Tribute to Spirit


Every horse that has come into our lives is because of a very special horse, “Willing Spirit.” After years of abuse at the racetrack, and 14 years of neglect we were amazed how she immediately loved and trusted a young girl that had shown her kindness.

This pathetic equine was first noticed standing in a weedy field, head hanging so low that her nose was almost touching the ground. Not knowing much about horses, it was obvious that she had given up on life, and we could not ignore her pain.

We later were told that she was to be sent for slaughter with a few of her friends, but she was too thin and sickly. She was left to die in the field. All her friends that she had spent years huddling with were gone. She was totally alone. Permission was given for 11-year-old Courtenay (who had dreamed of owning her own horse) to “befriend” this pathetic creature.

She stood like a statue the first time in years that she was groomed. For over an hour Courtenay brushed the burrs and knots out of her mane and tail. Spirit adored the attention. Her teeth were floated so she could once again eat hay. How she loved her twice a day meals. She stood at the fence waiting for her special friend to visit daily.

Within a short time, her colour changed from a pale sorrel colour to a lovely bay. After she had gained several hundred pounds, she was brought “home.” She had gone for years without shelter, and how she loved her own little barn. The first time Courtenay put a saddle on her, Spirit hardly seemed to breathe as she was so proud. She had not been ridden for 14 years and when Courtenay got on her back she was absolutely regal. Spirit and Courtenay had a very special bond. Spirit would watch for Courtenay to come home from school. She enjoyed Courtenay riding her bareback and they would play together. It was very touching to see this very loving, trusting relationship grow daily. Because of our Willing Spirit, we are inspired to continue to perpetuate her legacy….