BraveHeart’s Herdiversary: Heart of the Free Home of the Brave
December 18, 2016
Today is a momentous day for Equinox Stables and For Hank’s Sake... and our founder, Tammi Jo Regan.
December 18th marks the official date that a big, beautiful Belgian Draft horse named BraveHeart was released from quarantine, after having been rescued by Tammi in the eleventh hour from imminent slaughter.
One year to the day, BraveHeart remains standing in Stall #4, completing his rehabilitation treatment which includes recovering from his physical and emotional trauma. In addition, when a horse is severely underweight, it is a slow and steady process to get them to their ideal weight. BraveHeart will remain in the rehabilitation process until he has reached his proper weight. His once terribly infected feet have now totally healed.
Today we celebrate BraveHeart’s courage, his will to endure and overcome, and his overwhelming achievements. In the rescue world, we can tend to see rehabilitation processes that are rushed or incomplete. A rescued horse needs an ample amount of lay up time to work through their emotional, mental and physical stress. We hold, contrary to some methodologies, that rescued horses don't need a job right away. We believe they need time to acquire confidence and to feel and enjoy what it’s like to simply be a horse again.
When BraveHeart came home to Equinox, he was 800 pounds underweight. It's been nothing short of amazing to watch his personality unfold without pushing him into any kind of work. While he did respond graciously, with some gentle nudging, to embracing basic ground manners, we’ve let him be the horse he has been longing to be. He has learned the touch of human kindness, he delights in the time he spends in the pasture with his herd mates, whom he clearly and dearly loves, and perhaps most importantly, it is evident in his body language and willingness to play, that he feels utterly, totally safe and free from the pain that once crippled him.
As it happens, today - December 18th - is also Tammi’s beloved father’s, birthday. A sweet and playful promise was made to her Dad a little over two years ago, when Tammi Jo assured Duane, “I’ll always keep Stall #4 open for you, Pops.” How sublime it is that Tammi’s sixth rescue horse - a big, brave boy - came home to stand in Stall # 4 in honor of Duane C. on his very birthday and remains standing there to this day.
In this coming year, in their continued journey together, Tammi and #775 will continue to discover and honor what this big, beautiful, brave boy will do with the next chapter of his life. This time, BraveHeart gets to be the author of his own story.
Happy Herdiversary BraveHeart. We adore you.