Carol Parker is making her dreams come true, and she saved the lives of two horses in the process. Carol, now a grandmother and a labor and delivery nurse at a teaching hospital, has owned Arabian horses since she was a teenager. Last year, Carol’s friend Marcie told her about a herd of Arabian horses that had been seized from a farm in Wisconsin by the Humane Society. Marcie had adopted one of the horses, and she asked Carol if she might be interested in adopting one as well.
Carol did her homework, and decided that she had room in her barn—and in her heart—for one of the horses. The horse she had her eye on was a seven-year-old registered straight Egyptian Arabian mare named Nisis Mona Lisa LDA, (Bella for short) with a wonderful pedigree. But Bella’s royal bloodlines hadn’t saved her from a life of starvation and neglect.
“When I arrived at the humane shelter, she was skin and bones,” said Carol.
Sadly, Bella’s dam, an 18-year-old mare that had also been seized, looked even worse. “Fada looked like a skeleton,” Carol said. “I couldn’t believe she was still alive.”
Although Carol had driven to Wisconsin to rescue one horse, she loaded up both horses in her trailer and took them home to her farm in Kansas City.
“As I was driving to the shelter in Wisconsin, it occurred to me that I didn’t even know if they would load on the trailer. But they both hopped right in. It was like they knew they were going to a better place,” she said.
Carol and the horses were headed for a happy ending, but there was still some work to be done.
“I turned them out into a grassy field, and Fada acted like she was in heaven. She would eat a few bites of grass and then roll in it, and then eat a few more bites and roll again. She had been kept in a tiny dry lot, and it was if she couldn’t believe she was surrounded by all that wonderful green grass!” she said.
Bella seemed just as happy, but she wasn’t quite ready to trust humans again. It took Carol nearly a month to catch her and put a halter on her. Working with a trainer, Bella gradually learned to accept handling and affection, and eventually came to enjoy it.
“There were a few times that I asked myself what in the world I was thinking when I adopted these two mares, but this is what makes it all worthwhile,” Carol said. “Bella loves to be loved on. She’ll come up to me and other people without hesitation.”
In June, Carol showed Bella—once neglected, starving, and scared—at the 2012 Pyramid Society Egyptian Event in Lexington, Kentucky. As the crowd cheered, Carol accepted Bella’s ribbon and the honor of being named one of the top ten mares in her class. “This is a dream come true,” she said.
Carol’s advice to others considering adopting a rescue horse? “Just go for it! You can start with your local humane society, or look on the websites of horse rescue organizations in your area or anywhere in the country. There are so many wonderful rescue horses that need and deserve good homes and good people to love them.”
If adopting an Arabian horse is your goal, you can check with any horse rescue organization or large animal shelter to see if there’s one available for adoption. Or you can visit the Arabian Rescue Mission in Glasgow, Kentucky at www.arabianrescuemission.org.