I am Legend: Despite being tied on a rope and emaciated for years on end, he is an Appalachian horse with a lot of “something more”

They all have a story

Here is the story of Legend, as we know it.

This gelding is less than a decade old, and yet, from all we know, most of his life has been spent on this rope.

The rope was taped on and knotted over and over around his head. It hasn’t been off in a very long time. Maybe years. It was moved from the other end to a few places around abandoned buildings now and again as folks watched him slowly “die” inside and out. Finally, someone called, someone let the right people know he had to have help now.


They were so right. His body is skeletal. Locals say he has been worse. His owner admits he has actually been much worse to the Lincoln county sheriff’s department in West Virginia (acting quickly, they have helped save his life).

The owner says he looks “good” now compared to how he did look, and we wonder how that could be? How has he survived if this is the best he has looked in his life? Drinking from a mud puddle, grass eaten as far down as he can reach on a hillside. . .alone.


His neck shows white scars from previous years that have healed from the damage the rope has done. He carries old scar tissue and open wounds from the damage from the rope. His legs have open wounds from the rope burns, too.

A halter would have cost less than $20 dollars, but it is clear, he would never have been afforded even this small care.


We sometimes imagine horses do not know as much as we do. They are animals, after all, and aren’t they unaware of what is happening?

Rescuers know better.


You cannot look at these images and believe he didn’t know his life was about to change.

Expectation was written all over his face.

He was about to be free.

Finally, after many years. . .no more ropes tying him in a circle.

No more tape wrapped around many knots making freedom impossible.


We are horse people.

We smell like horses, we know horses and the moment we approached Legend, he reacted in a way we’ve never seen in a horse before. He was excited to just stand by us and smell us.

From head. To Toe

He was calm and curious. And lonely.

How many years had passed without him knowing that smell, the smell of other horses? How many years went by without him knowing the hands of someone who understood horses?


He walked quickly  to the trailer, and he loaded without a moment’s hesitation. . .yet he may have never been on a trailer in his life.


When he arrived at his foster’s farm, we realized what a “Thinking” soul he really had. . .he unloaded and stopped.

He was stunned.

As far as he could see were horses, was grass. . . and he just stood for ever so long taking it all in.

He didn’t call, he didn’t rush.

He just watched. . .I am telling you, this horse knew his trial was over.



Once in the barn, he went to each stall to greet each horse.

He never squealed, nickered or pulled.

He just walked to each stall with true joy.

He smelled each horse.

He looked at us.

He looked back and moved to another stall.


Life has never been kind to him.

It would be fair to say he never known kindness before today, but Legend has kept a spirit of HOPE and expectation of something better.

I believe we could all learn from that.

He met today with confidence, as if to say, “I knew you were coming.

You are just on time. Thank you for That.”

I wish more of us could meet life in such a way.

Calm and full of expectation, even thankfulness. . that we knew something better was around the corner, thankful when, even if overdue, it finally arrives.


This is Legend, and I am telling you. . .he is really something very special. Set Apart. Out of hundreds. set very apart.



LEGEND has been adopted, and these are his 1 YEAR AFTER PHOTOS with HOP volunteer rescuer, Susan Sunday:

27 thoughts on “I am Legend: Despite being tied on a rope and emaciated for years on end, he is an Appalachian horse with a lot of “something more”

  1. This entire story brought tears to my eyes, both what he endured and your kindness. Bless you all.

  2. What a story!!! This horse is a fighter…..great job with taking care of him and his rehab…bless all the people involved with saving his life…
    ….what a sweet boy!!!!

  3. God bless you for rescuing this wonderful boy…. please provide updates… thank you!

  4. What a friendly story and horse! Hope he made it untill today and much more years with such good people!

  5. Makes me so sad and so happy at the same time.. thankfully this horse has been saved from an atrocious life… he looks so healthy now, amazing x

  6. Thank you for saving him his transformation is incredible thank goodness for people like you who help animals in such a dire need God bless you all

  7. Reading this story was not easy when I read how legend was treated before as I read, the easier the story got!! Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to save him!! Please give him a hug for me!! I love horses too, I always wanted a riding horse but never had one!! Thank you for mmaking legends dreams come true!!!!!

  8. He was a very strong horse, with a will to live, look how pretty he was, they did not know what they had, The horse is the most abused animal, so many buy them but never know how to take care of them, never buy a book or talk to some one who knows, they just do their thing and the horses suffers. So sorry for them, make my blood boil.

  9. You did a wonderful thing taking him out of hell into heaven the story was sad there are more Ledgends out there thanx you all so very much for doing what your doing you are true Angels ❤❤❤🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎

  10. God bless the people that work tirelessly to rescue and safe animals that are suffering. The original owner that tortured this poor horse should be severely punished. Why would this person have an animal that they cannot take care of??? Makes me what to get a gun……

  11. Does he have health problems due to neglect and abuse? We read such beautiful stories now and then, but the sad truth is that emaciated horses have life long illnesses in spite of being rescued. Laminitis, COPD. Navicular disease and other chronic conditions. I have learned this the hard way, buying a former abused horse. Managing these conditions requires a lot of sacrifice and money. That,s why I hope from all my heart that his former owner will be convicted and punished and I am shocked that his neighbours didn,t call animal protection sooner.

  12. God Bless you for helping this beautiful animal! It has brought tears to my eyes and joy in my heart to know that his life has changed forever!

  13. This is truly a horrible yet promising story! You guys were his blessing from above and now he will bless his owners with vitality and life, thanks to you. I hope I can get our rescue tonlook as good as Legend does! Keep up the good and important work!

  14. Are there pictures of Legend with his new family? Is he doing well there? I pray they appreciate him and give him the loving care that HOP provided when they saved him. I remember when he came, his story so touched me I had to help in some way. I was able to make a small contribution to his care, not enough or as much as I would have liked to. I prayed for him and all of HOP (including the medical staff) that he would make it and thrive. To all the folks that made that happen “God Bless YOU!” To all the folks reading these stories now please give what you can. Tiana has said over and over no gift is too small (or too big). Combined together it enables HOP to do amazing things. There are so many “Legends” out there just waiting for your help. Like Legend, they wait knowing/hoping that help will come. Please do what you can to help HOP reach them in time!

  15. So many tears watching this, for Legend’s past and all of the horses who are suffering today. Bless you and thank you so much.

  16. Amazing story ..a very heartbreaking truth what happens to horses in the wrong hands..Legend is such a great gelding to make it through all he has ,God bless you all for Saving him & giving him Life.. I pray he has a beautiful new life & enjoys every minute with a Deserving new owner..what a Gorgeous horse he is.💙😊💜

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