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How could we look away from that old face? How could we see the need in his eyes and think, “someone else will take him.”

We couldn’t.

And that’s how Clarence, came to us from over 1,000 away in Florida. 


Clarence had been posted on social media as a rescue in need of a home. I felt like we could be that home he needs. 


I inquired about him. Clarence was estimated to be between the ages of 25-30 years (our vet later concurred on the later side of 30) and had been used as a pony ride pony all his life. 


When he was no longer useful, Clarence was “retired” into the jungles of southwest Florida, where for six years, he lived an isolated life, with the exception of some feral cats, day in and day out, lonely, for six years. 


Horses can be unpredictable with their behavior at that point. Are they going to turn completely feral themselves, falling victim to fear, mistrust and defensiveness? Or, did they once have a good natured personality and no matter what life through them, they were still going to be a kind horse?


Unfortunately, Clarence chose the former.  And, when he arrived at the Ranch, he was a thin, bucket of bones who wasn’t fond of anyone touching him, especially his ears.


The first thing I did with Clarence was sitting down in his paddock and talking quietly to him. I stroked his face while petting him and reassured him everything was going to be okay. No one would ever hurt him. No one would ever sit on his back again. No one would ever even speak in harsh tones to him. 


I believe Clarence listened. 


Clarence began to gain weight steadily and soon recognize my voice and his name. He learned the hard way that when introduced to others, he had to play nice. Clarence was so used to being by himself that he could not assimilate with our other horses. 


However, we did not want Clarence’s glory years to be spent by himself when he had so many opportunities for friends, surrounding him. 


It was a matter of trial and error, but, we finally did find a quiet match for him, in Toasty. And, it wasn’t long before we found them not only tolerating each other, but, soon, loving each other as they would lay on the ground, and bask in the sun together.

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