A young boy and his rescue horses
In a field on the outskirts of Delta, Colo., are three horses, each with a story of their own. They stand grazing together in a herd of three, as though they have been part of this herd their entire lives. Among them stands a young boy with blond windblown hair and bright blue eyes; the horses gather around him, gently, quietly, nickering softly.
These three horses have been given a second chance through Spirit Wind Horse Rescue and their caregiver Qwik, who at 14 continually amazes them with his level of compassion. Forgotten horses that now have a place to grow old, or perhaps, eventually find that perfect home where they will be cherished for the horses that they are.
Qwik began volunteering for Spirit Wind Horse Rescue in the summer of 2009. He seemed to have a fascination for horses and a special bond, and so he began with the usual chores of bucking hay, cleaning stalls and grooming the older retired horses belonging to Spirit Wind Horse Rescue. In the fall, his grandparents agreed to allow him to use their pasture, so that he could foster two older geldings that had come into the organization and needed a quiet place to retire.
Shadow and Red were hauled to Delta, Colo., both were in poor condition, had lost their pasture and had certainly not had easy lives. Qwik jumped right in, within two months the two old men now had glossy coats covering what was once ribs under rough coats. Both of theses horses certainly seemed to be enjoying all the attention bestowed upon them by this young boy – forgotten for so long in a pasture, they now had daily grooming, treats and unconditional love.
Unfortunately, Red suddenly became very ill, after many discussions between the vet, board members and Qwik, the decision was made to let Red go, to send him over the rainbow bridge as his suffering was too much to bear. Qwik did something extraordinary, with the permission of his parents, he asked that he be able to stay with Red until the end. His reason was that Red knew him, and he did not want him to be put to sleep among strangers. And so Qwik stayed until the end as Red left this world.
Shadow remains, a reminder of how much joy an old horse can bring to a young boy. He has been joined by Merrylegs, a Welsh pony who found herself without an owner, and Chester, a 10-year-old gelding, broke to ride who was headed for slaughter. These three horses, each with a different story, have a special connection with Qwik, the trust and bond they have all formed has been extraordinary to watch and observe. Some may see these horses as throwaways, but Qwik sees something more, as does everyone at Spirit Wind Horse Rescue.
It leaves everyone at Spirit Wind Horse Rescue with the knowledge that in the future there will be people to continue the good work of rescuing horses, with compassion for those left behind, and for that everyone is grateful that here in Delta County there are such amazing young people who care so deeply, and will one day make a difference.
This is a quote from Qwik, from an essay he wrote regarding his foster horses, “As my grandma says: ‘An old horse needed a young man, And a young man needed an old horse, And so God created a miracle.’ This quote has changed the way I look at older horses.”
If you would like to find out more about Spirit Wind Horse Rescue, please visit their Web site at http://www.SpiritWindHorseRescue.com to learn more about who they are and what they do.
HASTINGS, Neb. — Linda Hepler has been told she’s a miracle, and she knows it.
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