Twelve years...

Just think about that for a second...

What have you done in life since 1998??

That's how long this horse lived in isolation. Kept in a tiny barbed wire enclosure, not much bigger than a dog
pen, he stood knee deep in mud. His shelter was sagging, full of holes and gaps, and leaky; water stood
under it constantly. He had no companionship, no interaction, no stimulation, no relief from endless hours,
days, weeks, years of loneliness and boredom. There was nothing but mud; nowhere to graze, and nowhere
to exercise. Just TWELVE YEARS of nothingness.
There was no question about taking this horse in when the call came. Even convicted criminals are not kept in solitary
confinement for decades at a time with no time out to exercise. We had to help this guy.

The first worry was loading him... would this horse, who had not even been out of that mud pit in so long, even load for
us? We went armed with plenty of help and plenty of sedatives, prepared for a long effort. And when we got there, Hal
slopped out of the mire... and straight into the trailer without so much as a hesitation!!!! He was ready to go...

Our next worry was his reaction to the other horses. We unloaded him into the side pasture and stood back to see
what he would do... could he handle all this stimulation at once? For the longest time he stood frozen, totally silent, as
the other horses came up to the fence to check him out. While they snorted and postured and stomped and squealed
at him, he stared silently and quivered. Eventually, he started towards them... and within a few minutes, he was
touching noses and rubbing with Ruby and Zephyr!!!!

To make a long story short (too late, I know) Hal amazed us beyond words. Instead of taking a week or more to
acclimate to living with the other horses... by the end of that night he was in the pasture with them, frantically
insinuating himself into the herd. The other horses seemed to recognize something in Hal... maybe the years and
years of loneliness... and they accepted him right in.

His favorite companions are Isabella and Rose! He is their constant shadow, mostly Isabella's. He can't bear for her to
be out of his sight, and he follows both of them like a little puppy.
We could use some assistance with Hal as we get him back into shape... he hadn't seen a vet in all those
years, he's never had his teeth floated in his life, his feet need work (but are in amazingly good shape
considering). He is thin and needs extra feed and suplements. Would you consider making a donation to
help us get Hal healthy again?
Keep checking back to see Hal's progress! More pics to come soon!
Hal January 2010; just arrived