The Paladins, historically, were the Champions of a Cause. A class of Warrior fully devoted to kindness. In combat, a Paladin with a cause is almost impossible to defeat, so the story goes.
And here is this particular Paladin’s tale.
He was taken in by someone on a trade 4 years ago. He was around 2 years old at the time and running at large in a field unhandled.
Someone said his sire was “Famous.” He was something important.
But that didn’t help this boy back then.
He went into a stall, and there he stayed for 4 years. Unhandled, unclean. . .day in and day out. No one willing to work with him, to show him people can care, that he was capable. . . that he meant something. He literally was kept there 365 days a day, in filth, year after year after year. . .after. . .
Can you imagine 4 years of your own filth, looking at the same 4 little walls just a few feet from you?
Usually we meet starvation at the start of a rescue, and we see it so often.
This boy. . .well, what he faced was as bleak as hunger, in some ways psychologically worse, I believe.
When the person who picked up his board where he ended up (unwanted) each month to keep him from being ran through an auction, where he’d have met certain death over the borders, reached out to us, we had no space. We also had no photos, just his story over the phone.
Finally, with the adoption of Beau, we had room, and the man had called again asking for help for this unwanted horse. A local volunteer went to see him in person and let me know how great his need was, and I was crushed to think about the days that had passed since I first spoke to the man.
How great his need had been all this time. Each night after we knew his story, his sun set, and he stood in feet and feet of his own manure.
Yes, we would help.
So four of us went to try to safely move this 6 year old stallion who had truly never been handled, never haltered.
And the bravery and resilience of this stallion is unsurpassed. While it was clear he had no idea what touch meant to even moving about, he was brave and willing.
And the filth over his body stunk and covered him head to toe. As he moved down the aisle, he swayed and each step hurt him terribly from the thrush and scratches and lack of any muscle tone. How long it had been since he was able to walk. To move. To look around. I wondered as I watched him walk if he really could recover. It will be sometime before we know if he suffered irreparable damage.
When we pulled into the rescue, and we opened the trailer, he stood there unwilling to get out for so very long. I can’t blame him.
Then he was so brave once again, just as he’d finally went into the trailer, he came out. . .
He ate like this for quite awhile. . .both overwhelmed and overjoyed, I think.
Finally a huge step of Faith. . .he trotted a few steps. Well over 1,000 days had passed since he had last been able to do this. He was unsure and stopped.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
— Desmond Tutu
Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.
— Robert H. Schuller
People think they are only animals, and yet, they are capable of so much fortitude.
Rescue horse have lived through hell, and some hold on just long enough. . .to be saved.
Welcome to Mulligan Farms, Paladin. You are the first new intake here at this location. You’ll trot and canter and gallop your first times since you were a young colt here on this land. You will receive your first halter lesson, first bath and first vet visit here. So many good firsts are headed your way.
Mulligan Farm is a new beginning for Heart of Phoenix, and heaven knows, it is a new beginning for you, Gorgeous boy.
A New Beginning.
If you would like to be Paladin’s sponsor, please visit here. The monthly care sponsorship is $175, and this covers his farrier, bedding, grain and hay costs each 30 day period.
If you would like to cover the vet costs to help him heal from skin infections from the years with manure over his body, scald, scratches, extensive hoof neglect, thrush, gelding surgery and much needed, extensive training (he will need many months), please make a donation in ANY amount at :
Mail a Donation Check to:
Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC
PO Box 81 Shoals, WV 25562