I think it was 2004 when all this started. A hot summer day, and in our yard a young girl gave The Look to a small chestnut gelding. A hundred or so horses on our ranch, but it was only the small chestnut gelding who received The Look. You can easily imagine. Love at first sight. Never saw it coming. Like getting bonked in the back of your head by a barn door.
You must have an agreeable parent. Which the young girl had. We made all the arrangements. Gave the parent and young girl dozens of options, including bringing the gelding back if there were problems. Soon the chestnut gelding belonged to the young girl. She still sends us pictures. And later this fall, when the girl moves away to college, her horse is going with her.
Perhaps 30 times since, because of The Look, a horse from our ranch has found a loving home. Two have been returned, both because of money problems.
The oldest person 65. The youngest 9. I remember The Look from each. It is impossible to witness The Look and not react. You see The Look, you must do something about it.
On my website I have not once writen about The Look adoptions. Until now. No way to write about this without sounding like we are above everyone else. Plus, for us anyway, The Look adoptions are private. We only charge a dollar for the horse. And we make the person come back at least 5 times before it becomes official. The person spends time with the horse in our yard. Always their love grows stronger. Always there is The Look.
Okay, after all of the above, I can get to the point. Earlier this year, in rain and wind, a girl gave The Look to a mare on our ranch. The girl was only here to bring us grain from Costco. The girl saw the mare, and there was The Look. I said take the mare for a walk, and she did. Both the mare and girl soaked from sideways rain. I said you can go into the mare motel and groom her. The girl did. The mare had just arrived from a race track, and was on her toes. High strung with me, but quiet and sensible with the girl. It was easy to see the connection between the two. The mare stood quietly while the girl introduced her to a blanket. I found out later, this was the first time the mare had worn a blanket.
We made all the arrangements. A nice place in Davis. Financial concerns taken care of by the owners of the nice place. The girl is a student with money woes. The owners of the nice place were happy to help.
The mare was transported to the nice place. And less than a week later, she was crippled.
The rain went away, the sun came, and horses were turned out to play. The mare took a bad step, and broke both her ankle and sesamoid.
A vet at UC Davis told the girl, you have to put your mare to sleep. The girl decided to seek a second opinion. And so the mare was taken to a vet hospital in another town.
The girl told the doctor, she has little money. But if something can be done for her mare, she promises to pay for the rest of her life.
Well the doctor had done the same kind of surgery many times before. It involves screws. The horse has no chance of passing through airport security.
The doctor performed the surgery, and only charged the girl for meds. Unbelievable. She only had to pay for the medicine.
There is rehab, which includes hand walking everyday for the next 4 months. The mare should be fine.
I phoned the doctor, and told him what a wonderful person he is. To do this for the girl and her mare.
And this is what he said: How could I turn the girl down? You should see the way she looks at her horse.