Calling All Angels for BraveHeart
July 13, 2017
As many of our loyal Equinox Stables and For Hank's Sake fans, friends and followers know, our big, beautiful BraveHeart fell critically ill on May 27th of this year. Since then there has been an overwhelming outpouring of concern, support and love via comments, shares, private messages, phone calls, emails and texts. We wanted to take a moment today to provide an update for all of you who have so thoughtfully reached out to inquire about his health.
Just as we posted back in May, we continue to call on all angels to rally around our sweet, brave boy with all the prayers that Heaven can hold. 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 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 is willing to continue to fight, Tammi Jo Regan will 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 "What more can I do to 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 facility 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 two 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 Stables and For Hank's Sake are all about. These two organizations joined forces earlier this year with the mission to be a safe haven and a voice for abused and neglected horses and animals everywhere. The goal was and continues to be: Rehab and Retrain. What most resonates with Tammi after rescuing nine horses to date, is that if one is going to rescue, it is of utmost importance that the rehab process be respected, revered and above all never, ever rushed.
BraveHeart came to Tammi with a severe respiratory infection and terribly infected feet along with being severely malnourished and cruelly handled. Tammi believed then, as she continues to advocate now, that it is critically important not to push a horse too far too fast. We must always listen to their needs and work within their current level of comfort and trust, not the other way around. With that in mind, Equinox spares no expense to make sure our horses are healthy and get a chance at a quality life and long term survival. This is often a missing element in the rescue world. Tammi has since made it her life’s ambition to teach horse handlers and rescue organizations the best and most appropriate way to define and manage the rehabilitation process for each individual case.
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. To the entire Equinox Stables team and everyone reading, commenting and sharing his story, who continue to love, support, and fight with him... thank you for caring about, thinking about and praying for our sweet boy this past month and a half. Your support has been nothing short of incredible.