My relationship with Ben began as a hook up. My daughter knew I was looking for a horse and she had found one cheap. Too cheap, I thought. Bre said, “You just have to go meet this horse.” He had been placed in an ad on Craig’s list and his price made him too attractive to brokers. She feared he would be headed to a slaughterhouse if we didn’t do something. Bre called and made all the arrangements for us to go meet Ben. Little did I know, she had done all of this before she even had me convinced to go. I knew my daughter’s passion for rescues and this had me concerned. Just what I was I getting myself into?
Ben was not what I had in mind. He wasn’t exactly the trail horse I had been looking for. He was old, frail and neglected. But there was something special about Ben.
He nuzzled Grace and my beautiful girl with autism nuzzled him right back! I was in love. I looked at Ben and he looked right through me. There was something special in his big beautiful eyes. A softness that reached out and caressed my very soul. Without hesitation I said, “we’ll take him.” Arrangements were made to pick him up later that very evening.
Ben didn’t have a current coggins and was quarantined. His first exam with our Vet did not have a good report. Ben was undernourished and had what sounded like a pretty serious heart murmur.
Over time his health improved. Ben’s murmur wasn’t as serious as originally thought. Our vet surmised it had been exacerbated by his malnourished body and a protein deficiency. She said his coggins was negative. He was now able to reside with Bre’s horses. She also said we could ride him. She recommended easy walks and no heavy trail riding. None of this was a problem. It was easy to tell Ben had a rough life.
We brought him home that he might have an easier retirement. He occasionally would be led around to walk with Grace, Patrick or Katie. Nothing more.
Ben is an amazing horse. When I first brought him home I was joked on. Some said, “You sure got took.” “They saw you coming a mile away.” Others didn’t think he would live long based on his appearance when he arrived. But all he needed was a little tender loving care. Ben’s worth to our family will always far exceed his monetary value. He is special from the heart shaped marking on his nose to his gentle amazing spirit. We love our autism friendly boy, Ben.
“You know, everyone thinks we got this broken down horse and we fixed him, but we didn’t. He fixed us. Every one of us. And I guess in a way, we fixed each other, too.” Red Pollard talking of Seabiscuit