Charmed by a horse: a skinny little colt that changed lives

Pulled from the Feedlot in Fallon, Nevada, a thin, wormy, bloody-legged paint mare was delivered to the Pregnant Mare Rescue in very rough shape. Terrified, untouchable, sporting a brand on her jaw (who does that?) Annie found her way to her new stall. Vet didn’t think she was in foal, but Lynn Hummer, the rescues founder was thinking differently.

Two months later this mare loved, supplemented and well fed delivered a skinny little colt. Charm indeed had arrived and was collecting the hearts of everyone he encountered.  From the moment I laid eyes on this little colt, I knew he had my heart too. It would take some work, but I was determined to adopt him and make this colt my own.

So, it’s no surprise that I was startled when Charm’s photo fell off my bedroom wall with a thud waking me that early Saturday morning. I startled awake and made sure the glass in the photo was not broken as I hung my sweet possession back on the wall. I was now up an hour early and figured I’d go to the PMR ranch and do morning chores.

I had had a couple of dreams of Charm, and in one dream a couple was taking him away and he “said” to me in the dream, I thought you were adopting me?  He seemed upset in the dream. I woke up with my heart pounding wondering at the deep effect this little horse had on me. Every time I looked into Charm’s gentle brown eyes I saw a wisdom, that was almost zen in its’ serenity.

When I arrived an hour early at the PMR ranch the eucalyptus swayed in the gentle morning breeze. I went up to the fence and called Charm’s name. Usually he would come trotting up to see if I had some pets or treats but this particular morning he stood still, his head hung low as I softly called his name. Then I saw it, blood, a lot of it. I leaped into the pasture to see if it was gushing or dripping when I realized it was dripping. I ran to the feed shed for the emergency phone tree. I ran, called the vet and pounded on Lynns’ door. She emerged sleepily and I shouted, “Charm! It’s Charm, he is hurt and it’s bad!” I ran back to Charm as Lynn got dressed to follow.

I whispered to Charm that a vet was coming and wrapped towels around the large open gaping wound. The pasture was quiet. Charm’s mom Annie, usually pinning her ears at anyone near her baby remained still as if she knew we meant to help.

We were all guessing at what had attacked our boy. Was the wound  from a coyote, a mountain lion, maybe dogs? Lynn knew she needed to find out, and she knew exactly who to call.

After the incident, Lynn put in an emergency call to Anna Twinney. Graciously and in such a timely manner Anna returned the call. Right then and there, Anna held a conversation with Charm. The generosity of this woman’s heart is so appreciated.

Charm expressed it was a big brown face with dark ears pointing straight up, and a dark blackened muzzle. Ok, no mountain lion. He shared that he felt responsible because he hesitates. (Remember he was born a shy, skinny little colt.) Anna reassured him that it was in no way his fault. Charm showed Anna the wound and she confirmed it was too large to be a coyote. There was a bite mark in the wound and a flap of skin and fur hanging. Anna continued to reassure the little colt that he had done nothing wrong, and sometimes bad things just happen

The last question Anna asked was to Lynn. “Is there anything else you’d like to ask Charm?”

Lynn wanted to know if there was anything he’d like to share. Charm responded, “They don’t know what they don’t know”

This little Zen boy struggling to survive is our little Budda.

I continued to hold Charm up and Lynn brought hay with more towels. We worried as he started going into shock. I used my weight to hold him up as he started to go down on one knee. I knew if he went down in the muddy pasture, it would be hard if not impossible to get him up.  Lynn and I held vigil holding him, talking to him, cajoling him with food.

The vet finally arrived. She immediately went to assess Charm’s condition. I asked bracing myself, “Will he be ok?” She looked at the wound with a solemn face and answered, “I don’t know.” Then she listened to his lungs, and thankfully they were clear. This was very good news, no puncture! We all pushed, and helped and finally got him down to a stall, slowly, after a long effort of helping this hurting baby.

Finally, she gave him the pain meds and started cleaning the wound, six hours later she completed the sutures. His side and front left leg looked like a sad, jagged, jigsaw puzzle of stitched flesh.

I went home and cried, praying for no infection, begging whatever higher source to allow Charm to stay on earth. The vet thought his leg would be ok if we could keep it clean and infection free. Lynn said she would fundraise for the vet bills and set up a website for him. I was determined to help anyway way I could.

Since I was a child I have had an affinity for animals of all types.  I rescued, cats, dogs, rabbits and horses through the years.  I do not consider myself an animal communicator but have had many unexplained experiences, dreams and intuitive feelings for different animals. I felt an affinity for Charm when I met him, much like love at first sight. Our connection remains strong today as I move toward getting into a financial position to adopt him.

Charm has recovered from his wound beautifully. He is getting stronger and looking better every day. On May 19th, Charm will be one year old and I am so pleased to know he has a full, beautiful life ahead. I thank Lynn for her dedication to her rescues, and I thank Anna for providing us with much needed answers and incredible insight in to the heart of Charm.


About the author:

Tara McCabe has a law degree from Seattle University School of Law and has worked as a former Executive Director of animal rescues and as a legislative aide. She has one grown daughter, five cats, two dogs and soon, a horse named Charm.

Tara founded Gracie’s Pet Food Pantry( named after her beloved dog Gracie) Gracie’s provides pet food to those low income, senior and homeless pet owners in need.


One thought on “Charmed by a horse: a skinny little colt that changed lives

  1. What a story to tell us…so glad I spent the time to read about little Charm. Tara I hope you have him at your home soon…it would be so lovely to see photos of him too if that’s a possibility? Much love to your young colt, to Anna and all that helped with his mother and with him! Will I ever not cry when reading the plight of the horses we love!

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