From the Peaceful Pastures of Miss Minstrell … December 2019
Thank you for giving to Unbridled to redeem my life ...
On March 30, 2018, I woke up in a strange, scary place. I had been there for a long week, and I had no idea why. I was with dozens of horses, but I did not know them. The other horses were younger, bigger, stronger, and prettier – and so many. I felt so alone, and nervous. How would anyone know I was here? How would they find me? It was my 21st birthday – and I was sure it would be my last.
From the barn, horses were being led outside one at a time. Through the slats of the silver gate I could see tack being thrown on their backs. When it was my turn to be paraded back and forth, at first it reminded me of going to post at the races. But it didn’t look, feel, or sound like the races, especially after just a few steps. Unlike soft sand, the gravelly surface smacked and stung my soles. The one-eared bridle was small and tight - its tiny metal bit tasted sour and pinched the corners of my mouth. An unfamiliar and heavy-handed rider pressed a burdensome saddle and crinkled wet pad into my withers. The rope girth pinched and twisted my skin. It hurt to step forward, it chafed and burned. I laid my ears back to help bear the pain.
Soreness spread through me as the saddle slid off my sweaty back. When I was returned to the holding area, I pressed into the anxious sea of horses. Shivers rippled across their damp and darkened coats. They shook their heads in anxiety and betrayal. I tried to escape into my memories of happier days. In the face of my mounting fear, I felt that I should flee, but there was no escape, no friendly face, no way out.
The next morning, a small man appeared and led me away from the big group. The horses with whom I had hovered and bunked followed as he walked me to the gate. Though we’d only recently met, we had found some comfort being together in a corner of the cavernous barn. But, at the gate, they were shooed away. When it snapped shut, they pivoted and pushed at it to open. Their unknown fate echoed ominously as they hollered to be free.
The pen I was moved into held new faces. I did not recognize them. They seemed agitated, so I kept to myself. Not long after I settled in, the small man reappeared and led me out. I was taken towards an empty trailer. It was clean, and the floor was cushioned with mats and shavings. A kindly lady took the lead and assured me that it was safe to step inside. Her whisper and the warmth of her touch spoke trust to my soul.
Friends, your generosity gave me safe passage out of this terrifying place. You probably know something of my story since I stepped into my lucky life at Unbridled. What you don’t know from my first two decades, I’ll soon be sharing.
In this glorious season of joy, I want you to know how grateful I am for your goodwill. Thanks to your support and Susan’s efforts, I now live on the most wonderful farm in Troy, NY with Michelene Wilson, the gentlest human I have ever known. I feel safe and loved, and grateful that, no matter what the future holds, I am part of a family at Unbridled that will protect me forevermore.
My Holiday gift to you is my gratitude and my story to share – You saved my life and gave me a place to call home.
With oodles of smoozzles, Miss Minstrell
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