Story submitted by The Mustang Acres Farm.
Cherry arrived at The Mustang Acres Farm in May of 2017 saved from a Pennsylvania.
We rescued her from an unforeseen future. By looking at the pictures and videos we were moved by the warmth in her eyes and the elegance of her movements. Our goal was to have Cherry become our daughter’s horse for riding and possibly showing. We met the transporter at late at night to make sure we could get our caring hands on her as soon as possible. Cherry was in need of major care. The day after arriving at The Mustang Acres Farm Cherry was showing all the symptoms of strangles plus a heavy cough associated with much phlegm production. We called our vet whom immediately prescribed a combination of two different antibiotics.
In addition of being so sick Cherry was majorly underweight; 650 lbs, skin and bones. Nothing comparing to the picture we seen online. We went to work and established a regimen of high protein, high lysine grain associated with vitamins, minerals and amino acid supplementation making sure she had feed around the clock with abundant fresh water.
We could not tell at first if her spirit was going to be up to the challenge; for two weeks we seen little improvement in her health and we were very concerned she would not make it. She was eating, but not close to the amount we wanted her to eat. She was lethargic and not showing much interest in anything. We stayed the course, talking to her, keeping her company with constant interaction and showing her love, continuing the medical treatments and the dietary regimen; our daughter spent many hours talking with her. A bond was being created.
Then the breakthrough came; after about three weeks with us, the pivotal moment arrived! Cherry changed attitude into being attentive and energetic; now eating a lot more, yet still fighting some of the sickness she came with. In about a month, she was out of being sick and now all we could tell was that she wanted to come out of her quarantine and run with us. Cherry’s body composition started to change too and the dietary regimen was now starting to show off with more muscle tone in place and added body weight by the week.
At about 50 days from arrival, we decided it was a good time to see how she was going to act in the arena and what she was made of. Was she going to be gentle or was she going to be aggressive? We wanted to explore as our goal was a rescue horse to become our daughter horse. So, we followed the basics; join up, follow up, go through the water, walk through obstacles, distractions and few other training tactics. To our surprise, Cherry just wanted to perform and be great and gentle. Throughout this process our daughter kept contact Cherry by always talking to her and taking her for long walks. After two months of training, we felt comfortable to have our daughter riding her. Our daughter was four years old at the time; already riding for two years, she knew what to do, and was eager to ride Cherry at this point.We were left speechless; Cherry responded to all the commands from our daughter and took her for a gentle canter, which had our daughter very excited as this was her first canter. What an experience! A bond was created. Cherry surprised us by taking riding into a different dimension; Cherry was totally focused, totally in the moment, totally engaged with our daughter on her back.
Cherry showed us that integrity, can do attitude, grit and passion can give amazing results; Cherry, to these days, rides with our daughter and as our daughter is in the Girl Scout, now Cherry is getting the Girl Scouts the “horseback ride patch” by taking them for rides with our daughter actually mastering some training skills.
Cherry tells us every day that the work we do at The Mustang Acres Horse Farm requires courage and perseverance, yet it is most satisfying the horses a great creature and their spirit bonds with the human spirit in unknown ways.