A story about adopting a rescue mare that we affectionately named Diamond and rehabilitating her.
I’m not a great sleeper. I worry a lot about things that are definitely not in my control and my mind can sometimes get the best of me. People always say, “You must sleep great!” because of how hard I push myself everyday between my part time job, the farm and being a mom and a wife. I always say, “Yeah I sleep pretty good.” But the truth is, I don’t really.
This particular night, I was up stressing out over a 4 hour, 1 way trip, I was going to have to make with Ellie by myself to pick up a trailer I knew nothing about and bring it home. Facebook scrolling at 2am is inevitable in these cases. Mindlessly scrolling helps calm my brain and I do it in the middle of the night more than I’d like to admit.
And just as I was starting to get sleepy, there she was. With a sunken in face and ribs showing, there was just something about her that I couldn’t look away from. I read on about the information. Rescued recently, needs a home, gentle and kind. An older mare, but her age wasn’t known for sure, her breed also unknown, but those things didn’t really matter, I was looking at her ribs. I thought about Ruby, our quarter horse 14 year old mare, out in her paddock, fat and happy. I looked at her ribs again. She had a rehoming fee of $250 to cover the recent vaccinations and feet trimming. I looked at her ribs again. I checked the location and it was literally right by where we were going to get the trailer. “I’ll already have the trailer,” I thought, “what’s the harm in looking?” I sent a message.
The planned Saturday trip, turned into a last minute Friday trip as James got off work early to go with us so I didn’t have to do the trip alone. I did the driving and the thinking. “If she’s as skinny as she looks in the photos, I’m not going to get her,” I thought to myself. “I’m just going to go look,” I kept telling James. He didn’t really say much in return. He was probably thinking, “Great. Another mouth to feed and something else to add to her already stretched for time days.” I was thinking the same thing, but I’d have been a fool to admit it. I didn’t tell Ellie we were going to look at a horse because I was still trying to convince myself that I wasn’t going to bring her home. The truth is, even if she was worse than her photos showed, I would’ve brought her home then too.
We got the trailer with little issue and made our way over to where our old, nameless rescue was awaiting her next move. There were other horses in the paddock but you could’ve picked her out of a line up. She came right up to the fence. Her head was so sunken in, her eyes so tired, her hip bones stuck out like a cow’s, and those ribs. We made eye contact and my heart dropped. I felt my stomach moved back and forth between butterflies and nausea. I knew I couldn’t leave without her. I checked her feet, her teeth, felt over her entire body of bones and asked her to move out on the lunge line for me. I felt guilty asking her to trot, but I needed to make sure she was sound and not limping. She was fine. She looked like she hadn’t been bathed or brushed in a really long time and she looked like she may have had some skin fungus. Nothing a little TLC can’t fix, I thought. I put Ellie on top of her back, “just sit up there for a second, she’s really boney, I just want to see how she acts.” Ellie sat there holding onto her whither that drastically fell to her backbone. The mare didn’t twitch a muscle. I’ll take her. Her teeth hadn’t been done in god knows how long, and they hadn’t been done when the vet came to vaccinate her, so we agreed on $200.
I walked her up to the trailer and she loaded without issue. “You’ll be home soon, girl,” I told her. The butterflies and nausea played back and forth with each other through the ride home. Pulling out of the drive way, I immediately felt like I’d made a mistake. “She’ll be dead before we get home,” I thought. I was scared and I was quiet. I worried about worrying about sleeping when we got home. “It’ll be midnight by then, I’ll be exhausted, I’ll have to sleep.” But the truth is, I’d be up all night worrying about her.” The unknowns about the days to follow drove me crazy. I kept wanting to turn the trailer around, but I knew I couldn’t. I kept driving. The sight of her ribs were engrained in my mind and that vision pushed me forward.
Read the next blog entry about Diamond here!