It was an ordinary afternoon folding laundry when Andrew frantically called me outside. As I walked around the corner of the front porch, there he was standing in our front yard with a horse.
It was just starting to get dark and I couldn’t see much detail until I walked closer. As my eyes focused, the tears started to well up in my eyes as I saw this beautiful animal stand before me, nothing but skin and bones.
Apparently, he busted off his line wherever he was tied up and began walking down our street. When Andrew saw him, he corralled him to our front yard to avoid him getting hit by a car. As we surveyed his pitiful condition, finding a deep laceration on the back of his ankle and a serious horse shoe issue, we both realized wherever this poor guy came from, he was not returning.
His eyes were soft, his demeanor gentle and he rested his head on me as I touched his forehead. In that moment, that beautiful moment, there was an unspoken connection. Andrew looked at me and we didn’t have to say anything to know what we were thinking in our minds. I have wanted a male horse of my own for some time now but we weren’t actively looking for one. I knew one would come along and the organic flow of his arrival would be too much to pass up. This was that day. It’s really funny how God hands you things and sometimes drops them in your lap or shall I say, in your front yard.
Since we have experienced issues with recent rescues, Andrew contacted East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control so that it was by the book. When EBRP Animal Control picked him up the next day, they were fully aware we would like to assume ownership if no one claims him in the days to follow. We had a pretty good feeling there wasn’t going to be anyone stepping up to claim such a neglected horse.
Over the weekend, we reached out to our vet at The Animal Center, our farrier and a friend who had a horse trailer on hand for us to use, all in preparation for Cypress Bayou Farm’s newest member.
This new member still needed a name. Without discussing it with one another, Andrew and I both were already thinking of the name Freedom privately. When Andrew shared with me Freedom was his bid for a name, I started shouting and crying tears of joy. That is one magical thing about this journey with my husband. It’s as if our souls are united in this rescue mission we are on, without even knowing it. Call it the universe, call it fate, call it God, call it the Holy Spirit, call it whatever you want but it gives me chills every time. It was settled, in a few seconds, his name is Freedom.
In our minds he is finally free from the neglect, free from the bondage, free from abuse, and free to finally live the life God intended for him. There is a lot of meaning in that name.
On Monday morning, Andrew headed to EBRP Animal Control located by the Baton Rouge airport, met with the veterinarian on staff, executed final paperwork and picked up our boy Freedom. October 17, 2016 will forever be this horse’s freedom day.
When Andrew texted me this picture of him in the horse trailer and I saw those beautiful, gentle eyes again, I cried.
I see your soul sweet boy. I feel your pain. You are safe now.
Freedom had a busy day yesterday once he arrived at Cypress Bayou Farm. Our vet examined him, drew blood for the standard Coggins test (equine infectious anemia antibodies), inserted a chip in his neck and gave him his first round of vaccinations. We are treating his ankle laceration with an antibiotic and ointment and it already looks better. Freedom is also a young stud, only 2-3 years old and requires gelding. Dr. St. Romaine recommended having that done with possible dental work next month. He still has his baby molars and they are preventing him from keeping some of the protein pellets in his mouth when he eats. According to the vet, his adult molars are ready to drop as you can feel them along his jaw line.
I wish I had a picture of Freedom and Sparkle’s first encounter. Each of them lowered their heads close to one another, touching foreheads and exchanging scents by blowing air into each other’s nostrils. There was a stillness in that moment I can’t put into words. Seeing them speak to one another with their body language was beautiful. Sparkle let out a loud squeal as she stood up tall and stomped one foot. After the show was over, she wandered off to graze.
Because Freedom is severely underweight, we will have him on the same feeding intervals as we used with Sparkle when she first arrived at the farm. The Purina Strategy protein feed we use as a supplement will help him make great strides in his recovery.
These rescues mean so much to me and Andrew, representing a much deeper spiritual journey for us. We have our own stories of being lost in this world and relate to each one of our rescue animals. They were lost but now are found, just as we were at one point in time. God’s love saved us and we have so much love to share with others. The energy, the love, the grace, the compassion you put out into the world is ultimately what you attract. I see that right before my eyes in this farm journey of ours. It’s all around us every day and it’s truly wonderful to experience.