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Published in Kawartha Lakes This Week and on myKawartha.com on August 18, 2016

Link: Horse Rescued

Article written and submitted by Phil Mahon

Title: Woman who knows nothing about horses grateful to those who rescued one on her property.

To the editor:

I have been looking for a house for months, and was delighted to find a small hobby farm in Cameron that I could afford. The property is in run-down condition, as is the house, but that is what makes it affordable. I didn’t understand the implications when someone lets a property run down like that.

My offer was accepted, and although I was aware and had seen that there was a horse on the property, I assumed they would take the horse with them when they vacated. I saw that the horse was still there when I came back for an agreed visit to the property before closing. I don’t know anything about horses, so I couldn’t have told you size, breed, gender or even condition. Brown is what I could say. But I do love animals and two days before closing I was notified that if I did not accept the horse, it would be sent to be euthanized. I naively agreed. I am an animal lover. As I said, I know nothing about horses.

Well, there is was, without hay, and only a little bit of oats. I had plenty of ‘friends’ tell me what a nightmare I had let myself in for. ‘Friends’ will do that sort of thing. The costs, the costs of disposal, the veterinary bills, the need to tend to it constantly. I was worried sick. For days up to closing. No sleep.

I tried contacting several equine ‘rescue’ shelters without success. My best friend Susie showed up for a visit on closing day, and she knows horses. She said the poor mare was in awful condition. Her hooves were horribly overgrown and split, having not seen a farrier in a very long time, and her right rear foot was very swollen. The horse was abused in terms of care, at the very least.

The outgoing owner showed up on closing day, an unusual event in itself. All I got from her was that she couldn’t care for the horse due to her own illness and age and financial situation. Oh, and I got a half bag of oats.

That evening Susie called Valentia Equestrian Centre in Little Britain and left a message. First thing the next morning, Jim Ward returned the call. Susie explained everything to him and he was immediately concerned for the horse.

She had me speak to him as I own the property and he went out and met me at the farm 2 hours later.

It took 3 hours and 4 of us to load the horse, and not without a few bumps and scrapes. The horse was in a run-in shed and we could not get it to back out. We finally took apart the paddock to get the truck close. The horse was shy of taking a halter, we could not touch its head. An entire big bag of carrots helped. The horse nearly fell off the ramp several times. It was exhausting. I learned a lot about horses.

Jim Ward was wonderful and we are all so thankful that he and Abby came at once and rescued the poor mare. (Abby is working at the farm on a Metis grant). Their care for horses who are not seeing their best days is amazing. I am so thankful there are people like this in the world. Thanks, Jim and all at Valentia Equestrian Centre. They are a registered non-profit. They give animals a second chance. Help them if you can. Valentia Equestrian Centre is owned by Jim and Michelle Ward, 188 Valentia Road Little Britain K0M 2C0 705-786-2226. And thanks to Susie without whom I would still have a horse, with no idea what to do.

SPIRIT (thanks to Karren for the photo!)

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