Monday, September 14, 2009

CHEWBACCA (CHEWEY'S STORY)





My daughter and I had heard Kim Meeder from Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch speak on the Radio and then we read her books “Hope Rising” and “A Bridge Called Hope”. We were so inspired that we went to her training session to learn more about what we could do. I was unprepared for the challenge she gave us, but I was willing to do whatever God led me to do. I was looking for a family horse and bought Navar. I asked the horse trader if she had anything suitable for kids. She said she did at a different farm. I had no intention of buying a rescue horse but I had no choice when I saw this poor starved, beat up horse trot around with a little 3-year-old boy on his back. The trader said he had deteriorated quickly since she had last seen him and didn’t know why because they were feeding him. I didn’t care. I saw him pivot perfectly on his hindquarter as the child maneuvered him and knew he would do whatever we asked.
He came to live with us. We never could decide what breed he was; just that he was pretty and had a soft eye. He stood about 14.3 H. His hair was long and shed off in patches, in June, and looked like the wooly Chewbacca in star wars. His body was scarred by the battles for food with the bigger horses. His coat was unthrifty, probably due to heavy worm infestation and poor nutrition. When our veterinarian checked him he said he had the worst teeth he had ever seen and that is why he didn’t benefit from his food. He corrected his problem as best as he could. We placed him in a private paddock with horses nearby and fed him back to health. Soon he developed swelling beneath his belly. I thought he would die for sure as he leaned against the stall wall to rest. I thought it was heart failure or a kidney problem. One day I noticed his belly was wet. An abscess the size of a dinner plate had opened up. It wasn’t long after that until he was doing well, gaining weight and thriving. His next two summers were healthy and happy. He taught many people that they were capable of working with a horse, riding, lunging, brushing (his favorite) and just being with a horse. He was eager to go down the pasture trail and led the way. His face had turned white as things change when a horse ages. He had a bad eye that seemed to bother him when the summer sun was bright. He would toss his head up and down as if to say yes all the time. We had a face mask for him so he would be more comfortable. I don’t know exactly how old he was, just that he was very old. I sometimes dreaded thinking about the day he wouldn’t come up to the feeder for his food. I just didn’t think it would be so soon. It is very sad to say good- bye to such a faithful servant. He made our lives so much better.

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