November 29, 2008

And ... Just When Things Were Going So Well

Click photo to enlarge
Shadow with his dad

Shadow has made a remarkable recovery from those starvation days two months, ago. He knows the feeding schedule, well, licks his plate clean and even hangs around for some good old fashioned grooming. He's rather proud of his handsome new pounds that cover those skinny bones of yesterday.
He has happily joined in his exercise program to build those muscles and get his hind quarters strong. He has even lost that strange rotation in his back leg. The vet was right ... build the muscles, get him stronger and he just might surprise you.
With Shadow's walk abouts in the neighborhood, he has become a bit of a celebrity as people admire those new muscles and shiny black coat, remembering how fragile he once was. It has been great to see him become so proud of himself.
We were thinking ... what kind of career would be best for Shadow. He is calm, well behaved, loves children, scared of nothing. Then I thought of my friend who taught at the Shea Center for handicapped children. Ah-Hah! What a perfect job that would be for him.
The plan was to spend 3 more months of muscle development, then off Shadow would go to the therapy center for his 90 day trial. If that didn't work, he could always come back and hang out in his paddock and entertain friends that go by.
That was then and this is now.
How times can change in 24 hours.

It was early in the morning when Shadow's paddock partner left for another home. I was there to be sure everything went smoothly and to help the owner.
"Angel" was still in the horse trailer when Shadow began his frantic pacing. There was not another horse in sight for Shadow to see even in the distance. He was alone. There was nothing to calm him.
Once again, he felt abandoned. Blind fear took over.
I stayed with him until nearly midnight, trying to help him, but ended up just watching him pace himself into a lather. I asked friends for a horse that needed to get out of a stall and stretch its legs to keep him company. But no luck.
The next morning, neighbors said he kept up the fast pacing the entire night. It wasn't until the afternoon that I located a mare to share the empty paddock next to Shadow. He immediately was calm, even though the mare continually tried to bite him.

The sad part was the mare would be going back late that afternoon and Shadow would be alone to do his manic pacing, again. He hadn't stopped for 30 hours, not even for food or water. He was losing those precious pounds. A plan had to be made quickly.

It was decided that Shadow would come temporarily to our barn. My friend, Nicole, had the job of walking a frantic horse away from his "home" and to a strange place.

When he arrived at my barn, Shadow continued to pace in the stall for another 3 days and whinny at night. We called the vet, who said that Shadow had such insecurity issues from so much abandonment, that Royal would be his only help.

Royal is not famous for being a babysitter. He has his own things to do. But, Royal patiently stood by Shadow's stall window and Shadow finally began to calm down and to eat and drink.

Now, I had to find Shadow a permanent home, quick. ( Remember, no room in my barn?) Since Shadow wasn't ready for the therapy school, I called every rescue place possible. They were all full considering the horrible plight of horses right now.
I didn't trust what would happen to Shadow and I just could not let him repeat his dreadful past. So he is still in our barn.
Shadow thinks he is home. He's finally calm, walks around with confidence and thinks he won the lottery. He's a good boy ... and, yes, he is a keeper. He's home, now.

Much to my surprise, Royal has been a wonderful babysitter, stands quietly by Shadow's stall. However, I know Royal ... he is standing much too quietly.

We soon learned ... life has changed, again.
Shadow is fine, but ...
There is something seriously wrong with Royal.
That is the next chapter!
I'm living in the barn for awhile.


  1. Nice that Royal is stepping up to help. Hope everything keeps working out.

  2. I've read older posts to understand Shadow story. You have acted so well with him. It's nice to see he has muscles again. Royal was very kind to stand by him. I hope everything will go right now.

  3. I hope that Royal is going to be all right. My thoughts are with you all.

  4. Oh No! Poor Royal...and Shadow...and you for that matter. I hope that whatever is wrong with Royal isn't too bad. My Thoughts are with have done so much good that nothing bad is allowed to happen (wouldn't it be great if the world really worked like that?)

  5. Oh no! I hope you are wrong and Royal is OK. Things change so quickly with horses.

  6. WHAT!! A Horsey cliff hanger..I can't take it.
    What has happened to Royal?? Are his legs okay-hips..what, why won't he move? Eye sight?

    Well, bless your heart for taking Shadow home him to your place...
    Maybe he is helping you discover he thing with Royal sooner than you would have before? Please know that I am praying for you and the horses!

  7. Sounds as if Shadow has found a friend and babysitter with your Royal. I'm hoping nothing is seriously wrong with Royal, he's such a great horse. Let us know what is happening, my thoughts are with you and I am wishing you good luck with both these fantastic horses.

  8. Oh dear. Prayers for Royal and for Shadow. I hope Royal will be okay. :o~

  9. It's wonderful that Royal was able to help. I hope he is alright!

    Poor Shadow, I do home that you can keep him at home, or find him a pasture mate.

    I do hope that everything will work out.

  10. Poor Shadow. I feel so bad for him that he has such panic attacks at being left alone. Abandonment is a huge issue that never really goes away. Bless your heart and his for what you continue to go through. I'm not familiar with Royal, so feel somewhat at a loss. However, know that you are all in my prayers.

  11. Oh, no! What's wrong? I've been following Royal's story! Ack!

  12. any updates? How are the boys?

  13. Oh no that doesnt sound encouraging at all. I am waiting in anticipation of the rest of this story. Horses are herd animals and with me having so many I see the anguish often when a horse leaves or I have to change their stabling order or turnout order. It is very stresful for the owner as well as the horse.

    ((((Hugs))))) and I am hoping that it isn't something too bad.

  14. Hey, you have a bouquet to pick up at The Dog House! Stop by when you get a second.

  15. I hope Royal is doing okay. I enjoy your blog and your animals, our thoughts are with you!
    // \\

  16. Poor sweet Shadow...what a sad week he (and all of you!) has had! I hope that you are able to keep him with you, or else find him the perfect home. If I hadn't just adopted 5 horses (to keep our 6 dogs company) I'd offer a home because he melts my heart. My girls would love a gelding in the barn!

    And poor Royal! Oh my gosh, I hope so much it's not something serious!

    Sending all of you many many good thoughts and hoping for a good update soon!
    Sue, The Yahoos, and The Flowers, too

  17. You have won an award. Go to to pick it up

  18. may the love in Royals heart be the thing to save his life, and may shadow be the horse of someones dreams i wish i had a place for a horse here in redwood new york id love to get another horse. but alas these are tough times. dream on dreamer, and may the love in your heart guide you to a strong place.


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