I arrive at the horses with plenty of time to spare. The new pony, Faith, is due to arrive at noon. I have been frantically researching various alternative therapies whilst home, but for now have equipped myself with the basic necessities.
I place a small tub near my first aid box in the barn. Inside it is various sized sterile syringes, cotton wool, gauze pads, alcohol wipes, disposable gloves, and saline solution. My immediate concern is to clean up the hole in her face and fully assess the size, depth, and severity to her condition.
My phone rings and I answer, the man on the other end tells me he will be here in five minutes. This is it. The moment this pony sets foot out of the trailer, I have officially saved her from a certain death. My hands are clammy, I’m a mixture of nerves and excitement. I do not know how Honey will accept this newcomer, nor how she will react to any interaction between her and Ava. For the meantime I feed up and go wait by the road.
Whilst I stand on the lane, awaiting the trailer, my mind drifts back to all the other times a trailer has pulled up here. Many horses and ponies have stepped off ramps and into my hands. Most with behavioral or handling issues, many frightened, and some just uneducated on the kindness the human touch can behold. But not in all the years has one come directly to me from where their life should have ended. The familiar sound of rattling trailer doors brings me back to the present. I take some deep breaths to ensure my heart rate is low and my energy level does not cause alarm. As the ramp is lowered, I see the pony once again. This time, she is alert, wide-eyed, and already whinnying to anyone who will listen. She prances elegantly along the lane and up into the field. Her movement is amazing, with a floating high-knee actions so desired in the show world. She is searching for another pony, eager to find a friend who can tell her if she is safe. I gently stroke her head and un-clip the lead rope. “Go on then, Faith,” I encourage. And she glides across to be greeted with squeals from all the residents. There is no kicking, nor any charging around with her new field mates. I know then that she will be quickly accepted into her new herd. I sign the relevant paperwork and wave a fond farewell to the driver and trailer.
Within an hour, Faith has had a flurry of friendly visitors who all want to wish her well and celebrate her new lease of life. She munches happily on grass and manages a hearty roll to rid herself of all the sparkly coat-shine from her fur. I look at her from across the paddock, whilst making notes and taking photos for future comparison. She eyes me with interest and watches my every move with a childish curiosity. I glance back, frowning at her new “mud-covered” look, and then smile and say out loud, “Well, it's official, you are one of us now. How about we prove some people wrong, and show them they should have had a little more Faith”.
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