A few months ago, a good friend made contact after seeing a horse in her local council pound. On making inquiries she was told that the horse had been found wandering on the road. If no one claimed her, she would be sold at auction at the next cattle sale. My friend was concerned as she had recently discovered that two horses, put up for auction, had been sold at just $20 each to a meat buyer.
The mare had to wait out the time in case she was claimed. But as her condition was poor, and her mane long and in dreadlocks, it did not seem likely. My friend and others used the time to visit the mare, now given the name ‘Willow’, give her some companionship, and to raise some funds to assist with her purchase and initial care.
Of course, at an auction, you cannot be certain of success and all were understandably tense on the day. Some other people had gathered but on finding that a rescue group were intending to bid, they withdrew, and even better, made a donation to Willow’s purchase.
Willow was caught and moved to a pen. The bidding started, and luck was on our side, and we were the winning bid. Willow’s future was secure!
The following day I hooked up the float and arrived at the saleyards. Poor Willow had had enough though and was not interested at all at meeting up with us. Fortunately she responded to freedom techniques of approach and retreat, though it took an hour. It was a wonderful feeling though when finally Willow allowed me to slip a headstall on and she led beautifully from the yards and straight onto the float. The float ride home was delightfully uneventful.
When we arrived Willow heard the other horses and was frantic to get off the float, to the point where we opened up the doors, and left her to it. Of course our min/Shetland X, Shiloh, also known as Miss Meet and Greet, was there to say hello.
Willow LOVED Shiloh, to the point where she became frantic if Shiloh went on one of her regular walkabouts.
Although we have posted Willow’s photograph and details we have not been able to trace her brands or get any information on her past.
We are working on gaining Willow’s trust. Once in hand she is very easy to handle and has obviously been well handled in her past. How she came to be loose on the road, with no one to claim her is a mystery.
Willow has had a makeover. She has had her teeth and hooves done, and her impossibly tangled mane was hogged to enable it to grow back afresh. Her brand and her teeth show her to be 25.
Now sharing he house paddock with the terrible twins (chestnut thoroughbred mares Sophie and Ruth) she has the gentle Manfred as her companion. Shiloh is the occasional visitor.
Willow will continue her handling here until such time as the very special forever home is found. We are not in any hurry!