Given a Second Chance at Life.
This is Lucky's Story:
I often frequent sale barn lots in between the
regular sales and will make offers to the owner on horses I am interested
in. On this particular summer day it was hot (95 degrees out with
the desert sun beating down) and I had just finished negotiating the
purchase of two Arabian mares. As I was on my way out I noticed a
brown lump in an adjacent brush lot move. Curious, I was horrified
to find an extremely emaciated little mare laying flat out on her
side. The dirt around her had been torn up from her repeated efforts
to rise. She was nothing more than a rack of bones and her skin was
stretched so tight over her jutting hips & ribs that it was cracked
and bleeding. She was covered with filth and swarms of flies rose
off her as I approached.
In response to my questions, I was told that she
had come off a truck of "meat horses" that were going to be
run thru the next sale there. When they were unloaded, she slipped
& fell in the muddy run and was trampled by the other horses.
Starved, weakened by her condition, injured, and trampled, she couldn't
get back up in the slick muddy footing. They tied a rope to her left
hind leg, hooked it to the backhoe, and DRAGGED her (over the length
of a football field) to an empty brush-lot where she was left to die.
When I came by, she had already been laying there for over two
days with no food or water. I was told that they "just hadn't
gotten around to calling the killers yet...".
I tried at that point to purchase her, and was
told that they would not sell as she was "worthless, and as good as
dead already". In other words, they didn't want to be bothered with
the trouble of getting her off the lot for the small pittance I might
give them for her.
I left to hook up my trailer and came back to pick
up the Arabs ... The whole time I could not stop thinking about her.
I half expected her to be gone by the time I got back - she wasn't.
I walked back up to see her again, and took a handful of hay along
with me this time. She actually raised her head & tried to eat
the hay, even as weak as she was, and I decided right there that if
she still had the heart to try, then I sure wasn't leaving her there!
I told the lot owner that he was giving me that
horse, or he was losing the sale of the two Arabs. After a bit of
an argument, he agreed that if I could get her up on her feet, and
in my trailer, she was mine. (I think he just gave in as he was tired
of arguing with me - to get me off his back) We rolled her over onto
her other side, and with three people pushing & pulling, managed
to get to her on her feet. It took a full ten minutes for her to totter
across the field to the trailer, one painful stumble at a time. We
stopped by a water tank and she drank for a good 3-4 minutes without
stopping. After finally loading her the trip home was made at a crawl
(10-15 miles/hr) as she looked like she was about to fall again at
She had huge 12-16 inch patches of raw flesh on
her left side from being dragged. She was totally lame in her left
hind leg, dragging it at every step. She had an infection in a puncture
wound on her chest. And even after being cleaned up the best I could
she still looked more dead than anything else. The vet came out to
do what he could for her, gave her a couple shots, started her on
penicillin, and gave her an intravenous multi-vitamin booster. He
gave her a 10-15% chance of surviving.
It took two months to clear up the infection. Four
months for the raw patches to heal over. Six months before she even
started to look even halfway decent. Thru it all, she was the sweetest
thing. Daily shots, wraps, salves, cleaning & bandaging - she
took it like a pro. She will always be lame in her left hind leg due
to damage done to her hock joint & hip while being dragged - She
can use it now, just not well. Over a year later I finally had a normal
little horse with a limp and a lot of scars.
Lucky is a small chestnut mare, light built - maybe
part arab from her head. She was only 10 years old. She had obviously
had a good home, been loved, trained & handled ... How did she
ever end up at that lot?
Lucky was placed as a companion horse with a caring
lady who had a single riding horse. She will live her life out happily
there, or will be returned to me if they can ever not keep her. If
only they could all be so lucky.
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