Horse Starvation in Appalachia: The Excuse

Meet Soleil.


We were told it was worms.   It was sickness.  It was something else. It was anything EXCEPT bleak starvation, the owner said, but we know starvation when we see it.


We know when we look at a horse kept up in a carport with a halter 3 sizes too small cutting into her face, when filth covers her and no one cared enough to brush her, when her mane hangs in thick and twisted matted pieces, when she limps because of infection in all 4 of her feet, when she refuses water even though she had none where she was in lieu of eating hay… that we are looking at starvation.


I do wonder how much one’s heart can take.  Sometimes, I wonder.


Her spirit was as low as I’ve seen in nearly 300 cases of abuse and neglect.


But in the end of each horse’s journey, whatever they have lived through before we find them, we make it better. Not always in the way we hope, but always better.


And this 7 year old Tennessee Walking mare will be better, however it goes.   I suspect she will have an amazing after.  I hope despite how she weaves when she walks, despite how her eyes tells of horrors, hunger.


She was living in a carport alone behind a house without turn out.  I do not know for how long, really.


Gauging her reaction to hearing other horses when we unloaded her, I can tell you she was lonely and desperate for a long time.
Her wavering frame tells me she has been starving a long time. Her lameness when she tried to walk on hard ground tell me she has been hurting too long. Her bloody face tells me that old halter didn’t fit for longer than made sense.


Thank God for the law enforcement officers and for our state HSUS Director who all made this save possible, made it possible we could show up, and regardless of the excuses made by the woman who neglected her for so long, we could save her life.


If you would wish to donate to her life saving rehab, visit


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7 thoughts on “Horse Starvation in Appalachia: The Excuse

  1. I’m so heartbroke reading this story, and thinking of the thousands still out there going through the same thing. Doing this to an animal is a sign of mental illness, If anyone reading my comment has an animal living in horrible, filthy, conditions and if you re starvng this animal, I beg you please get the help you need, please don’t make them suffer any longer…not one minute longer.

  2. i know margie very well and she is a good christian woman. i dont think she meant any harm to any animal. she loves animals and helps transports them and trys do what she can.she gave me my gracie my one year chiuaua when she was a pup. i hate this and i will be pray for my friend.

    1. I sincerely hope you aren’t defending the woman who did this to this beautiful mare by saying “she’s a good Christian”. This mare didn’t starve nearly to death in a few days, this was months upon months of blatant neglect. Christian or not, this woman nearly starved this horse to death. If she wasn’t capable of caring for this horse she should have contacted someone well before this mare got this and. She should be ashamed of herself for what she did to this horse and you should be ashamed for trying to defend her.

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