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Archive for September 20th, 2008

When you think of Orlando, FL most people bring to mind images of the Magic Kingdom and Mickey Mouse. But I want to tell you about a different magical land. This land may be small in size but it is ruled by the most sacred of oaths. It’s loyal followers are true to one thing, their pure love for horses and the belief they are all to be cherished.

Longwood Hills Ranch sits amongst suburban neighborhoods and busy streets on the outskirts of Orlando. In the past six months a diverse group of horse owners have all made their way there for a place to board their own horses. The ranch owner has taken chances on some newbie owners and horses from rescue situations where it was unknown how the horses were going to behave. It didn’t matter. Horses needed a place to go. She’s relied on a few experienced boarders to school those not so saavy in the ways of the equine. Everyone is always ready to help the others when it comes to the needs of the horses. No need is  ignored, whether it is walking a horse who is in colic or standing watch over the mare getting ready to give birth. Everyone works together.

The recent rescue of Lady Brown is just one example of how a small group of dedicated horse people can make a difference. Lady Brown’s owner had heard about this boarding barn and how it seemed to be different. She called and begged for help. More than one thing had been happening in her life to make it difficult to continue caring for her horse and the flooding from Tropical Storm Fay had been the last straw. Lady Brown had been living in chest high waters for weeks. She had not been fed in a long time. It took no time at all before the barn owner rallied a few boarders and got the trailer headed out to find Lady Brown. It didn’t matter how old she was, how mean she was, how sick she was, the horse needed help.

While the actual rescuing of Lady Brown was being accomplished, complete with kicks to her saviors, phone calls were being made to find a foster barn for her. A place was secured as she was loaded into the trailer and she began her journey toward a new life. The boarders took turns going out to care for Lady Brown. Not only was she emaciated but her skin was literally falling off from rain rot. It was quickly apparent this was not just some horse. She had a light in her eyes, though dim, it could be seen.

About a week after Lady Brown came to be the new project, a family happened upon the magical place known as Longwood Hills Ranch. They were interested in helping and it so happened they had ten lovely acres in need of some beautiful horses. The father of the family began going and helping tend to Lady Brown. He spent hours picking off her rain rot and quickly became a follower of the sacred oath to love horses. He was falling for Lady Brown. He spent the next week readying his place to bring her home. He built a temporary barn, put up a huge round pen and went shopping at the feed store. Before meeting Lady Brown he had been toying with the idea of buying an expensive show-type horse. Lady Brown made those thoughts leave his mind for good. It didn’t matter to him how old she was, or how skinny she was or the terrible way her skin looked, he saw in her eyes what horse people see. They all should be cherished.

It’s amazing to think what this one small barn was able to accomplish in two weeks time. If every barn in America took on one project horse, these so-called unwanted horses that end up at auctions would have a much better option. Lady Brown went to her new home a few days ago. It was apparent she is as much in love with her new owner as he is in love with her. We know the future for Lady Brown is now secure and she will never want for food or care again. We found out who she is. She’s another tossed away ex-racehorse. She’s a Thoroughbred who’s grandfather is the famous Northern Dancer. She is twenty-one years old and was called Lady Supremo. Since her rescue from the floodwaters, she has been a will always remain a Lady. Her heart is now healing.

Lady Brown checks out her new surroundings.

That is Richard, her new owner.

The half hour I was there she didn’t take her eyes off him. She moved with him every time he moved.

This is disturbing, she is so skinny.

This is the view of her backbone.

Her first meal at home and at peace.

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