I was in shock.
All locked up in a place I had never been before.
I have learned to keep things like this at arm’s length when I hear about them on social media, YouTube, and the like. But this came out of nowhere a few weeks ago and at this moment I couldn’t think. I couldn’t react. I was frozen in place. Was I going tharn I wondered? Like the rabbits in Watership Down? The word had become a part of my vocabulary before I had even finished the book. It was a good word that filled a definite void in the English language. Tharn: that icy steel clutch of fright that could so thoroughly paralyze a rabbit that he would be unable to act, or react, easy prey for an enemy. Humans need a word like that. For some, going tharn was an every day answer to life. And now I was wondering if it was happening to me. In the old days, the question would’ve never come up.
But that was B.P. Before Poppy.
I knew I was teetering on fragile ground, where rational thinking can, without warning, give way to self‑pity. But I was accustomed to being in control, not being controlled, and a few moments ago choice had been removed as an option. I was being forced to act. My life, and Poppy’s, would depend upon it.
Over the years hundreds of requests have poured in asking us to give a home to this horse or that one, most of whom “will soon be off to the slaughter houses if not adopted.” Had we said yes we would now have between 500 and 600 horses on our 31 acres, none of which would be healthy because obviously that’s way too many horses to thrive on 31 acres. And we, for sure, would be forced into the horse adoption business. So a few years after publication of The Soul of a Horse I declared that in an effort to get my work done and to feel less guilty, I would stop altogether reading and responding to these requests. Yes, I would ignore all these horses needing help. But I didn’t manage to feel any less guilty.
“You have no option,” Kathleen said. “You got into all of this to help horses lead healthier and happier lives, and you have helped thousands and thousands do just that. To continue that work takes enormous amounts of time. Time you cannot spend on one horse at a time. Somebody else has to do that.”
She’s right, of course.
But I always say Never say never!
I was also right.
Or so it seemed on this particularly beautiful sunny day. For there, not 20 feet away from me was a beautiful paint mare.
Who was about to lose her life. Read More→