New horse Bourbon had his first day out at the beach. He’s not ready to start riding yet, so his family walked with him. I took King and we all had a long walk on a beautiful day.
The horses rolled almost immediately and got nice and sandy, which they thoroughly enjoyed. They were actually groaning with pleasure!
Both of these horses worked HARD their entire lives. Their bodies tell that story. They were both Amish horses who pulled carts on pavement. There are always people who are quick to defend the Amish and say that they pay a lot of money for their horses and treat them well. Unfortunately, the kill pen is full of ex-Amish horses who tell a different story. I have nothing against working animals. I think most horses actually do better when they have a job. But there are limits. Pulling a cart on pavement for years DESTROYS these horses. They’re worn out by age 15, only half their natural lifespan. Back in the day when they pulled on dirt roads, it was probably fine. But concrete is too much. That’s my take on it, anyway. Plenty of people disagree. I just know what I’ve seen in these horses’ bodies. They are wrecked. King’s rehab period is going to be measured in years, not months.
When we’re walking the horses instead of riding them, we meet a lot of people. They feel they can come up to us when we’re on the ground rather than high up on the horse. People always love to hear that these two were on their way to the slaughterhouse and now they’re living the good life at the beach. The world is full of bad news; people like to hear about a happy ending every once in a while.
There is something really special about King. He loves people. He walks up to people and introduces himself, even people who don’t necessarily want to get up close and personal with a very large animal. On one of our beach walks, a young guy was out at the beach fishing by himself. He asked if he could take a picture of King, but King walked right over and put his head on the guy’s chest like they were old friends. The guy was thrilled. I wish I had gotten a picture!
I find that people are drawn to horses, because most people don’t see them on a daily basis, but I find that people are especially drawn to King. It could be because he is so gigantic; all horses are big but King is really, really big. I think people sense that he is very gentle, despite his size.
I am actually torn over whether to keep searching for a home for him or to go ahead and adopt him. If I adopt him, I can’t foster any more because I only have so much money to feed all these horses! I love fostering, I love having a project, and I love watching horses transform. On the other hand, I adore King. I have fostered a lot of horses and I don’t have a problem watching them go to new homes. With King, it’s different. He has captured me in a way that’s unusual for someone like me who is very skilled at not getting attached.