I missed my post last month because we had a death in the family. Not, thank heaven, a human loss. But my daughter’s beloved pony Banjo died in a freak accident in one of the wild storms that were then lashing my part of Down Under. He was a member of our family, a pony with personality plus, and we all adored him. No one more so than my daughter. He was her special horse and a best friend from when she was twelve years old. They were a wonderful team with a cupboard full of pony club trophies and medals to attest to their bond. To say she is devastated is an understatement.
|RIP precious Banjo|
But you know what they say about silver linings…
My daughter is nearing the end of her extended university studies and wanting to spend more time riding. She needed another horse for her friends and her to ride –and as a companion to Banjo. She decided to adopt a rescue horse from a wonderful charity, Save A Horse Australia in Queensland. Back in March, my daughter and my husband flew up from New South Wales where we live to meet Howard. (Yes, Howard the Horse!) Not only did she have to see if the horse suited her, SAHA had to see if she suited the horse in terms of both riding ability and commitment to giving him a good, safe home. Turned out they were a match.
|Howard the horse settling in to his new home|
Howie arrived the morning Banjo died and was greeted by a weeping new owner. Although it seemed tragic at the time, his arrival turned out to be a blessing. Our other horse Flynn hates to be on his own, so he got a new friend. They bonded immediately. It also gave us something positive to focus on in our grief over our precious Banjo—though it will take time for us to get over his loss.
|With his new pal Flynn|
Howie was rescued in an appalling, emaciated condition by SAHA. He’s a fifteen-year old thoroughbred who, perhaps, outlived his usefulness as a race horse and was discarded. The charity got him back to good health and let him know he was valued and cherished. Then they sent him to be trained to ride not race. “Track to hack”, I think they call it. My daughter will need to get him further training, a challenge she is looking forward to. She has signed a comprehensive adoption agreement to make sure Howie never ends up in a pitiful state again.
|Getting to know each other|
Howie is the most beautiful horse both in looks and in nature. He has an elegant gait and is a pleasure to watch when he’s in motion. SAHA got him to us in immaculate condition, as you can see from the photos. What a handsome boy!
|Start of a new friendship|
I’m not the “horsey” person in the family, I love horses but don’t ride and am a tad scared of such big animals. But I’ve fallen for Howie. He’s intelligent and I think he knows he’s come to a place where he’ll be loved. He’s very gentle with me, even when he’s anxious to get stuck into his feed. (Because of course, like parents everywhere whose kids acquire pets, some of the daily care like mixing up his feeds falls on me and my husband while my daughter is at uni!)
Howard has come home.
|Where's my food!|
All of our pets are rescues in one way or the other. “Rescue is My Favourite Breed” is a favourite saying of mine. Other LoveCats are fans of rescue animals too. We all admire Rachel Bailey for her care of greyhounds “retired” from the track. What about you? Have you ever adopted a rescue animal of any kind? Or has one found its way to you? (Two of my cats found me!) Do you have a favourite animal rescue charity? I’d love to see your comments!