Angela was walking down the narrow aisle of a row of horses waiting to be run through the auction as a young Amish boy backed a small horse out of a tie stall. The little mare was standing next to Mack, a big Belgian gelding (who we would later rescue) that was shaking terribly. The divider of the stall was falling over and the poor little mare was standing under the divider. As the boy backed the mare up and turned her toward me, I gasped in horror when I saw what appeared to be her eye protruding out of it’s socket. I called to Angela who was a little way down the aisle. “Hey, look at this one’s eye.” The boy turned the mare again to head in the opposite direction, and Angela too, clearly saw the bulging eye with material coming out of it. The horse was being lead toward the auction ring as we stared at the boy and the mare. “Go buy that horse”, I called to Angela. There was no doubt in my mind that the injured mare would be purchased by the meat buyers. I saw no other rescue groups there that day, and the sweet little horse didn’t stand a chance. Not being able to see and in a great deal of pain, there was no way that she would have been able to survive a multiple-day trip in an overcrowded trailer to a Mexican slaughter plant. She would surely go down in the trailer and be trampled to death by the bigger, stronger horses. Angela followed the young man to the auction ring. He walked the horse in front of the crowd and the auctioneer introduced her as “having a bad eye”. (Talk about an understatement!) Angela offered the auctioneer $25 for the horse, and the bidding closed. The sweet mare was ours! She was safe. Back at Happy Trails, a vet determined that her eye can be removed safely and the horse can have a good quality of life. Sadie had her eye removed on Saturday, October 20th and is resting comfortably in an outdoor stall that she is sharing with a small, swayback Welsh pony mare (another rescued horse who had her baby removed from her at the auction).
Update March 18, 2013: Sadie has endured more than we can ever know. All of her hard work has paid off and she is on her way to her new home.