Zephyr

My sweet baby Zephyr joined my life in 2012, but didn’t come to EE until 21. I was working at the rescue I grew up at (Eye of the Storm) when we got a call from our hay guy, he said he had just rescued a pony and 2 foals from a bad situation but had no place for them, he asked us to take them. He told us he had gone to a farm with meat animals and saw the 3 of them, when he asked what was up he was told they were “holiday dinner”. Needless to say we all jumped to help! We quickly found out that the pony mare was nursing her own foal and a horse-size foal that was not hers. A friend took the horse foal and bottle raised him, while we took the pony mare and her own foal. Zephyr was that foal! A little tiny brown bundle of fluff, you could only make out his little nose that was rubbed bald from nursing. His mother, Thursday, was quite skinny having been thoroughly drained by the 2 foals. They recovered quickly with some good food.

I was just getting into clicker training all the rescues at Eye of the Storm, learning the nuances with different individuals, and having a foal was very exciting! I taught him most of the basics, targeting, standing, head down, and back up. But we kind of stopped there, I had moved to Maine to start EE, but he remained in MA with his pony-mom and human-mom who loved him dearly. He spent the next several years at Eye of the Storm, his job was to watch over the hospice horses, he brought his young joy to their old hearts, bringing them comfort at their end. The owner of that rescue was aging and had been diagnosed with cancer, Zephyr was the light in her life as the rest of the rescues were old, sickly, and dying. Zephyr was the one on her farm who brought her showed her endless love and not-so-gentle affection, he gave her comfort in her last days. After a lifetime of rescuing horses, Zephyr gave her the soft ending she had given so many horses. This was a lot for this young horse to carry, so many equine friends he supported as they passed, and his human-mother as well. We shared a mother, so that makes him my brother, so he came home as quick as I could prepare a stall.

When Zephyr arrived at EE we quickly discovered that during the years he spent living at the rescue with his owner being ill, he had developed a neurological condition (EPM) that wasn’t noticed or treated. Neurological conditions can be very discrete in horses who aren’t ridden or exercised in hand, where someone is paying attention to their gait or coordination. But on moving him to our farm he struggled to maneuver the doorways and hilly fields we have here in ME. We treated him heavily for EPM and have him carefully monitored, but this will ensure he’ll never be a riding horse. Luckily we don’t mind that here, we’ll have lots of fun doing other things. He’s such an extremely loving horse, he’s never been treated harshly by a human, he has only known love and positive reinforcement, and he carries a ginormous strength of heart. I hug my baby brother everyday, tell him I love him, and reassure him that he’s done his job as a caretaker, now it’s his turn to be a baby and have fun.

Meet the Rescues: