.

Because sometimes people—

Individuals and organizations—

Who know about these auction houses and

Who care about the Thoroughbreds dumped there

Do everything in their power to get them out.

But it’s not easy.

It’s never easy.

Saving horses from slaughter requires

Caring and compassion, yes,

But it also takes a small army

Of people to do the actual rescuing.

And unfortunately

It also takes

Money

Often quite a lot of it—

Money for purchase

Money for transport

Money for veterinary care

Money for housing, be it temporary or permanent

(And if temporary,

More money for more transport).

That much money

Is beyond the capacity of

One individual or one organization to come up with

Over and over and over again.

That much money requires

These individuals and organizations to

Co-operate and collaborate with each other

Over and over and over again.

And it is very much to their credit

That they do.

Indeed, the Greatness of Heart

Exhibited by these people

Is rivaled only by

That of the horses

They are determined to save.

Because of these people,

And only because of them,

A new horse has arrived at the sanctuary.

He was a racehorse.

Now he’s free

To just be a horse.

~ Anne Koletzke

The New Horse

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