I have formally adopted Spartacus (nickname, Spark) from Amador County. Unofficially, the whole county and beyond have taken him to heart.
So many people have given their time, money, resources and good wishes that I am certain that Spark had little choice but to improve. And we must not forget Spark’s own rather sizable indomitable spirit. The only being oblivious to how devastatingly injured he has been is Spark himself. He just carries on. It was my lucky day when he stepped into my horse trailer and found his way to my heart.
In the last 8 weeks Spark has done a lot of eating, sleeping, controlled walking and gaining strength. He has begun to make his way into the “herd” of six other horses here at my ranch. Always, however, his socialization involves a fence between him and the others. As far as he has come, he has only just begun. He is still too weak and unstable especially on his badly torn right hind leg stifle joint to be safe in a herd. Still. He can lie down and get up. He can roll all the way over from one side to the other and get up. He can walk (but he still looks pretty odd), he can trot, he can gallop. And he actually threw a bit of a buck yesterday because he wasn’t as close to the girls as he thought he should be. Oh, and did I mention that he can eat? Well, he can eat. He has gained over 100 lbs. since coming to the ranch. Spark loves attention and totally enjoys people. People do come second to mares, but that is understandable, I guess.
Since he has been here, Spark has had his teeth floated been fed, x-rayed, vaccinated, dewormed, ultra-sounded, shod, bathed and vacuumed (yes, I said vacuumed.)
Spark remains patient and calm. He does carry constant pain. We are now in the process of trying to figure out how much pain he has and what we need to do about that.
Philosophers have long debated the meaning and quality of life. Those of us caring for Spark are not philosophers, but the quality of his life is important and we are constantly aware that the degree to which Spark must carry the legacy of his abuse ranks high on our list as we try to rehabilitate his body. To this point, his journey has been pretty steadily forward. It has only been 8 weeks. He has gained a lot of ground.
Mending Spark is sort of like building a house. At first, everything seems to go fast and easy. In a short time, the house LOOKS like a house, but it is useless and unfinished inside. Then, the finish work that makes the house useful and functional begins and people wonder what is taking so long, for nothing seems to be happening. Then finally, there must be people and love in the house to make the house a home. Spark will need a lot of finish work and a lot of love for a long time. He is off to a very good start. And he gives back way more than he gets. That’s because he’s a horse.
I’m including a couple of pictures with this article. I hope they truly are worth 1000 words. I am very thankful to be in so caring a community.