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Kristina adopted Belle through Heavenly Meadows Horse Rescue when the mare was just a yearling. Belle spent 3 weeks at the rescue battling what could only be called shipping fever. The poor horse had a runny nose and draining eyes, and was depressed and feverish. Belle was uncatchable and so, so scared.


A couple of times a week, Kristina drove the 2 hours to see Belle. This way, they’d be familiar with each other when the time came to bring Belle home. It took 45 minutes of coaxing to get Belle on the trailer that day, but finally, she was brought to her new home.

Two days later, Belle’s adopter noticed a swelling just below her left cheek on her neck. Kristina called the vet to be sure they came out soon. But, the next morning Belle was standing next to the trailer, head down, ears flopped to the side and with the swelling was the size of a grapefruit. The vet arrived quickly, and as he sedated Belle to examine her (she wasn’t the most cooperative), the swelling burst and green pus sprayed everywhere.

The vet immediately told Kristina that Belle likely had Strangles and that the horse needed to be isolated. They put up fencing for her faster than they ever did anything and Belle was officially “off limits”, except to Kristina and her husband. Belle was so sick, the vet said that if she could make it through the weekend, she might be ok. She was still recovering from her previous illness, too.

Kristina and her husband had to give Belle penicillin injections twice a day for 10 days and I had no idea she would be so cooperative. Kristina would sometimes use the trailer as a makeshift “stock” to give her the 2 injections. Belle became easier to handle and work with during this “trial by fire” and to this day, 12 years later, is the best horse to work with! She was to be Kristina’s husband’s riding horse, but sadly, he passed in 2011. Belle will be with her new owner always, as “Danny’s horse”.

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About Hope Legacy Equine Rescue

Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue was founded in 2008 when we took in our first donkey. Since then they have taken in over 450 horses, ponies, mules, and donkeys.

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