I am a member of the Camelot Rescue group on Facebook. Every week I’m tortured by the horses that for some reason have ended up potentially going to slaughter. I’ve almost “unliked” them because it breaks my heart every week knowing I can’t save all the animals even though I believe that every horse (cat and dog for that matter) deserves a good home. It’s not their fault they have ended up where they are.
Well last week there was a picture that spoke to me in a way that no other one has. It was the picture of a grey Arabian mare who was said to have been a lesson horse and was ridden through the auction at walk, trot and canter. Unfortunately she was banged up on the trailer and her legs were a mess. Still, regardless of the fact that she was in a strange place, with a strange handler, and with bloody, painful cuts on her legs, she stood up like a proud show horse. She knew her job and was going to do it. The look in her eye was one of slight bewilderment, but she was a good girl and did what she thought the person wanted. I knew, just knew, that horse had a heart of gold. She was the kind of horse that would give you her all. She obviously was in this photo. And she deserved a chance.
I texted my Arabian-loving friend Debra Peebles asking if she saw her. A few texts later she asked that if she bailed her out if I would ride her and we find her a permanent home. Without hesitation I said “yes”. How did I know she was a good horse? I don’t know. I just did. Her picture spoke to me…intuition…a feeling in the pit of my stomach…whatever you want to call it. I knew she was something special, and the next day she was Debra’s. Now, there was some miscommunication with the original hauler and she was supposed to arrive Sunday, but she got left behind. Debra quickly was able to arrange other transportation with Equest Driven. Not surprisingly, she loaded on to the trailer like a champ. One glance at the rodeo taking place behind her was all the motivation she needed. On Monday, “Guinevere” (As Debra started to call her because after all, she came from Camelot and she is regally beautiful.) was on her way to her new home in Middletown, Maryland.
Gwen arrived safely and Debra immediately started spoiling her. First a bath to get off all the auction stink. Then a massage blanket to help her relax. The vet came to check her out. He pronounced her relatively healthy, not in foal (whew!), did her teeth and treated her legs. Her left front had a bad cut and puncture wound and her left hind was all scraped up and swollen. Some rest, water, and good nutrition should put her right. Gwen took everything in stride. Here, again, were strangers and she was completely accepting of them. I got to meet her that day as well. What a kind, intelligent eye she has. She may or may not be a purebred Arabian. We’re trying to find out who she is because she’s obviously had a lot of training in her background. But if we can’t, that’s okay too. She’s Gwen and she’s a lovely mare.
The next day Debra let her out to roll, which she did repeatedly! Ahhh…nothing like some sand on your back and in your ears. The farrier came and did her feet and again, she was the model citizen. She was, however, a bit more rested up. She was brighter and more alert. She was calling for the other horses so in the afternoon Debra turned her out for a bit in the quarantine field. She ran and ran and ran. She was so happy to be free!
Gwen continues to settle well into her new surroundings. In a week or so we may try lunging her and then soon I’ll get on her. She’s a pretty mover so we’ll see what she can do. My guess is a lot. So I’ve decided to blog about our adventures with Gwen. Why? I’m hoping to educate people on the beauty, intelligence and majesty that is the Arabian; I want people to think about a reschooled rescue horse for their next horse; and perhaps people will learn a thing or two about horses as I share our story. Who knows… maybe once Gwen has her happy ending (and we will make sure that she will) perhaps I will find another horse that speaks to me. Until then I hope you enjoy getting to know Gwen – the Queen of Camelot.