Dappled Bay-ish Mare | DOB: 4/28/1989 | Arrival: 12/1/2010 | Height: 15:1 hands
From a distance, the Appaloosa mare appeared to be doing fairly well. Her dappled bay-ish coat was framed by a scraggly black and white tail and a short Mohawk mane. Dots of white freckled her face and flanks. But upon closer inspection, it wasn't difficult to see that she was too thin for her bone structure. Trapped in a tiny dirt corral for many years, she'd made friends with her sole paddock mate, a small Arabian mare who was in far worse condition.
The Appaloosa's feet were hideously long, forcing her fetlock joint to flex painfully deep in order to carry her weight. Each step was short and stiff, giving clear evidence of her discomfort. When approached, she didn't move away but she didn't acknowledge either. She appeared to have retreated deep within herself, perhaps an equine evasion away from her life of neglect.
The distant look in her eyes was haunting. Once her plight was known, it was a devastating blow when the owners changed their minds and decided to keep their two horses. So we waited... for two years.
When the call finally came, we weren't sure what we would find. Mercifully, the Appaloosa mare was in slightly better weight, but her hooves were still terribly long. On the drive back to the ranch—with both mares in tow—a call was immediately made to our farrier.
Although this mare was not ‘beautiful' in the sense that most think of, we wanted to give her a beautiful name so that she would hear the difference in the voices of those who called out to her. Soon after arriving at the ranch, our new Appaloosa mare became known as Abigail (meaning my fathers joy, daddy's girl). We began to call her "Abby" for short.
After many months of consistent hoof care and handling, Abby has turned an important "corner" in her attitude. Instead of a steady inward gaze, she now looks toward those who approach her and more and more has started reaching her muzzle out to greet her human friends. Daily, she is finding a place at Crystal Peaks and embracing—joy.
Under saddle, Abby has proven herself as a solid and steadfast children's horse. Once her lost weight was regained and she was cleared for riding, our kind freckled mare has quickly become a child favorite.
Abigail's life has had such a sweet redemptive quality. The mare, once forlorn and condemned to a life of pain, now has transformed into a lovely horse with an equally lovely personality. It's been a full-circle blessing to overhear a young girl exclaim, "Oh Abby, she's SO beautiful! She's my favorite horse!"
Abby's life mirrors what we all hope for. No matter who we are or what we've survived, we can all become more beautiful than we are today. Not because of how we look... but simply because of who we are and how we choose to love those around us.