A few days ago I lost a very good friend. He was a tall, dark and handsome fellow. He had a tendency to be shy but he was always sweet. He walked with a limp like an old time pimp, but he was never mean to anyone. People gravitated towards him because he had such a welcoming presence.

His name was Feten and he was a horse.

He wasn’t just any horse though, he let me pretend that I was the horse whisperer. In fact, it became somewhat of a nickname for me on Sunday mornings at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary where he lived and I volunteered. (Volunteered being past tense due to vehicle issues.) I’ve always been incredibly fond of horses since I was very young but never did I have a relationship with one like that of Feten. Really, I think he just humored me but that’s okay.

I’ll never forget my first serious conversation with Feten, yes I said conversation. It was morning grain time for all the horses and while all you had to do to get everyone else out of the pasture to come and eat, was yell “Come and eat!” However, Feten just stood there watching the rest of the herd run for the goods. When he didn’t attempt to come I walked out to meet him part way. He just stared at me. I told him, “Come on, it’s time for breakfast!” He just stared. I was at a loss, how did one convince a horse to come eat? I crossed my arms, “I feel stupid whistling at you because you’re not a dog.” He continued staring. If he didn’t get there soon, there wouldn’t be any grain left for him. In a last ditch effort, I patted my thighs and said, “Come on buddy.” He strolled right up to me and then walked the entire way with his head over my right shoulder, keeping pace the whole time. He had no halter or lead rope on, but he just kept walking right next to me until he saw that glorious bucket of goodies. This is forever ingrained into my memory it meant so much to me. Why, I could probably never describe. This is but one story in our two years of friendship.

My heart hangs heavy with his loss but also rejoices in his life. He had such a beautiful soul. He frequently encouraged me to scratch his belly for him. He was an ex-race horse that was injured and then surrendered to the sanctuary where he spent the remainder of his life, naked, free, loved, and catered to daily. I know how much love and attention he received, not just from myself of course but from other volunteers and the owners of the farm as well. He would never again be tossed aside because he couldn’t bring in the money. He knew only love and understanding for all the rest of his days, and I am thankful that he shared his love and life with me.

Feten, the handsome fellow that he was.

Feten, the handsome fellow that he was.

Please take the time to volunteer or donate money and goods to sanctuaries. I know that Feten would greatly appreciate people giving a second chance to someone like himself.

Sashafarm.org

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Comments
  1. lrtrovi says:

    A lovely eulogy for this ex-racer. I loved the part where you said he would never be tossed away again because he couldn’t earn money. Wish all the ex-racers could find such a sanctuary.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Beautiful, Ashleigh! I hope you can come back to SASHA soon.

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