In Loving Memory of Belle
Approximately 27 years old
Deceased September 8, 2006
16.2 hands white “freckled” Thoroughbred/Arab white
Belle looked like a smaller PC, was quiet in her manner and easy to handle as long as she could see her herd. If she was taken away from her friends she became agitated and very difficult to handle. Belle was very thin when she came to TGC, and has some scarring on her back legs, but I had a lot of hope for this pretty lady – her eye was bright and interested when I approached with feed, and she quickly let me know she prefers alfalfa to grass hay. She was one of four horses TGC took at the request of Animal Services, who had been starved by the “California Horse Protection” of Hemet who brutalized over 70 horses, including One-eyed Jack, Lucifer and Beau. Belle initially hung around with Lucifer and Jack, and they loved her. She insisted on staying close to the stalls, so I had to feed the three of them away from the herd. She was terrible to her boys, they were henpecked to death by her. She decided each day which one she preferred, and would ignore the other one and lunge at him if he came close on her side. But she was evenhanded – one day it was Jack, and the next, Lucifer. Despite her behavior, she loved them and they were her safety net – and after Jack’s death, she clung to Lucifer as her last lifeline. She had a lump on her right side, and acted as though she might be very old (age above is just a guess by Animal Services). She loved to eat, knew about getting a bath although she didn’t like them, and stood for the farrier like a lady, unless she was alone. This was a horse who had the “thousand yard stare” that I associate with the deeply depressed and abused horses who can not forgive the neglect and horrors of abuse that they’ve been through. Of the four rescues from California Horse Protection, she was the only one who never got over the terrible conditions she endured. It would not surprise me to find she’d been loved and cherished before hand – and so the savage conditions were such a shock she never felt safe again. Sometimes that happens and all I can do is hope her friends made her feel better.
Belle was starting to look better, although I anticipated two more months before she has a “normal” appearance – her hip and spine bones are still prominent, and a recent very cold storm had her shivering violently until I could get her in her stall and covered with a blanket. But she is sound and her appetite is excellent.
On September 8, 2006, Belle was fine in the morning, and when I went back to put the horses away, she was dead. She’d apparently fallen down dead – there was no sign of struggle but her head had slammed into a lower crossrail and broken it on the way down. She had no marks, no sweat stains – I think she might have died as quickly as Malika. I hope so. I hope she never knew what happened.
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