Monday, February 23, 2009

One Story Can Make a Difference

Faith has officially been a part of my life for 21 days now. We have had our ups together, and we have certainly had our downs. She has made me smile, she has made me laugh, and she's made me cry - a lot.

I have enjoyed every minute I have spent with her; the hours grooming her and wrapping her legs, the moments just leaning up against her stall wall watching her eat. She still puts a smile on my face when she sniffs every pocket on my jacket searching for the one the carrots are hidden in, and I smile just as much when she pins her ears back as she finishes the last one and learns the pockets are empty. I can now even laugh at the memories of wiping antibiotic paste out of my hair, repeatedly.

I have held her head in my arms while silent tears ran down my cheeks, upset that she was in pain and that she might stop fighting. I worry that I have made wrong choices along the way. I worry that I should have let her go long before the pain began, and then miraculously she pulls through and proves me wrong. I have worried that she wouldn't make it, afraid that I would fail in rehabbing her, afraid of saying goodbye.

I have talked openly about what I am willing to do for her when she stops fighting. I just pray that time doesn't come soon. I believe she has a future here, a real purpose in life, and I plan to do everything I can to allow her that freedom.

This past week has been a challenge. She started so strong and ended so weak. I now worry about the severe and debilitating conditions she may possibly have, looking for answers to her problems. Most are treatable, a few will severely limit her future, but none are pleasant. She has been through enough; she doesn't need any more.

Faith has taught me that things happen for a reason. She has showed me how honest "horse people" can come together and support one another. She has taught the community about the abundance of animal neglect. She has showed me that one horse, one struggle, and one story can make a difference.

When being interviewed by a reporter last week, I was asked if Faith seemed happy here and if I thought she had bonded with me. As the words were being spoken, Faith slowly picked her head up. She rested her chin on my shoulder, her nostril against my ear, and let out a big sigh. I didn't need to answer the question; she had done it for me.

No matter what the outcome is, no matter how long or short her stay is here, I am so very fortunate to have her in my life.



  1. Faith is a fighter--I can tell that by your reports and from the fact that she has come this far and has not let a few "steps backward" stop her from fighting the good fight. Regardless of the outcome, you ARE fortunate to have her in your life and you are sharing your adventures with a growing group of followers.

    We all have an interest in making life better for horses, and the sharing of your experiences is part of "making it better."

    I hope the reporter "caught" the answer Faith gave to the question about whether or not she had bonded with you.

    Prayers to you and Faith.

  2. My very first horse was a gelding that my parents purchased from a lady who clearly wasn't caring for him. He was hundreds of pounds underweight and seemed to have lost that "sparkle" in his eyes. It was quite an life experience nursing him back to health, and before long he was back in shape and quite a little spit fire. He was living again and it was a miraculous journey to be a part of, especailly for a 12 year old little girl. I cared for him until it was his time to leave this world and I have to say it was one of the most defining experiences of my life. Horses do something for our souls. People would always say, "he is so lucky to have found you!" and inside I would always think, " I am so lucky to have found HIM" that little man taught me so much and helped shape me into the women I am today. You and Faith are in my prayers. I am so happy that you found eachother!

  3. I have enjoyed reading about you and Faith's journey. I am praying for good test results and will definitely be checking in to see. Hang in there you two!

  4. I find it very sad that an anonymous someone would try to spoil the spirit of Faith’s recovery. In this economy every business has to watch costs, businesses are closing all around us. Donations are not required to follow this journey; however some people who want to take part have a way to do so. Faith was in dire need for a caring environment, and thankfully there was someone who would take on the responsibility to care for her, which takes so much more than money. Faith’s journey is one that can teach us all a lesson in life and show us how to be a caring community.

  5. I have been a faithful reader of Faith's blog and have cried with you and rejoiced with you. This blog has enriched my life and my life with my horses. As fortunate as Faith was to have found you, you have been the most fortunate to have found her.
    Soon the results from the blood tests will be known. The waiting is hard.

  6. Hi everyone. Just wanted to say that EPM is a good possibility - it would explain a lot about this mare's condition. Thoroughbreds are the #1 breed for EPM (she looks like a TB to me), and it produces a lot of the symptoms you are describing. I lost my own 15 year old TB mare to EPM 6 years ago after 7 months of a long hard fight to save her. She started out with drastic weight loss - she was a 6 qt per day horse before that - and even when I tripled her grain and gave her free choice hay, she was still losing. She was the one skinny horse in a field full of fat ones. She also started favoring one stifle, and later exibited rear leg instability, loss of balance, and wobbling on cross-ties. My vet finally diagnosed EPM after a spinal tap, and despite EVERY possible treatment and thousands of dollars in vet bills, I had to make the decision to put down my best friend. It broke my heart and I still miss her every day. She still had "light in her eyes" right to the end, and fought so hard to get better. She was in no way "abused", I spent nearly every cent I made for her medical care and upkeep, but you wouldn't have known that to look at her near the end. I pray that this is not the diagnosis you get for Faith - no horse (or owner!)should have to go through such a horrible disease. Best of luck.