Quite amazingly, Kash just turned 42 years of age on April 17th, 2013. Yes, I said 42 years old!!! Horses are considered ancient when they reach their mid-thirties so it is quite an accomplishment that Kash has lived far beyond the norm.

Kash, born in Las Vegas, Nevada, was a foreclosure horse, left behind by his former owners when they had to vacate their home. Thank goodness for the angel named Paula who purchased that home! Paula, an animal lover with a huge compassionate heart, had no history of how to care for an older horse, let alone a blind one, so she made it her mission to find a good retirement home for this aged Appaloosa. Eventually Paula found her way to HartSong, and following numerous communications, we decided to offer sanctuary to this grand old gentleman in need of a safe haven.

When Kash arrived at the sanctuary in August of 2007, following a non-stop trek from Las Vegas to Greenwood, we backed him out of the long bed trailer that had been his quarters for 18 hours. He was, without a doubt, the sorriest looking specimen of a horse I had ever seen. Yet, even though he was in severe distress, I could see his inner light.

So did a young girl by the name of Natalie Biale, who came to know Kash a few years later. Natalie lived in Coloma with her mom and dad, her sister Simone, a couple of dogs, a turkey and too many chickens to count. When time allowed, she volunteered a couple of hours a month at HartSong, and she was especially eager to spend her time grooming the horses. Of the 11 horses then living at the sanctuary, Kash was her favorite horse to groom. They had a special bond. One day while grooming Kash, she called me over and asked, quite demurely, if she could have a clipping of Kash’s mane. “Well sure,” I said, “why?” She went on to explain that she needed it for a book she was working to complete – an interactive, fill in the blanks, diary sort of book called “My Dream Horse”. Her mission was to collect all sorts of items — articles, photos, anything and everything that represented her vision of the perfect horse, the kind of horse she would someday hope to own. Much to my delight, Natalie chose Kash.

People have often asked me why we would save a horse like Kash. After all, he cannot be ridden, he is completely blind and now nearly deaf. “What good is a horse like that?” Well, in the eyes of a little girl named Natalie, Kash is the most special horse in the world and in knowing him she learned many valuable lessons about empathy, kindness and compassion – exactly why we do what we do, for if we can touch the hearts and minds of the next generation, then someday the world will be a kinder place for animals. Little girls like Natalie give me hope of a better world and all because of the love she had for an old, blind, deaf, thrown-away horse named Kash.