Archive for February 14th, 2011

She Waits No More

Seri was 1 of 142 horses destined for a horrifying fate one May day in 2008 at the Sugarcreek Livestock Auction in Ohio. Sugarcreek is one of the largest auction houses in the country. Every Friday between two-and-three hundred horses are run through with nearly 97% of them going to meat buyers. Yes, folks – I said meat buyers.

That day at the auction Seri was patiently waiting. She’d already been pulled out and was in a “kill pen” with several other unlucky souls. She didn’t allow herself to get caught up in the panic but patiently watched the rescuers she knew were there. The journey that was supposed to end on the killing floor at a slaughter house  instead took her to a million-dollar show barn in Wellington, FL. She would be assigned her own groom as she entered into the loving care of Pure Thoughts, Inc., Horse & Foal Rescue. (www.PTHR.org) As always, she waited patiently.

Gayle (Sam’s mom) was at the auction that day and helped send those kill buyers out with empty trucks. During a visit to Pure Thoughts in Wellington some months later she and Terri (our barn owner) noticed Seri, waiting. They brought her home. So began the next step in her journey. Seri spent some time with Leslie (Partner Up) learning ground manners and such because Terri had every intention of making Seri her special girl but life and death had other plans. The loss of her beloved husband, Jay, brought everything to a standstill not long after Seri arrived. So Seri kept patiently waiting. And what a wonderful place to do so! Barnhill Farms is truly Heaven on earth for all who reside. Time marched on and Seri enjoyed the security her new herd mates and her special friend, Jan. She trusted and enjoyed seeing her everyday but Seri was still waiting… for something.

None of us realized what that something was until serendipity came into play. A little girls’ heart is broken as her beloved horse unexpectedly dies. The search is on for a new equine to love and it leads them to our Seri. I was fortunate to be witness the day they came to pick her up and my heart still swells seeing the magic that can happen when the right little girl finds the right horse. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

Since Seri has basically been out to pasture for over a year, Gary was recruited to ride her for the family to assess her skills. He takes his time in introducing himself and touching her to see if she has any “buttons”. Jenna is right there with him.

He feels confident in being able to saddle her so Jenna and her friend, Haley, spend quality time while he gets his gear.

She took saddling in stride and was just so comfortable.

Gary is a natural horsemanship trainer so he did what most wouldn’t have. (Find him on Facebook at Quest Horsemanship.) He didn’t even consider putting a bit in her mouth. He tied his reins to her halter. I was thrilled to see this. I personally feel bits can be cruel and give people an exaggerated sense of power over horses. You can’t overpower a 1,000 pound horse, it’s got to be about the relationship and respect. Seri felt this immediately from Gary.

Keep in mind, he’d never worked with her before. He takes his time and sees how she accepts weight in the stirrup.

He then sees how she accepts a leg being over top.

He does this a few times before sitting in the saddle. As I’ve stated, Seri is a patient girl.

She backed up as asked.

She changed pace as asked.

We were all so proud! It was then time for Jenna.

Seri immediately took care of her little girl.

The saddle swallowed her but Jenna is an excellent horsewoman so it didn’t matter.

Their journey began the moment they met.

As happy as we all were, Terri was feeling mixed emotions. She’s had to say final goodbyes to those she loves and so saying goodbye to Seri was heartwrenching. She did it for Seri. She did it for Jenna for she knows they were meant to be. We now know what Seri had been waiting for or rather, who.

Many blessings to everyone involved in saving Seri. Her long journey has led her home to the magic of her own little girl.

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