HartSong Ranch rescued Ciara from a despicable breeding farm in Central California when she was just 5 weeks old. She weighed a mere 60 pounds. There she was, a completely blind, very underweight Quarter Horse filly, prancing around in an old, dilapidated barnyard.
She reminded me of a princess in rags. Taking any baby away from its Mother at such a young age is generally not a good idea. In Ciara’s case, however, it was an absolute necessity. Her mother wanted nothing to do with her – she had nothing to eat other than dead leaves and her little body showed the signs of way too many encounters with sharp objects.
When we arrived to rescue her, the immediate task before us was to get a hold of her, pick her up and put her in the trailer. How would she react? What would she do? Whispering a ton of baby talk, we simply walked up to her, touched her on the chest and, she stopped, standing perfectly still while we secured the halter. Jim, then bent down, picked her up and carried his 60-pound load to the trailer and put her inside. Oddly enough, she didn’t seem to mind at all. If anything, she was curious about the goings on and spent quite a bit of time investigating the inside of the trailer. Unwilling to leave her alone and unattended, Jim and I took turns riding with her. For the record, we do not recommend riding in the back of a horse trailer. It was one of the scariest things we have ever done yet not once, during the 7-hour trip back to Greenwood, did Ciara cry for her Mother and never, ever did she lose her cool. She was so brave.
About six hours into the trip home, she finally laid herself down and by the time we pulled up to the ranch, she was sound asleep. We had a special stall area ready for her in the barn where she lived for the next two weeks. During that time, every available moment was devoted to Ciara.
We introduced ourselves to her with touch, food, language and lots of love. It was a wonderful bonding time.
Then one very special day, when she was ready, we lead her out of the barn and into nature, complete with pastures, trees, hills, water, and the companionship of a blind, 32 year old Appaloosa named Bess, who remarkably took Ciara under her wing, and to this day, nurtures, protects and teaches Ciara the ways of being a horse.
When Ciara was 6 months old, we decided to proceed with a surgery called Enucleation, or complete removal of the eyes. Her little pink eye buds “teared” constantly and the flies were a nagging bother. She was obviously in discomfort. We anguished over having to put her through it, but as always, in true Ciara fashion, she experienced the journey with poise and dignity.
May 31, 2016 – Ciara will turn 9 years old and what an amazing journey it has been. She listens, she thinks, she is exceptionally smart and not surprisingly, she now has quite a fan club. Who would have thought a little blind filly could be such an inspiration to so many people??
A visitor asked once, “What’s the best thing about Ciara”? Undeniably, the best thing about Ciara is that she is just downright happy!
She celebrates her life every day… Isn’t that what it’s all about?