My grandfather stole a horse.
Well… I think he did. I was quite young and the details are sketchy but if I’m not mistaken, he heard of a horse that was being abused, went to the place where the horse resided, took him and placed him on his own land.
His name was Fernandos.
He was the first horse Pop rescued… or the first that I knew of. Pop was a Ferrier… shoed horses at his Blacksmith shop in St. John’s, Newfoundland from the time he was a young man. I can only imagine the horses he helped throughout the years but I’ll never forget Sir Lancelot Hill…the beautiful race horse who had a bad leg, who came to live on my grandfathers land and happily lived out his retirement. And Ringo, the circus pony who was visiting Newfoundland with a performance group, so sick he’d never make it on the ferry to the mainland and nursed back to health by my Pop.
Pop loved and cared for these wonderful animals. One moment has always stayed with me. I was quite young, and Pop was visiting us in Halifax during the Maritime Fall Fair. We were strolling up and down the stalls talking to his “friends” when we heard a commotion a few aisles away. Pop hastened his step and as we turned the corner, a beautiful Chestnut was causing quite a disturbance. He’d bucked and landed on a galvanized bucket, ripping his shoe and tearing open his hind leg. Folks were either trying to grab or avoid him when suddenly my Poppy sprung into action. Without hesitation he had the horse by the halter. Holding him with great strength and equal gentleness, he spoke calmly to the beautiful animal as others took the opportunity to attach the cross-rails Once calmed, Pop stepped to the back of the horse removing the shoe and quickly calling for bandages to stop the bleeding while we waited for the vet.
I was in awe of that man.
Horses were a constant in our lives and while I never rode, for fear of falling, they knew all of my secrets as I’d leaned across the fence on my grandfathers land and whispered into their pointy little ears a thousand times.
It doesn’t surprise me on the days when my daughter happily rides circles in the ring, singing to her beloved pony and telling him about her day… the good and bad… he knows how to heal her, how to make her strong, how to give her love. She has my grandfathers’ blood running through her veins and loves these animals just as he did.
It’s a sad fact of life that horses need to be rescued. Earth Spirit Horse Rescue, located in New Brunswick, is an non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing horses from abuse, neglect and slaughter. The rescued horses, in turn, make an impact on the lives of Children and Youth as various programs have been created for young people to benefit from the love and care of these amazing animals.
The folks at Earth Spirit Horse Rescue are “Aviva Community Fund” semi-finalists. Monies won through the Aviva Community Fund will help to further the rescue of these abused animals as well as help young people through their “Compassion Project.”
This is a project that truly means the world to me. The folks at Earth Spirit Horse Rescue are doing tremendous work for the animals my grandfather loved so dearly.
Who kept my secrets and taught me so much about life.