Estelle–she was bred for greatness. Owned by one of the big names in the TWH industry. She was born to be a star in the Celebration, but intentions and the ethics of owners are sometimes at odds. Where Estelle’s life path was intended to go in one direction it went sharply in another. In a weird twist of fate, neglect saved her from padding and soring though it almost took her life.
This is Estelle’s story. In 2015 Safe Harbor was called to aid in a legal intake of horses in Giles County. The situation was hard to imagine. 4 acres of land. 54 horses. Stallions, mares, geldings—all starving. All with nothing to eat, and disease starting to run rampant. All owned by a prominent trainer in the TWH industry. The Humane Society of the United States got involved, and the 54 horses went to 3 rescues, Safe Harbor and Horse Haven assuming responsibility for the greatest numbers. Of the horses Safe Harbor took in 3 had to be treated for EPM.
2 of the three were adopted to new homes, and had full recoveries. The third, was Estelle. Estelle was in the worst shape of all the horses removed from the property that day. In fact, one of the other rescues involved was critical that we even chose to save her, and a comment was made that she should be euthanized, not become a bleeding heart project. We felt differently. We saw a light in this beautiful mare’s eyes that said she wanted to live. We saw hiding behind the fear and pain a desire to just be loved. We saw a spark, and we know that spark. That spark is LIFE, and we were not about to let it be taken away.
The photos below include photos of Estelle when we first met her. She not only overcame EPM, neglect, lack of hoof care, but he entire body was matted in manure to the point she had to be sheared. This mare is an incredible example of resilience. She is the story of never giving up faith in a life ahead even in times of the darkest adversity. Estelle would love to share her life story with you—and she can. If you have a place in a pasture where beautiful Estelle can walk, eat, and peacefully enjoy life then Apply To Adopt!
Estelle doesn’t ask for much. She loves other horses, so being a companion is perfect for her. She’ll walk to her stall gently for meals, she’ll grace you with the most spectacular dapples you’ve ever seen, and the softest big brown eyes. What Estelle doesn’t love is a lot of handling. Over more time, this may change, but she is still somewhat fearful of touch, and we honor her history in understanding that. There are scars that she may carry forever emotionally. She is never mean, she doesn’t kick, she doesn’t bite, but you’ll see tension and a quiver that simply says, “I’m scared; please don’t harm me.” Even with the fear she’ll stand tied, she’ll load easily, and she’ll stand for the farrier. She is desperate to trust, but needs a human with a big enough heart to understand that wanting and ability aren’t at the same place just yet.
There is no adoption fee for Estelle. If her story has touched your heart, as it has ours. If you feel that your pasture may be the place where this spectacular horse can start the next chapter of her life that started out so harshly, then please submit your adoption application for Estelle today.