I often get asked where I find the horses I rescue. The answer is they always find me. Abercrombie found me on week two of recovering from a riding accident, unable to walk or even stand without help. I was emotionally wrecked. I thought I had paid my dues a few years earlier with the accident that almost took my life. During the hardest times in my life, it’s the horses that bring me comfort and peace. I was having a hard time finding anything to be hopeful about. I didn’t even know how long it would be before I could get down the stairs, much less get to the farm.
As I was killing time on Facebook, I scrolled by a post with the face of a horse and a plea for help from the Equine Rescue Network. I scrolled back up and looked into those sad eyes. There were no comments. No one was stepping up to save him. I paused for about 30 seconds and then thought, “I can do this!”. As I poured my energy into sending messages to find out as much as I could and start coordinating the rescue, I felt my spirits lift. The hours went by quickly and I stopped thinking about my current situation.
The horse in the photo was a Standardbred. I knew very little about that breed, but remembered that one of my volunteers, Melissa, had mentioned that she had owned a Standardbred. I reached out with a quick text, “what do you know about Standardbreds?” She had nothing but great things to say, and although I wasn’t planning on telling anyone what I was working on, I sent her a photo and let her in on the secret.
Saturday turned into Sunday afternoon and the details fell into place. I had a plan for him to be transported to where my wonderful quarantine contact would pick him up for his 30 day quarantine period. In 30 days I would be up and walking...perfect timing. Now, I had hope! Something to look forward to. When I sent a text to Melissa letting her know the rescue was a GO, I told her that I was having such a tough day and it gave me something to pour my heart into. That’s when she told me that she was having a tough day herself. It was a year to the day that her horse, Prince, the Standardbred she had told me about, had passed away. I got chills.
Abercrombie arrived after his 30 day quarantine on a dark rainy evening. I was walking, but not able to handle a horse. Melissa was there to walk him from the trailer into his stall. She was the first person he met. She and I spent time there together, me just sitting with him and earning his trust, and her grooming him, working with him in the round pen, and eventually getting him under saddle. We both fell in love with him...what wasn’t to love?? He was giant, but so gentle. Once he decided to trust us, he wanted to be right next to us, and loved affection.
I watched as these two developed a bond. I saw the way he looked at her and noticed how often she was coming to spend time with him. It wasn’t a huge surprise when she started talking about adopting him. She hadn’t thought she was ready to replace Prince, but she said the minute she met Abercrombie, she knew he was her horse.