Kristen Warning
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Postby Kristen Warning on Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:04 am

I've seen rescue horses in person where they arrive emaciated, scared, scarred and with a glimmer of hope in their eye once they reach their new home with a road to recovery. My rescue horse had a similar beginning as a foal, and was fortunate enough to be rescued at only a few months old, along with her mother, to her new beginning. So most of her life, she has not known suffering, thanks to people spanning from the Midwest to New Jersey, who raised funds to buy the pair and place them.

I had had a horse for eleven years, a wonderful SE Arabian gelding, who I could relax and do anything with, and ride anywhere. I was trusting and so in tune with the my horse, and when he was failing in health at 29 years of age, I had to say goodbye.

This same year was a year of life transitions for me - divorce, moving, adjusting, failing, worrying - and saying goodbye to my dear horse. A few months later, that little rescue foal, who was the age of two, came into my life from a caring friend, who knew me and my kids were grieving the loss of our horse. I was excited and happy, but I had just learned natural horsemanship methods for ground work on a young, calm mare...and Bella was a bit more rambunctious. After I had to stall her when the pasture fence broke, I found out the hard way she had never been stalled - and also found out that little mare could bust down a heavy metal-framed stall door all by herself. I knew I needed help with this young mare.

Through the world of horses and photography, I was fortunate to have my friend just down the road who helped me learn groundwork, and I moved Bella to her horse farm for "boot camp" to learn better ground manners - and how to behave in a stall. The first few weeks were rough, as Bella was quite stubborn, and protested often to new things she was learning with her training. I was frustrated, tired, worried, and wondering what I was doing with this young horse. When I thought we were getting somewhere, Bella would do something like kick out at me in the round pen out of nowhere. When I thought she was not afraid of a tarp on the ground, the next time she saw one, she'd randomly leap three feet in the air.

But as time passed, and the more time we spent together, Bella and I made progress, and we learned to trust each other. I learned about persistence, being stubborn myself, being consistent, finding determination, trying again, and building more and more trust. All these things I also had to do in "real life" as I was a single mom, finding my feet, starting over, and being scared. I was all those things with Bella on different days in the round pen.

Bella is four years old now, has been to her first open horse show, been on trails and is learning more and more each week of training. She still protests, but not as often. Each day is a new beginning, a new journey, and I am so glad my rescue horse was there to rescue me.
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