Sweet Penny did not live long on this earth, but she made quite an impact.
I am not sure if it is the cruelty or conceit of humans that would make a
person breed a horse then choose not to feed her.
Penny's mama came to me
just 2 short months before Penny was born. She had not had a lot of good
meals and did not even look as though she was carrying a precious life inside
her. By the time Penny was born on a hot May day, her mama had all her ribs
covered and was not looking the shadow of her former self. I remember my
first view of Penny, so skinny and all legs. She had such a long head and
was colored so that if her ears were longer, would have sworn I had just
had a mule. It was love at first sight! She had a look that you just wanted
to grab her up and give her a hug. I laughed so hard watching her run on
wobbly legs beside her mom.
By the next morning, when
the vet was due to arrive, you could see such a drastic change, it brought
tears to my eyes. When the vet arrived and did the blood test, he informed
me she was going to need plasma and was going to need time at the vet. He
would send a trailer to get them both. In the short time it took to get the
trailer to my house, she began to fade and I milked the mare and would feed
her out of a bottle just to keep her alive. She was so weak but so strong
at the same time. She fought with everything she had and made it though
her first painful days. We would sit in the stall with her and her
mother and watch as she would slowly came to life.
I was due to leave the country
the day after she got to come home from the vet but that day will forever
live in my memory. It had been so hot and so dry for so many days, but as
we started to get her out of the trailer at home, the skies opened and the
cool rain fell. All present felt as if it was a small celebration of her
life. This was felt even more because no rain fell a mere mile from my
She seemed to be doing so
well and my husband and best friend were forever emailing pictures. My best
friend even went out and got her first little hot pink halter. I would
get so exited to see her hips round out and legs getting stronger. Then one
morning my husband called with news I had never wanted to hear. The baby
had crashed and now mama was not even feeding her. He tried so hard to milk
the mare and bottle-feed the baby and even got her eating some grain. My
daughter even pitched in and made sure she got feedings during the day. On
her last day, my husband went to the barn and she was laying in the stall
with almost no strength. She lifted her tiny head and took her last breath.
It was as if she had waited for him to say good bye. My husband, the big
strong cowboy, cried.
Penny's life was short,
but she was loved, and now she has a big strong babysitter, my older horse
Bonz, to take care of her. Run happy, sweet little Penny.