This was one of the saddest faces we’ve looked upon, standing in the auction pen late at night, alone, completely blind, and terrified of her surroundings. She could not see, and had no idea where she was, without even a familiar voice to comfort her in her permanent darkness.
In a sickening twist, her old owner who had given her away the week before, sobbing through the evening over her horse’s fate at auction, did not buy her back as she said she was desperately trying to do.
Instead, she bought a younger, newer Quarter Horse at the auction, for double the price of the vet care she had claimed she “couldn’t afford” for her mare, then stood by as that sad old blind mare sold to load onto the truck. We went outside and bought her right off that truck anyway.
We spent the rest of the night, well past 1am, trying to comfort her, as she shook in her pen, completely unsure of the layout of her new surroundings. Leading her to the water trough was a painfully slow process. She seemed to be terrified each step forward would have her plummet off a cliff. Then, the slow descent of her head as she listened to the gentle splashing of water with our hand, like a beacon, til after many false starts, she finally found it. An hour later we started all over again, as she knew the direction of the water bucket, but was completely unsure of the distance.
What a kind, gentle mare. We’re sorry everyone in your life has failed you, until now.
This was the most devastating auction we’ve been to, just based on the emotional toll as a rescuer. Aside from “Lucy” the blind Paint mare, we also rescued the two geriatric Quarter Horse mares, brought to auction because the owner was “tired of feeding” pasture puffs. Both mares appear very tired and worn down, they bring to mind a 98-year-old grandmother at an old folks home, being spoon fed apple sauce… the equine version. Their knees are huge and knobby, walking is difficult for them, and their eyes dull.
The fourth horse to break our heart was the Andalusian mare, who upon being walked into the ring, her hind end gave out, like an old dog being taken to the vet to be put down. Only for her owner, sending her to the auction was their route. To get whatever remaining dollars they could out of her, it seems. Can people be that heartless? Our $20 winning bid — yes, $20 — means, at the very least, they got nothing out of it.
Four horses, four lives, destroyed and discarded. Crippled, maimed, and used up. All to be replaced by newer, better models, who themselves someday will find themselves old, or barely able to walk, and in their infirm state, also left to fend for themselves. The cycle rarely ends here. There’s always younger, better models to replace them with, after all.
We can only hope there’s some karmic justice, and these people’s children will do the same to them, when their time comes.
Also rescued last night was the Thoroughbred mare, “R American Dream,” a descendent of the great Swaps and representative of much Australian and French blood, and her unweaned 2 yo colt. Had we not been there, the mare would have also sold onto the truck, and her colt ripped from her side by the match racers who bid against us at our very first auction in Turlock a year and a half ago, bidding for another young grey by the name of New Macho Man. New Macho Man is now happily retired at Trinity Horse Refuge, permanently unrideable with an old racing injury.
Though our hearts are very heavy from the weight of what we have seen, we can take comfort in knowing a lot of good was done. It’s just so sad the reprieve for these animals has to come so late in their lives, after an unbearable amount of injustice has been done to them. It is wearying.
But for the young Thoroughbred colt, his rescue means he still has a bright future ahead for him. Mommy, too. And we will see what we can do for our battered four. Whether it only be a dignified end. Sometimes, there really is no justice in this world. No amount of wailing will make it so. There are not always solutions. Just picking up the pieces of the messes others have made.
Thank you to everyone who helped by donating and sharing our posts last night, as well as Katie, Terry, Angel, Lori, Becky, Barbara, Alex, and all the auction staff’s hard work. Without the auction, these horses would be doomed to slaughter. With the auction, they stood a chance — to be rescued.
If you can donate to our rescue effort, for this intensely sad group of horses, please do so through Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org, or our website http://www.auctionhorsesrescue.com/donate.html
Auction Horses Rescue