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Featured Resident: Chance

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

From Kill-pen to Round-pen

Chance was rescued from a slaughter bound transport and came to us malnourished and scared. We were not sure if we were equipped to deal with his physical or emotional needs but he took a 'Chance' on us so we took a Chance on him. He has bounced back in health and over the course of two years has gained trust to the point he is now a giant puppy dog!

"One Chance in a Million"

It happened so sudden, 12 years in my past, For the rest of my life the injury would last. The cars hit head-on, not a chance to slow down, The next I remember, I lay on the ground. My hip joint was crushed beyond all repair. "You're too young to replace it," Doc said with a stare, "You will walk again, but never will run." These words hit me hard like a shot from a gun.

Ten years came and went, the pain more severe. I said to my wife, "Time to replace it is here." When the surgery was over, Doc said to my wife, "He can't ride a horse for the rest of his life." We own our own farm with a full riding stable, So horses and riding put food on our table. I could sell horses and tack, and some money I'd make, But to ride one myself was a risk I can't take.

And then it did happen, one night at the sale, As I stood selling halters inside of the rail. My wife came up to me with that look in her eye. She said, "There's a horse out back ready to die." As I walked to the killer pen and looked over the fence, There stood a starved gelding whose frame was immense. His eyes were three inches sunk back in his head; If he were lying down, you would have sworn he was dead. He stood sixteen-one, weighed about four and a quarter, His hair was three inches and not one-half shorter. A skeleton with hide stood before my own eyes. If he walked through the ring, it would be a surprise.

As the barn door slid open and they led him on in, The auctioneer said, "Two hundred is where we'll begin." The kill buyer said, "Two-oh-five's all I'll give." I said, "I'll give two-ten just to see if he'll live." The bids then quit coming, not a sound from the crowd, The next word was "Sold" he said very loud. As the trailer backed up to the wood loading gate, I said, "Let's get him home before it's too late." He had to have help to step up to the floor, But we got him in and then closed the door. As I drove home that night, I looked back at a glance And said, "If he lives, we'll call him Last Chance."

Well, we made the trip home, and he lived through the night. When the vet came next morning, he said, “What a sight.” We floated his teeth and trimmed all his feet, Gave him wormer and thiamine and a little to eat. My vet said his heart was as strong as a drum, If we brought him along slowly the rest may just come. Well, his weight starting coming and his health soon returned. He showed us his love he must have thought that we earned. He would whinny and nicker as I walked to the shed, As if to say, "Thanks, 'cause of you, I'm not dead." He would stroll the whole place without being penned, He'd come when I call, just like man's best friend.

Three months had gone by since the night of the sale, My wife had him tied on our old hitchin' rail. I asked her, 'What's up?" as I just came outside. She said, "It's time to see if he'll ride." She threw on the blanket, saddle, bridle and said, "The worst that could happen, I'll get tossed on my head." As her seat hit the leather, he stood like a rock. With a tap of her heels, he started to walk. He reined to the left and he reined to the right, The bit in his mouth he sure didn't fight. He did what she asked without second thought. She cantered him on and not once he fought. When she returned from the ride with a tear in her eye, She said, "He's the one, would you like to try?" I thought to myself as I stood at his side, If this giant's that gentle, why not take a ride? It had been a long time, but the look on his face, Said, "Hop on, my good friend, let's ride 'round this place." We rode round the yard, then out through the gate, This giant and me, it must have been fate.

He gave me back part of my life that I lost, Knew then I'd keep him, no matter what cost. I've been offered two-thousand, and once even three, But no money on earth would buy him from me. You see, we share something special, this gelding and me, A chance to start over, a chance to be free. And when the day comes that his heart beats no more, I'll bury my friend just beyond my back door. And over his grave I'll post a big sign, "Here lies Last Chance, a true friend of mine." Dave Saunders

Estimated in the thousands, there’s no accurate count of the number of unwanted horses in the U.S., nor their age, sex, breed, or most recent use. However, one thing is certain: The number of unwanted horses exceeds the resources available to care for them. We are honored to provide a loving refuge for this beautiful guy who, in the end, rescued his rescuers with all the learning he has offered us through his grace, and immense sense of horsey humor!


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