Calling all Angels for BraveHeart

July 12, 2017

Big, beautiful BraveHeart fell critically ill on May 27th of this year. This kind, lovable, dream of all dream horses continues to fight for his life. He quickly declined into grave condition about seven weeks ago and was rushed to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center for urgent medical intervention. You, our faithful friends and prayer warriors, dutifully flooded the heavens with pleas that the equine angels would flock to beautiful BraveHeart and usher in transformative healing. Those first 12-24 hours were utterly critical and it was anyone’s guess how things would unfold. We knew if BraveHeart could just hold on through the night with his immediate medical concerns being painstakingly addressed and his pain properly managed, we could begin to form a picture of what kind of long term recovery and rehabilitation might await this humble, big-hearted horse. So long as Bravey was willing to continue to fight, Tammi would continue to keep him comfortable and fight right alongside of him. She determined that if BraveHeart were to choose to exit this realm, an emergency medical center would not be where she’d allow him to spend whatever time they had left together. It was with that, that BraveHeart was released into hospice care and brought back to Equinox Stables where he could quietly and lovingly convalesce with his herd mates. Once nestled back into his home, he was able to enjoy a nice bath, daily grooming sessions, therapeutic massage and a special kind of grazing time. Brave had to be hand grazed under strict supervision so he would not fall or injure himself. Tammi, along with the Equinox barn staff, lovingly hand grazed him daily, enjoying that tender one-on-one time spent with him. It was suggested that he be kept on stall rest, but Tammi knew that time outside with his herd mates would be emotionally healthy for him. He needed fresh air, sunshine and to be surrounded by nature's beauty, not stuck in a stall 24/7. So it was an honor for the Equinox team to be able to participate in this loving act of kindness for him. Seeing BraveHeart so willing to accept all the help he could get, Tammi one day found herself asking out loud "How can I help this horse?” That's when a vision of her once and still beloved dog Sunny entered the front of her mind running healthy and free along the beaches of Hawaii, where Tammi had once lived. This was a very clear vision, but Tammi couldn’t quite figure out how Sunny running on an island beach had anything to do with helping BraveHeart. Wondering if her horse would heal if given the opportunity to swim, Tammi promptly set about finding an equine aquatherapy for BraveHeart. She located an Equine Rehab facility that, as providence would have it, holds the name Maui Meadow Farm. Affirmed, she promptly arranged for transport and as of the publishing of this post, BraveHeart already has a week’s worth of swims under his belt… in over 12-feet of water... doing laps on a water track that amounts to the length of a football field... twice a day... building up the necessary muscle and regaining the strength required to hold up his big, beautiful body. It’s an overwhelmingly beautiful sight to watch BraveHeart willingly, perhaps even eagerly, enter the water to provide himself with the self care he seems to instinctively know will help him. Once back in his stall, he continues to diligently exercise self care, napping when he needs to, propping his weak side up against the stall for support, and - once awake - joyfully dunking his alfalfa hay into his water bucket, crunching on his oats, nibbling at his hay net, then slurping a big gulp of water. Round and round it goes and it’s simply a delightful and touching thing to watch him meet his own needs. With the abundance of love, prayers and healing energy that came pouring in, Tammi remains cautiously hopeful as she holds fast to her strong belief in miracles. After all, it was only a little under two short years ago that the fourteen year old BraveHeart was rescued in the eleventh hour from imminent slaughter. Upon learning of his dire plight, Tammi’s mission was to intercede quickly enough so that “#775” could live out his days with peace, companionship and comfort alongside the rest of the For Hank’s Sake herd. This is the heart of what Equinox and For Hank's Sake are all about. BraveHeart, #775, has never been just a number to Tammi. He was then, and continues to be today, a living, breathing, big-hearted and brave survivor and a beautiful testament to how loving, gentle patience can make all the difference in the life of a horse.