Sofia's life went from tolerable to terrifying pretty quickly. She spent most of her 9 or 10 years producing foals for a Mexican Horse Dancing outfit.
She was barely handled, occasionally shown in a "cobra," tied by the neck to her sisters and chased around a ring with a whip, and given little or no veterinary or hoof care. But this little Andalusian mare was surviving okay in the bond of her horse family.
One day, however, her owners decided to switch to using Friesians for their dancing horses because, they claimed, the breed can better endure the constant whipping. They packed up Sofia and her sisters and hauled them to the slaughter pen to be sold for meat.
The entire team here at Lighthoof Equine is passionate about horses. We pour some of this passion into rehabilitating unwanted or neglected horses, training them, and finding them new homes. When we saw Sofia we knew she was our next project! She had the softest eyes. Even in the scary feedlot environment, she had a quietness to her that was heart-melting. We brought her home.
After only a few days in home quarantine, Sofia showed signs of being terribly ill. She was diagnosed with a severe bacterial infection. It took almost a month of medication and lavage treatment for her to recover, and even now she is still just a bit weak. But oh, this little girl is a survivor!
And a very sweet one at that. She loves to be petted and to have us rub her itchy, healing scabs with medicated wipes. She seems to be a submissive horse who, even with little handling, is quick to follow a human leader around her paddock.
We're so excited that Sofia is on the mend. We can't wait to start teaching her about partnership and love. We'll keep posting updates on Sofia here in Lighthoof's Enlightened Horsekeeping blog, so come back often or sign up below to get updates whenever there's a new post.