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: