After a lot of fretting and keeping the faith, we were finally informed that the horses hadn't shipped for slaughter yet.
A friend managed to get him pulled off a truck being loaded for a Canadian meat plant. While the poorer looking horses headed on another truck to Texas, bound for Mexico.
Then the waiting game began until we could pick him up, hoping that they pulled the right horse and he wasn't sick, injured or traumatized. Any dealings with brokers can be a little sketchy, we avoid it if at all possible. This particular horse was already up to his ears in hot water and deserved an exception.
When it came time to pick him up we all got together with the truck and trailer to make the trip. I've never been so happy to see the right horse, trotting the fence and hollering at the trailer. I'm guessing he was thinking, "hurry up and get me the heck out of this place you people!" He loaded up and hauled fine.
Safe in the trailer but still worried
Finally back in a familiar place to quarantine. What a relief!
A HUGE thanks to those that helped, networked and kept the faith that this horse was worthy of a second chance.
He was stressed and stiff from his unfortunate journey but luckily he was still healthy.
He is going to stay safe, we will make sure of that.
This is the start of a new life for him, there is more to come...
Well I wasn't expecting to see a friend's horse who had been sold to a seemingly good home "headed to the auction" in the classifieds. I contacted the guy who placed the ad, who indicated that the horse was already at the sale yard. He had made the unfortunate decision to just dump the horse, knowing the probable end for any horse that goes to a low end auction yard.
I couldn't make it to the auction yard but scrambled pretty quick to notify a couple of people who possibly could. A friend dropped everything and pulled up the live auction online. She was able to verify that he was there and that he was purchased "straight" for meat along with most of the other horses that day.
I know what it is like to lose a horse to unfortunate circumstances after trying to do right by them. Sometimes researching a new owner or writing up a contract doesn't matter, once a horse leaves your barn, their fate is out of your hands. It is a horrible feeling to think that you somehow failed a horse. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
We networked quickly with folks that had access to the brokers to figure out where he went and if there was hope to re-rescue him. Too many horses slip through the cracks. This horse had already survived years of neglect to find a caring individual that brought him back to health and he was not unwanted.
If nothing else, at least he deserved a dignified end and we were collectively prepared for that possibility.
It may have been too late.
We were told that the horses never unloaded off the truck and they may have shipped out directly, but there weren't enough horses at the sale that day to fill the truck, so there was a little glimmer of hope.
The horses will come up with their own games to keep themselves entertained.
I looked out the window to see the horses bunched up and going after something that was slowly traveling across the pasture. Then I grabbed the video camera to catch the tail end of their antics:
Cupcake's little blanket blew off and they all decided it was a threat worthy of stomping. It BLEW OFF, it is really that windy. The leg straps are all intact so I'm not entirely sure how that happened.