We have had Laddie at our farm for over three years. He is not very adoptable due to arthritis in his front fetlocks.
So why do we keep him?
because rescue is a long term commitment for us.
When a horse comes to us that isn’t very adoptable, we don’t trade him/her in for another that is.
This isn’t used cars.
These are lives.
Laddie is happy, spunky and delightful.
and to us… Laddie’s story is everything we wish and want owners to be about.
Laddie was born in Australia and shipped to Hong Kong as a long yearling. He had a very LONG and successful track career and then, because his owner loved him… he was gifted and sent to a riding school but due to arthritis he was not a suitable riding school horse….so the owner was called to make a decision for him. When you are not able to perform a job in Hong Kong… you face dire consequences. Hong Kong does not have the land for pasture retirements.
So what did his owner do?
He looked around for a place the horse could go that would be safe.
He found us…he got references… he made a plan.
He spent 20 grand to get the horse to us….by transcontinental air flight, and then across the United States by horse van.
20 grand to get his friend safe…. a friend who did everything he was asked… a friend who meant a lot to him.
Laddie was a handful when he got here…..he was used to being a prima donna…..used to stall attendants….used to tropical weather………used to living in a stall 24/7. He was afraid to go into the pasture by himself and begged to get back in his stall. He would sometimes act out and we would call him a princess.
Then one day, his old friend came to visit……he stepped out of his car and Laddie was on the hillside in a pasture……his friend called to him in Chinese and Laddie jerked his head upright and looked……..could it be his old friend? His friend called again in Chinese…….and Laddie came running…..whinnying……to the fence line where friend met friend……Laddie nuzzled him and ate the offering of carrots……a grand and happy reunion…. his friend wept openly as he spoke to him in Chinese.
That day we realized that Laddie had only heard Chinese spoken to him for almost all of his life…. we had not even thought about it……but now we knew….words of comfort and praise were Chinese… not English.
Anyway, Laddie is here for life unless something better comes along. He has learned to tolerate us, our English and our bad Chinese. He has learned to love the pasture, he has friends and he “lets” us groom him.
Rescue is forever…not a fleeting thought or convenience.There is a Chinese proverb, “If you save a life, you are responsible for that life.”
我的梦想之马, 我生命中的爱 永远的安全, 永远的爱
roughly…..(the horse of my dreams, the love of my life.. forever safe, forever loved)