is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man!
Shalom was a two-year-old Andalusian Mustang that was rescued through a
reservation in the desert of Arizona. The Arizona deserts are noted
for their population of wild horses.
A mustang is a free roaming horse of the North American West that descended from horses
brought to America by the Spanish. Mustangs are often referred to as "wild
And this is the story of this once "wild" boy.
On June 16, 2012 Mary got a call regarding a horse (a domestic thoroughbred
that had been secretly dropped off at the reservation - yes sadly, people do
this) who might be suitable for equine therapy. The next morning Mary met up
with the facility manager and decided unfortunately that this horse,
although beautiful, was not suitable for the ranch's needs. He then
said, "I have another one I just brought into the facility, who I've been
trying to catch for a while. I had to hog tie him, put him on a psuedo
sled and drag him here. Don't even look at him because I have to put him
down. He's been starving for quite some time and he's about 300 pounds
underweight. Don't go back there. It'll break your heart."
The young colt was partially blinded by enduring a kick to his head near his
left eye. When an injury similar to this type happens in the wild, the rest
of the horses in the band (a close knit group of horses), will reject the
injured horse through kicks, bites, and isolation (abandonent) and will keep
the injured horse from sharing their food. An injured horse becomes a
liability to the safety of the herd and attracts predators. In the open
places of the desert, coyotes and mountain lions feast on the injured and
old horse alike.
The result of his injuries were deep gouges on his rear quarters, bite marks
so deep that his spine was visible and near death starvation before the
reservation management could capture him and bring him into the facility.
Mary remembers that day so vividly. "Seeing how the wild colt was so weak that
walking even one step was exhausting, the facility manager gave me permission,
and I entered his pen. I was immediately brought to prayer, knelt down with my
back to the colt and began rustling hay that was in a tractor tire. Slowly the colt
approached me - joining up with me. I offered him 3 strands of hay at a time as that
was all he could handle. Eventually I went to his water trough and started splashing
the water for sound and although he was leery, he finally came and drank."
She continued this routine daily, but by the second and third day, his deprived body
began to give out. He laid down with a "flump" then sprawled on his side. The facility
manager at this point told her that his body was in shock and he most likely would die
right then and there. "You should leave now, so that you don't have to witness his
death." With earnest Mary began to pray over God's precious creature, and slowly, he
"Through the grace of the Mighty Lord, I was able to spend 40 - 50 hours that first week with
this blessed creature (whom I named Shalom). Within the week, I had touched every part of
his body, had a halter on him and was able to lead him around. That was the beginning
of a love affair - Shalom and I. Each day after that I would spend the early hours of
the morning with him as we learned together to trust, respect and love."
As soon as his body could handle it, he was given supplements to help build up his depleted
system. The veterinarian examined him and stated, "That's one lucky horse. Most people
would have just put him down."
By September, Mary and Shalom were performing liberty with running, stopping, backing-up, turning
and bowing his head. "It was beautiful to join up with this miracle horse." Shalom had
put back on most of the weight he lost. "The facility manager said that if I wanted him,
he was mine because of the miracle of life he received under my care and the deep
attachment we developed."