September 6, 2008

Shadow - Starving Horse Part 3

Click on photo to enlarge

So Sweet and So Gentle

Negotiations To Take Ownership
Thursday, September 4

First, I need to explain, as some have asked, Shadow lives at a private residence with horse paddocks at the bottom of the hill which are rented out. Shadow's paddock is right next to a heavily traveled horse trail and next to a private stable and across from a fully operated Equestrian center.

I know ... it's hard to believe that through all the months that he grew thinner and finally to a condition of obvious starvation, nothing was done until my concerned friends called me. I haven't stopped working towards taking ownership of this horse since that fateful day.

Thanks to all of you who wished me luck for "the meeting" this past Thursday. I discovered I needed every ounce of your good vibes.

I hope to never go through anything like it again ... ever! Staying calm and patient at a time when the world is going crazy is exhausting. The only thing that kept my temper in control was one frightfully fragile horse within my eyesight and the goal that I wanted to accomplish... taking ownership.

At the beginning, things went very smoothly, "the young girl" seemed cooperative, we talked about my helping her, she admitted she couldn't afford the horse, and agreed I should take over ownership of the horse. Details were being worked out as to how and when.

Then, from the nearby stable, a head appeared over the wall. A rather hysterical looking middle aged woman called to the girl. "Do you know that people are sneaking over there everyday at the same time and feeding your horse!!!"

This person continued to describe "the people" and their cars. These were my partners in crime !!

"The young girl" who owns Shadow went ballistic. She had made it clear that no one was to feed her horse. That included me. All negotiations came to a screeching halt.

She stated that she noticed Shadow seemed to be putting on weight. I firmly said, yes, I have been feeding Shadow a special diet, otherwise he would die. (She has no concept that he has serious teeth problems and is unable to eat the alfalfa which is sometimes left there for days.)

The woman now took issue with me. Cutting her off, I asked for her name, who she was, what was she doing at the stable, did she have a horse there and what was her purpose. It seems she feeds and cleans there, as well as yelling hysterically over fences and doing surveillance.

Not done with me yet, in an attempt to gain status, she named people in the community that had told her about this underground network of caring for Shadow. She, unfortunately, was naming people who were my friends and had offered to give food and money for the care of Shadow in the event I took him.

At this point, I made it clear that I was done with her. She backed off and disappeared into what I assume were the bushes. (perhaps the dumpster)

I now addressed my attention to "the young girl" who was delivering impressive theatrics. Had it not been for the sake of saving Shadow, I would have walked out of this performance.

Taking a deep breath, I told her not to worry, that I would take care of "everything", (meaning the underground). Finally she calmed down.

It was all about her... all about people feeding her horse. Do you not find that amazing?!

At no time was any thought given to the starving horse standing right beside us !! It was truly beyond me. But I had a mission to accomplish and somebody needed to keep their wits about them. The evening finally ended quietly. She agreed to give me ownership in October.

When I arrived home about 4 1/2 hours later, I spent a few bouts of primal screaming before getting a grip on myself.

Saturday, September 6:

Tonight, I called Shadow's owner and said that considering she was having money problems, and had no time for Shadow ... I thought perhaps she would like for me to take ownership of him this coming week and she could save the cost of the now due September paddock rent.

That did the trick !!

We are to meet next Thursday, sign a bill of sale for $1.00 and ... Shadow will be mine.

Now, where to put him. Remember I had no room in my barn. After much thought I have decided to skip a few baubles and trinkets, and keep him where he is and pay his rent.

He will have a new mom, actually he will finally have ... a mom!

In fact, he will have three new moms. My partners in crime have become very attached to him and my wonderful friends are even helping to pick up some of the bills it will take to get him back in health.

And, oh yes, he will have a very wonderful dad who has supported me through all this trauma and drama, who has driven me in the late night hours to feed and is already fixing every nail and screw that is out of place.

Things are looking up. It will be a very slow process, but already Shadow knows he is loved and he is showing it more and more each day.

I cannot wait until Thursday ...

OK, I'm a little nervous ... we might have another theatrical production, things might change, but this time I really believe things will work out.

As Shadow improves, I will always keep this first photograph and remember.

I think of the wonderful words of Ralph Waldo Emerson ...

You cannot do kindness too soon
For you never know how soon it will be too late.


Stay tuned ... there will be lots more to this story.
Thanks for all your encouragement!


  1. Everything seems to be on good way - I belive, that you triggered the energy that will save Shadow.
    Cross my fingers...

  2. Good for you -- and Shadow -- for staying focused. I'll be praying that everything works out positively. And thank you, too, for taking action.

    As for that "young girl" -- I think youth has nothing to do with it; narcissism is everything. And that other nut (cleaning and feeding).... Well, they are both scary.

  3. I had tears in my eyes as I read this. I thought it was going to end poorly but I'm so relieved that she has decided to "sell" him to you sooner rather than later. I will be praying that all goes well on Thursday. I love the words from Ralph Waldo Emerson, they are very uplifting.

    God Bless,

  4. Oh that is WONDEFUL! Not the nosey neighbor or the selfish girl part, but that you GOT HIM!!! I cannot wait to see the pictures as he gets some meat on his bones and to hear how he does once he is wormed and gets his teeth done. That is just wonderful news! Thank you for sharing this story!

  5. thank you!! it does my cynical heart such good that there you did not turn your back, that you guys stepped in and stepped up. Im so proud of you.

  6. Oh good luck for Thursday, I really hope it works out with no more hitches. That poor horse, and what a silly girl, I'm afraid I'd have given her a good slap, but then like you say, Shadow is the main concern here, and how you kept your cool is admirable. Well done :)

    Kim x

  7. Very good work!
    When you go to get him, take a man with you. The kind of women who pull hysterics seem less energetic when there is a man.

    Terrible, but true. This seems like a primitive approach in these progressive times. You are dealing with two women who don't have a great deal of maturity and you need to use every tool in the toolbox.

  8. I stumbled on to your blog about a week ago and have been reading with such interest. I'm a total city girl that wishes she could get out in the country again. This whole saga with Shadow has just been heart wrenching. The rush of emotion that I have felt for everyone involved has been intense. You are an amazing woman to step up and do what you had to in order to save this horse from a painful and unnecessary death. You deserve so much accolades for this. I hope that his owner really looks at what she has done in her neglect of that beautiful horse and doesn't do the foolish in buying herself another one.
    I can't wait to see how this story unfolds.


  9. I just read your entire blog! You and Shadow are meant to be ,as every other four legged critter in your life!
    I cant tell you how wonderful and inspirering your writings are... you brought me to tears ,of saddness for your loss of Kayla but really for you and your husband complete LOVE of her.How lucky she was and you too.cynthia roussseau
    I look forward to reading about your journey .

  10. That's a wonderful story, I'm so glad something could be worked out and he will have a chance top be saved. Good work, Strawberry and good luck!

  11. Good work! By using diplomacy and tact, you were able to do something for this horse. I am thrilled. Please keep us updated.

  12. We're so proud of you and so is Royal! I don't want to jinx anything since everything isn't over until you've got official ownership - but I'm sending good energy to you. You've done an incredible job so far. This horse thinks you're an angel - and we do too!

  13. Nice job! Thankfully it will all go wver without a hitch! HE needs you!

  14. I suppose it is a good thing that the lady popped her head over the wall while you were there, so that you could get control of the situation. If the horse was starving and the girl couldn't afford to keep him, I'm not sure why she set that October date originally. I'm glad she came to her senses, and I'm glad you and your friends were there for Shadow.

  15. You are an absolute angel and I have total admiration and respect for you and the "underground girls"

    My heart was racing reading this just incase you didnt get him, and by the end of the story my eyes were welling up..

    I will continue to follow your progress

    Take Care

    Townie xx

  16. Wow! I seem to have said that a lot...well done!!! If it was me, I probably wouldn't be able to stay calm. Fingers crossed and all the luck in the world, hoping it all goes well and you get Shadow. Hopefully the next time you post, you will be able to say that the master plan worked!

    Once again, best wishes and we'll be thinking of you. Hugs from Meg and cats xxx

  17. Oh wow! What an emotional rooler coaster! I canot even imagine. What a clueless owner and stupid nosy neighbor.

    Please keep us updated,k?

    Hold on Shadow!!! The Cavalry is coming (with food!)!!

  18. Hej Marvel,

    Gæt hvem - Guess who...

    What you have done is fantastic! I just stubled on your blog and couldn't help reading about it. I'm crossing my fingers for you and Shadow.

    the other danish princess

  19. kudos to you for for keeping your cool, I would not have been so level-headed!! Horse people still continue to astound me - some are so filled with their own superiority complex and issues, they can't see reality. And then there are horse people like you, what a kind hearted angel you are for doing whatever necessary to save this horse. fingers crossed for you.

  20. Oh my dear friend. I cried all the way through these two posts and, well, yiu are truly a hero.
    Bless you for caring so much and for not allowing the nuts in this world to deral your cause.
    Imagine! Complaining becaise people were trying to SAVE this beautiful creature!
    Shadow was meant to be yours...and what a lucky boy he is.
    He will have the best Mama in the world and finally be loved as he should be.

    Thank you SO are my hero.


  21. It is Friday with no new post so I am going to assume he is yours. He is a lucky boy to have a new "mom" who loved him before he was even hers.

  22. Kudos for you for stepping in & doing something about it! I hope you have him!!

    Currently there is 1 horse where I board who looks just like your Shadow. His water was always empty in 90 degree weather. I would fill his water up & feed him when no one was looking. The people I pay board to never said a word about his condition which was dreadful.

    Wouldn't you know, a lady who just came in as a new boarder called animal control. It makes me sorry I didn't say anything before because I was afraid of "offending" someone.

    You should be very proud for you did the right thing without being concerned about anyone but the horse, as it should be.

    God Bless You.


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