A Heartbreaking Experience

Published 3:19 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

Written by Pebbles, The HERD Rescue Spokespony

Last night was one big commotion here on the farm. Two very starved newcomers arrived at 1:30 a.m. after their month of quarantine in Louisiana. The new paint colt is not even a year old and is scared to death of humans. He is paper-thin and rode in the back of the trailer in a big stall, laying down much of the trip. He got carefully unloaded through a makeshift chute into a round pen. Next off was the Marsh Tacky, Ishmael, a beautiful young black gelding who is also skin and bones and shaking he is so frightened. He is going to be fostered by Beth Laughridge, a member of HERD who helps care for the rescues. I well remember how unsure I felt arriving here to the unknown. I call out to tell him it will be okay as he passes by my corral. 

Something tonight is very unsettling for me. My teats are very swollen and my upper tail is now very soft and loose. The team at HERD has been keeping a careful watch over me as they now know I am pregnant. Cheryl, my friend who volunteers to train me, says I look thinner to her than two weeks ago, and she cannot understand why there is no movement in my belly. If the calculations are correct, I will foal in late June or July. This will be my second foal.

After I lost my foal, Bridget Johnson came to the farm to give me a massage.

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With all the fuss over the new arrivals, I trot around. Finally, when everyone settles and lights go off in the house I lie down in the wee morning hours. The foal is coming but it is too early. A colt is born, a buckskin pinto with little white socks, looking very much like Lion, the stallion pony I was in the kill pen with in Texas.

But there is something terribly wrong. I break away the bag surrounding him but he is too young, he was not yet ready to enter the world. I drag him over to the fence trying to get him up. I cannot get him to wake up. It is a nice a bright moon. I try my best and stay close to him, waiting and watching.

At dawn, Heather came out to check on everyone to serve breakfast. In her fluffy big robe with coffee in hand she stopped in her tracks when she spied the blood on my tail and the shocking situation at hand. She came over to comfort me and ran into the house to grab a blanket for my lifeless foal. The vet is called to consult on what to do next.

I am very confused and the first step is to inspect me thoroughly and give me a good warm bath and some breakfast. Heather contacts Cheryl to come comfort me as she sees I am down in the dumps. Then she schedules a visit with Bridget Johnson who has worked on rescues before and offers equine bodywork and cold laser therapy.

A gentle woman with a big smile, she practices the Masterson Method, which incorporates bodywork massage engaging the horse to actively participate, releasing tension. She focuses on key junctions of my body that affect my comfort and performance. I must say I first questioned her as to what she was doing to me. Then I decided to relax and get into the groove to thoroughly enjoy my session. Just what a girl needs after such a terrible experience. My 90 minutes left me feeling relieved, in fact I felt like a nap afterwards in the sunshine. 

It is good to be loved and have caring friends that donate time to support HERD. And of course, Heather comforted me with some fresh apples, which are my favorite treat.  If you need Bridget in your life, she can be reached at 828-817-3283. Please tell her Pebbles sent you!

Pebbles Waldorf Apple Salad serves 4 as a Side


    • 2 Fuji apples, diced (1/4 inch)
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 2 ribs celery, diced (1/4 inch)
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    • 1/3 cup golden raisins
    • 1/4 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Toss the apples with the lemon juice in a bowl. Add celery, walnuts, and raisins, then toss. Combine the mayo and sour cream in another bowl, then fold into the apple mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pack in tightly covered, small plastic containers and chill in refrigerator.