Mariah is probably one of the nicest looking Kigers out there, a Kigerfest winning mare and a true silver grulla. She was conscientiously bred by two wonderful horse people. I am a little biased as she is the granddaughter of our own Kiger Shadybrooks Hombre. She, like most of Hombre’s get, is full of flash and spirit and for years I have admired her pictures and consider her truly majestic. When I finally met Mariah she was heavy in foal and very distant and aloof. Her then owner had confessed that they just did not get along and he was having a hard time bonding with her but maybe we would have an easier time.
Through circumstances that I will not elaborate on, Mariah had come to stay and foal at our farm. Mariah gave birth to a handsome colt and ended up staying until her foal was eight months old. She was sweet and responsive to our attentions and we all grew to love her. Then the dreaded day came; it was time for her to go home. The day she left she protested. She would not let her owner catch her and ran the length of our 20-acre pasture. But when Amelia went out she put her head right in the halter. I was so sad to see her leave that I just went into the house. The unusual thing was in this short time Mariah had developed an attachment to me and my staff.
Over the next period of time I continued to get reports about her; some were good but many where not. I was told she was very thin and left out in a small muddy corral. People even suggested that I go in the cloak of darkness and rescue her. I was not going to do that , but I did let it be known that if she needed a place, she was always welcome here. Well, I never actually saw her so I will not dwell on this point and I will not judge the situation because I have yet to be in his shoes.
One bright summer afternoon I received a phone call from Mariah’s owner. He had fallen on hard times and could not feed his horses and asked if I would take them. He sadly admitted he should have called me long before this time and humbly warned me that they were in bad shape. I agreed to take the two mares and he delivered them that afternoon.
He opened the trailer door and out stumbled two thin and lethargic horses. I tried to hide the horror on my face as I knew the man was in very difficult circumstances and I did not want to heap guilt on his already broken demeanor. Mariah was the healthier of the two and seemed to know where she was and that this place served regular meals. Mariah also seemed delighted to be “home”. She picked up her head and hollered for her old friends and ran around the pasture with as much energy as she could. Nicole and I discussed how to proceed and we landed on beet pulp and screening pellets as their welcome home meal. Something easy on the system.
Each of us grabbed only a handful of the mixture and feed one of the two horses. Mariah ate her portion squealing and stomping with every bite. It was clear that Mariah and Dani ( the other horse) had to fight for every morsel of food and were worried about getting enough to eat. I decided it would be safer to put the food in a dish and let her eat freely. Mariah ate and kicked circles around her dish even there was not another horse anywhere near her . She was so desperate to eat and stand her ground. ( A habit that she would carry on to this day.)
As odd as it seems, the two mares knew that they were now in a safe place. They had both lived here and trusted us to take care of them. It had been a long time but they still knew that we would not let them down. I learned two lessons that day: the first- that no matter how far we wander from home there is always a safe place waiting in our Father’s arms. No matter how desperate, no matter how difficult, and no matter whose fault it is, Christ has a place for us and we can always trust Him. The second lesson was about wasted energy judging others. Sometimes we can get our snoot out of joint because we see horses that someone else has not taken care of and don’t take the time to think of what circumstances may be in their life that brought them to this point. Instead of complaining maybe we could buy that poor soul a ton of hay, or go over and help him fix fences. Let’s use the energy we waste murmuring and complaining to help and make the situation better. There are a lot of wonderful folks that will jump right in and help and I just want to say God bless all of you.