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Magical Story of Rescue
'Rags to Riches'
doesn't have to be a story of finding material wealth. It can be about health and well-being, too.
Read this story of one Maine woman's commitment to save a horse from abuse, neglect and certain death. The woman's a friend of mine, but even moreso, she's a friend to a horse named Magic. She shares her story with NickerNews.
We first met Magic at a barn where we were temporarily boarding our horses. Even to us newcomers, it was clear he was suffering. He was in an awful state of pain, caused by the abuse and neglect of his owner.
He was suffering from Lyme disease that had gone untreated for a long time. He had a raging infection in one leg and hoof. Trying to save money, the owner had trimmed his hooves. The worse-than-amateur results left him rocking back and forth to try to ease the pain. It was described to us as if he was standing on the edge of a step, on his toes with his heels cut off.
The list of his woes could go on…. He had become a liability to a person who no longer considered him worthy of any time or money.
The barn owners were not at fault. In fact, we can only guess what his fate might have been, had he not had them and us as his secret advocates.
On rare occasions, his owner would ride him, despite his serious medical conditions. I could always tell when she'd been there. I would find him withdrawn into a safe place deep within his heart where nobody could reach him or hurt him. His eyes would be hardened like glass and he was oblivious and unresponsive to any stimulus. He'd remain disassociated for a long time, until well after she had left the barn.
I would find him withdrawn into a safe place deep within his heart where nobody could reach him or hurt him. His eyes would be hardened like glass and he was oblivious and unresponsive to any stimulus. He’d remain disassociated for a long time, until well after she had left the barn.
Bit by bit, I befriended him and made him my secret project. I would bring him his food each morning. I’d brush him if he let me and supported him as best I could without being too obvious to his owner. Supplements, treats and blankets were given as gifts. My husband was very supportive of my efforts and encouraged me to do to whatever I could to make Magic comfortable. Some days, I was rewarded by a welcoming nicker when I went into his paddock!
Magic was not an easy horse to approach, as he was filled with fear from just about everything. Things that were safe one day might petrify him the next. A plastic bag, his water bucket, anything moved from its original place, or an unexpected movement could send him into fearful retreat. He’d either run away or go to that safe place inside himself. Then, he would become a rigid statue.
Six months after we first met Magic, we heard the owner wanted to euthanize him because he was such a useless burden. He was in so much pain that no amount of Bute helped. He could no longer be ridden. The good news/bad news what that it was winter, so it would cost more to dispose of him. This expense probably saved his life.
The good news/ bad news was that it was winter, so it would cost more to dispose of him.
This expense probably saved his life.
We proposed to take over his ownership. She accepted. We adopted Magic and he came to his Forever Home to join our horses, who we had moved to our barn a few months prior.
At our farm, we have been able to give Magic new opportunities to change his life both medically and spiritually. He was renamed Magic. We have a wonderful farrier who built him corrective shoes and visits him every six weeks for new shoes and adjustments. He also sees his chiropractor/acupuncturist vet every six weeks for treatments and adjustments.
This miracle worker discovered on her first visit that the occipital bone in his forehead was out of place. Once this issue was addressed, he shook and discovered he actually had a right side to his body. He rolled and lay down for the first time we’d ever seen. Now, he does this many times a day, apparently for the sheer joy of it.
Over several months, we tried to deal with the infected leg and hoof only to finally accept that if we were going to save Magic, he would need extensive surgery.
We trailered him to the New England Equine Center in Dover, NH. He underwent surgery that aggressively took out infected bone and likely saved his life. We were told the infection was so deep, it was a miracle he hadn’t broken his leg.
He discovered he had a right side to his body. He rolled and lay down for the first time we'd ever seen. Now, he does this many times a day, apparently for the sheer joy of it.
After six long weeks of stall confinement, Magic was finally on the road to recovery.
Two years later, he still has some issues. We consider them quirks. He is pain-free and very receptive to touching.
He loves to have his belly rubbed and will lift a hind leg in ecstasy while his eyes close and his lower lip quivers. He is an absolute joy to be around and gives back so much more than we ever expected. He is also being ridden on a limited basis when the ground is suitable for his special shoes. This 20-something Quarterhorse has stolen our hearts and encourages us to seek other equines who have fallen on difficult times. The rewards far outweigh the countless hours and costs associated with his medical care and well-being.
Magic spends his days and nights going freely between his stall, run-in shed, and pasture. He has two wonderful horse friends to keep him company and often lies in the sun at their feet. He is a very special guy and we hope when he looks out over his fields and pond, he knows why we call it “The Magic Kingdom.” He has brought true magic to our lives and our farm.
It will be a very sad day when he no longer reigns as King. We can only hope that day will be far off for all of us who have worked on his behalf and been rewarded with how he has changed our lives in so many positive ways.
View Reader Comments:
I cried when I read this. With so much bad news, we need more happy endings like this one.
This is a beautiful story, thank you for sharing and a standing ovation to you for helping this sweet horse find his place in the world.
What a heart warming story. I am so greatful for people like you, I myself would take in any animal and love them and fix their lives if I could. Reading your story and have met you at Dicks Sporting Goods that day makes me thankful I had the chance to be in the prescence of such a giving heart. Magic, I love you too, live and laugh well my friend :)
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"It is the hardest pill for all of us would-be horsemen to swallow, but it is absolutely true - if the horse is not responding properly, we are doing something wrong" - Mary Twelveponies
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