Thursday, December 20, 2012

Santa and Mrs Santa help Sandman

Sandman at what we hoped was his new home.

It finally happened. Sandman found his family. All they had to do was find the right pasture for him. He needed a smaller pasture for a few months until he was willing to trust his new human, Mom, Laura. Once he knew her, he would be able to go to a larger pasture. Sandman is a 'special needs' horse. After meeting Sandman, Laura feel in love. She has no problem with special needs, she and her husband, Jim, adopted 6 special needs children. Jim told me how Laura really needs a horse to love and to care for. She's always loved horses and is such a giving person, she'd be the perfect partner for Sandman. After searching for the perfect farm, the called and asked me to deliver him to a boarding stable in Calhoun, GA.  When I drove down the driveway, I could see big smiles on faces big and small. Sandman is a big horse and handsome. He would make anyone smile. Everyone gathered around as he stepped out of the trailer. I walked him into his paddock and met the owner of the farm. He was a sweet older gentleman, then his daughter, Angela, introduced herself and told me she recently took over the farm and is in charge. She asked about riding Sandman and I explained he should be ridden. Then she asked about lunging him. I said he is big and small circles can hurt him so I discouraged that for now. She asked a few more times about riding him and I kept saying 'No'. Then Laura told her she didn't want to ride anyway, she just wanted to love him. Everyone was happy, including Sandman. He had his own roll of hay. 

About two hours later, Jim called me to tell me, Angela, said she doesn't want Sandman there or all the children. It was a big disappointment for sure. Jim, Laura and I all started calling other places to bring Sandman. We all wanted a happy ending, it was such a great start. 

Jim and Laura dressed up the children and took them to see Santa. Knowing they all wanted electronics and toys they were surprised when Santa asked Ben, who is in a wheelchair, what he wanted for Christmas. Ben's reply was 'Sandman' He told Santa that Sandman needed a family and they needed him. Jim had tears in his eyes as he told Santa and Mrs Santa about the plight of them trying to find a place for Sandman. Santa and Mrs Santa got involved and helped find a place so Sandman can be part of this wonderful family that sees perfection instead of imperfection.  As soon as some fencing is repaired, I am going to bring Sandman to his new home. I am sure Sandman is just a useless burden to Angela. She doesn't seem to see the beauty in giving love in it's purest form. 

sandman chapman family.jpg
Some of the Chapman children telling Santa they want Sandman.

Poor Sandman. his fetlock joints are not strong enough to carry a rider. Under 4 years old, already discarded like trash. He had a bad start nutritionally which caused problems so he was being sold for meat prices per pound. Why would someone breed their animal then not take care of it?  

Very thin on arrival to rescue farm

He is a big Belgiun draft horse and sweet but you need to take time to win his trust. He was treated unkindly because the owner saw no other value in him except a few hundred dollars. Volunteer Elizabeth McPeek put out the word on this guy needing help. Thanks to generous donations from compassionate people, we were able to save him from death. We were able to buy him from the kill pen. He was very underweight, dirty, had bad feet and was terrified of humans. When I arrived at the auction barn, only one man was there. It wasn't an auction day so not much was going on. He told me he knows very little about horses but he would help me get him. He thought he should chase the horse around the pen to catch him so he continued that for a while. I am sure he saw this done many times and knew no better way. All it did was frighten the already frightened horse even more. There were a series of shoots and gates to get horses through to the auction so I went in and got behind Sandman and just guided him by being behind him. He finally got to a small shoot area and the man helping closed both the front and back gate. It restrained him but the poor horse was trembling bad. I had to climb the side fencing to try and get a halter on him. He was so large and fearful. He kept going up and down with his head, it took about 10 minutes to finally get the halter on his head and buckled. I climbed down the side of the fence and held tightly onto the lead rope. Gently touching his face, I whispered, "You are going to be safe now, I promise." With his eyes wide with anxiety of what was going to happen to him, he let out a nice deep breath and walked with me out the barn door. I had the trailer door opened and showed him the good hay waiting for him. There was no hay or water in his holding area so he walked right in to the trailer. I guess he was starting to believe my words about being safe. An hour later, we arrived at the Chickamauga, Georgia farm. He unloaded well, we took some pictures to document his progress. In the pasture, he found another draft horse to buddy up with. The kind volunteers at the farm give him hope that humans are not bad. He has come a long way in the year he has been with us. He gained weight, learned to pick up his feet for the Farrier (hoof trimmer) and is going to get his teeth worked on soon. Yes, horses go to dentists too. 

Volunteers showing kindness

 Our goal is not how many horses find homes, it is to improve the life of each horse, get to know it's needs and search for the best home possible. We get to know each horse and can honestly let a prospective adopter know the needs of each horse. We want long term forever love each horse deserves. That is our mission to Save The Horses. With all the wonderful volunteers, it is done 365 days a year. No one gets a salary, everyone gets more than they give. It is a little sad to send a horse to to a new home but it gives your heart such a lift knowing you are part of something so much bigger than yourself. Some of our volunteers have been here several years, if brings such joy. It make humans human.

1 comment:

liferays said...

This is the best place I've seen to save the horses! Thank you, Cheryl Flannagan for giving the horses a chance at a real safe life away from the slaughter houses, and THANK YOU to all who donate their time to help this farm succeed! The horses thank you too. :-)