Lessons from a Rescue Horse

This photo of River Rose and our recently rescued colt, Moon, has adorable charm but is like a million other cute animal shots. Except the story behind the photo is anything but ordinary. The life lesson that Rose is demonstrating is, in fact, quite extraordinary.

Rose’s story was featured in our book, “A Healing Haven – Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue”. The following excerpt describes the plight of our precious girl…

“The South Florida SPCA needed to place twelve horses saved from slaughter. We agreed to take two Thoroughbred mares, River Rose and Flattering Irene. The day after their arrival we learned that River Rose had a three-year-old son, Fury, who had been delivered directly from the slaughterhouse to an adoptive home in Ocala.

Rose upon her arrival

After the separation from her son, Rose showed signs of distress. Her anxiety presented itself as cribbing, a typical compulsive behavior whereby the horse grabs a solid surface with its upper teeth and pulls backward while sucking in air. Our fence railings throughout the ranch show tattletale signs of this common vice, but Rose rocked and cribbed more than I’ve ever seen before. Tears streamed down her face. Her extreme stress would prevent Rose’s recovery, so we needed to act quickly before she lost her will to live.

Rose cribbing

We decided to call the SPCA to see if Rose’s son, Fury, was still available. They contacted Fury’s adoptive parents and, once they explained Rose’s circumstances, the family was happy to oblige and relinquish Fury to us.
We broadcasted our need for help with Fury’s transportation and donations covered the cost to retrieve him. Our hope was that Rose would fight harder for her recovery with Fury at her side. Four volunteers picked up the boy and he was reunited with his mom that evening. The improvement in Rose was nearly immediate. She became calmer and showed more interest in food.

Shawn reuniting Rose and Fury

Fury lived up to his name in temperament, although Fabio would have been a more suitable name to describe his luxurious, flowing mane. Having Fury by her side helped Rose, but her emotional recovery would be no easy feat. Only time would tell how far she could make it, but she filled our hearts with hope when she slowly began to emerge from her neurotic shell.”

Since her rescue, Rose has proven to be a sweet girl, yet remains an introverted wallflower. After her physical recovery was complete, she rode like a dream for our horse trainer, Sergio.

Sergio riding Rose

Yet, the demons of her past seemed to keep an invisible shell around this special gal.

And then, Moon came.

The sickly, scrawny, little man grabbed the attention of River Rose.

Check out the short clip of Rose reaching out to her new buddy. If you didn’t know Rose’s history, the video might look like just a cute interaction. But knowing the history of our beautiful girl… Her trauma. Her bumps and bruises, inside and out. Indeed, this precious brief encounter is a visual reminder about life.

It doesn’t matter how broken we were yesterday, or the day before. Each day is a new opportunity to move forward toward a better, stronger, kinder, more wonderful you.

Rose is proof that it’s never too late to start over – to create the future we desire, no matter what trauma our past holds.

Thank you, Rose!

Watch Rose give little Moon some love!


Click here to check out our book, A Healing Haven. Proceeds from each purchase benefit RVR Horse Rescue. PDF version sold through this site benefits RVR at 95% of purchase price. Click here for PDF.

What do you think?

%d bloggers like this: