The Heart of A Rescue: Part 1

Christina Mitchell, Business Manager • cbmitchell16@ehc.edu

At five years old I wish I had known how much my life was about to change. It all started with a horse, a beautiful, majestic, Arabian gelding. This horse had not had an easy life, passed from owner to owner, abused. He was a rescue horse and even though he was 16 years old at the time he was nowhere near suitable for a beginner, especially not a five year old beginner.

I will never forget the day he arrived, a brisk October morning, my family had never even seen him. I couldn’t have been more excited, even though I knew that he wasn’t quite the horse I had dreamed of. I had dreamed of a majestic Mustang, just like the horse from the movie Spirit, but that didn’t matter anymore. He was skinny, you could see all of his bones, and he was as weary of people as any horse I’ve ever handled. His name was Rubicon, but that would quickly be shortened to “Ruben.” To me, he was perfect.

I spent that entire winter with him, gradually gaining his trust as he gained weight. By the time spring came around Ruben trusted me and was eating treats out of the palm of my hand. Then the time came for me to ride him for the first time once the weather had cleared and he had enough weight.

I had no saddle, no helmet, and no bridle. It was a recipe for disaster as I know now, but the winter of gaining Ruben’s trust had paid off and he took good care of me, as he has done ever since. I may not specifically remember that first ride but I do remember how happy I felt to be riding my very own horse even though I am nearly certain that someone was leading him along. It was a feeling that I am certain I can never again capture, a feeling that no words will ever properly convey.

If only I had known back then all the things Ruben had to teach me, all of the firsts he would get me through. If only I had known then how he would forever change the way I approach animals that would so wildly differ from most horse people. I understand now that I was hooked on rescues from the beginning. It is so difficult for me to believe the moment when I first laid eyes on my horse was 13 years ago.

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