These veterans are enjoying a full retirement, pampered and loved in their forever home.
Our hearts are ache with the loss our beautiful, beloved Tea. This elite, elegant 1990 Thoroughbred mare retired from a race career and fell on hard times until she was discovered nearly starved to death in a horse camp remuda by our dear friend Kari Ablinger. Sheltered in the nurturing arms of the Ablingers, Tea made an amazing comeback before retiring with us in 2012. She was nicknamed Tea because her confident stride and lovely carriage reminded them of model Tyra Banks’ signature ‘stomp’ on the fashion runway. Tea’s is a story of triumph over adversity. She was betrayed and abandoned by people she served. Tea had worked her heart out for them and ended up discarded and neglected—and still she worked. Until Kari stepped in and said, “This stops here.” Tea’s capacity for faith and forgiveness reminds us that it is the horse’s heart that heals us, inspires us, moves us to do what we do. It is our mission and honor to support and serve older horses and by doing so, we accept that it ends with us. Tea’s magnificent heart stopped beating but we were privileged to have been its beneficiary during the time we knew her. Rest in peace, dear Tea. All our lives are richer for knowing you.
By choosing to support our mission to help retired, rescued and recovering horses, we deliberately put ourselves in the path of eventual heartache. And so it is as we bid farewell to the beautiful Thoroughbred Tully who joined our program two years ago when a career-ending injury forced his retirement. He showed us the incredible will, spirit and effort he was willing to put forth to recover, to rehabilitate, to live a life of joy. The ache in our hearts today pales in comparison to the love in our hearts as we celebrate the great privilege of knowing and serving this beautiful horse.
End of watch. We emancipated the great Cubby when we decided that our efforts to give him a comfortable quality of life were not helping him. He left the world the way he filled it--with quiet dignity, grace and beauty. We are grateful for our time with him and for Leslie's confidence in us while we loved and cared for him. He was 27 years old.
We rescued Sweetie from a dark, filthy stall last November . Although she was a three year old Quarter Horse, she was the size of a weanling--just 500 lbs. and could barely walk. But what a horse! She was the most engaging, friendly, curious little thing you could imagine. Sweetie's body recovered, her wonderful mind was eased by the loving compassion of every person that entered her realm. And we worked, worked, worked to fix her feet. But we couldn't unring the bell. Her feet continued to fail. We learned that no matter what course of treatment we could explore, there was no way to spare her from a life of pain. And a life of pain was not an option for this precious baby. We were with her and she was gloriously 'her' until the end. And as her pains ends, ours has begun. Our hearts are truly broken and our only glimmer of comfort is that she did not die in a state of neglect and starvation but rather beloved and properly grieved by those of you who knew and loved her.
We mourn the passing of our sweet, petite Jamaica, an adorable Arabian mare came to us from a donor in Prior Lake. Jamaica was sponsored by her "grandma" Kathy and her friend Mary, who are also This Old Horse volunteers. We miss her gentle spirit and warm affection.