A horse that didn't generate much attention.
Let's talk about a horse that didn't generate much attention, who has landed three times back in our rescue, he deserves attention. Ace is a most extraordinary horse with a story to tell. He is sweet, fun loving, extremely playful, sensitive, gentle, overall, one of the most beautiful horses I’ve known.
Ace lived a normal life with a loving family and a little girl that doted on him. He had a herd to call his own and felt a purpose when he was taken on camping trips and ridden in parades. His life was full, until it wasn't. The family fell apart, and so did everything they loved and cared for. He found himself, along with his herd, abandoned in a field of burrs, weeds and a rickety ramshackle of a building. There was no clean water, hay, or loving family to call his own. The love he felt turned into betrayal as Ace began to withdraw and become fearful of most everything. His herd became aggressive due to the lack of, well, everything, which landed this sweet boy at the bottom of the pecking order. That’s when we received the first cry for help, we were asked to find a soft spot for “a couple” of horses.
Scared horse's and unsure of what was going on, we rounded up three horses and a mule. Various people had taken the other horses. We met Ace, HB, Baby and Toby. They were thin, some more than others, manes and tails were so burr ridden they had become like baseball bats. They were safe, we were a bit overwhelmed. One by one they got adopted, even Ace. His new adapter raved about how sweet he was and posted pictures of all their trail riding adventures, he was very loved, and we were beyond thrilled. All was well, end of story, not quite.
Several months later, his adopter contacted us. She was beside herself about the fact that a medical injury was sidelining her from riding, and she could no longer keep Ace. As part of our adoption contract horses must come back to us, we always take them back and reassess the situation. He came back to us again. This time he seemed unaffected with the whole situation of coming back. The adoption and return to the herd went without a hitch. He was the same loving horse we knew and loved.
Ace stayed with us for another 2 years, he was adopted again with another gelding of ours Mikey. Once again, the adopters fell in love with them, claimed Ace and Mikey were their heart horses,
We were feeling good about the situation. Updates and pictures of both horses were sent, they were adjusting well, and were safe in their new home. Once again all was well, not quite. In 2021 the world got crazy, and we stopped getting updates, (which violates our adoption agreement). It was decided to make a 16 hour round trip to go check on the horses. We were horrified at what we saw, Mikey was skin and bones, while Ace didn’t look as bad physically, he seemed very shut down. The pasture at this home had also become full of weeds with no nutrition, all the horses were eating buttercup to survive. There was no hay on the property or fresh water, the small amount of feed found there was beet pulp. We quickly developed a plan to seize back both horses. (Mikey’s story to come later). We loaded them both up, took them to a temporary facility to assess what we were dealing with. We called in emergency favors to our farrier and equine dentist. Travel arrangements to bring the boys home. Mikey was weak, completely dehydrated, looking like skin hanging from a rack of bones registering a one on the Heineke scale. It was heartbreaking. Ace was a mess; he would not look at us, he tucked his head into the corner of the stall. While he let us handle and talk to him, he didn't receive any affection offered. He was in survival mode.
Ace was completely mentally shut down, all four hooves had large strange, shaped voids, damage from what the farrier said was abscess, which had to be extremely painful.
Our kissy, smoochy, huggable horse would not look at us. Most of the attention at this point was focused on Mikey, trying to keep him alive. Both horses were transported the 8 hours back to our rescue. It was such a tender moment when the herd and both returning members (Ace and Mikey) recognized one another. He was back in with his herd again. Three times leaving was enough for him. I’m sure he wondered how long before he would be sent away, again. It took Ace 2 weeks to feel safe enough to open himself back up to us. We promised him he could become part of the sanctuary horses, never to be adopted again, but to live out his life with the rest of the sanctuary horses. Once again, he loves to romp and play, you can find him on our YouTube channel https://youtube.com/shorts/ZHd9LQswhPY?feature=share. The most playful and photogenic horse we have to date.
Ace is an 11-year-old Tennessee Walking horse who is gearing up for a new career. He will be used in our ground based Equine Assisted Services program. Humans saving horses, horses saving humans. “H3 Equine Therapy”. We feel giving horses such a beautiful purpose is certainly a win-win for all involved.
Many ask why such a beautiful horse is in rescue. There are thousands of beautiful horses in rescue all over. Please consider adoption before buying. Just because they are in rescue says nothing of the horse's ability or worth. They come to us with many stories, I hope this one of Ace explains why such a beautiful horse is a “rescue”. If you are moved by his story, you can follow his shenanigans, or donate to his monthly care. Thank you for taking the time to learn how such a beautiful horse could end up in a rescue.