Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pegasus and Heroes

I had the privilege of visiting Sandy Gilbert at her Refuge Farms last Saturday in Spring Valley, Wis. and as this is the time of year the Great Square of Pegasus is visible in the sky, this is where my promised story of Pegasus and Heroes begins.

Pegasus as the mythical winged horse and the Hero is in Sandy Gilbert. I have always thought of her as the Mother Theresa of horses. She takes in the ill, the abused, and binds their wounds and heals their hungry frames. As I was graciously invited into her clean and orderly barns, I could drink in the harmony of comfort, food and water, and the renewal of equine souls. The first barn held those who were suited to be with each other. Healthy and ambulatory. The next barn took in those who were so elderly and/or blind (the Helen Keller Wing) that they were best among others who had the same afflictions. The huge gentle horses that Sandy guides outside to the sunshine, and treats with such affection were once scorned subjects receiving the abuse only humans can dole out. Yes, I am out of my comfort zone -- which is where most people would be. And that's why it is so easy for people to tune it out.

Sandy is pictured with Babee Joy--who you can see is a big baby--like 18 hands worth and 4 feet across her massively voluptuous butt! A rare blue roan who is truly a gentle giant. She was born of a PMU mare. I found myself explaining to a visiting friend what a PMU foal is--not many people know. You can read all about it on this link. Anyone who is taking Premarin, or other menopausal drugs should know where their false relief is coming from. I accidentally took a picture where the flash triggered and sent the horses into a fast retreat. Sandy patiently explained that some of these horses have been abused with electricity. The electric prods that sent them from one place to another have made permanent marks on their psyche. I felt sorrow for them. In a minute they returned to their food and the comfort Sandy brings to them.

I hope my readers will follow the link to Refuge Farms because there is a wealth of information about all of the 18 horses who reside there. I wouldn't be doing justice to describe their stories here. Each horse has a story--and each one is a unique individual. Ironically it takes people to pass along their stories along to other people. And we hope people who care about their existence will be as touched as I was about their stories.

Sandy will be telling an important stories at the University of Minnesota Equine Center on November 7th at the Refuge Farms Gala fundraiser event. She will be joined by supporters to hear the story of Dr. Don Hoglund, DVM, who was rescued wild horses living on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Sandy is the Hero and all of the other horses at Refuge Farms are the winged horses, like Pegasus. Sandy, of course, is not a horse. She has the wings of an angel.

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