Early in March 2014, I got a call from my Finish veterinarian, Ilona Otter. She was doing some work at an animal shelter in Chennai and said she had come across a horse that needed a home. Did we want him? I wasn't sure. We had been given rescue horses before and a couple of them had died. This little Kathiawari horse was severely emaciated and had been a tourist horse on the beaches of Chennai before his owner abandoned him. He had also been trained to be a “dancing horse” Taking him was surely a risk. What if something was really wrong with him, and we couldn't fix him? Ilona assured me that she had checked him out and felt he was just undernourished. Besides, he was so sweet and gentle, so good with people. So, taking a gamble, we accepted him into the Leg Up program. When he stepped off the delivery truck he tottered and weaved as he struggled to walk to his new stable. My heart sank. We started feeding him, slowly at first and then gradually building up. Within 2 months he had gained 50lbs. Four months later he looks and acts like a new horse. We named him Hershey (as in the chocolate). His sweetness has remained, although we need to train him not to rear on his hind legs as he was trained for festivals. He is excellent when we lead him with the disabled children, and he is friendly and sweet to our rescued girls. What an amazing gift.
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