Kai doesn’t enjoy people much. When approached his ears instantly flatten as he communicates “stop. that’s close enough”. We know he was born a feral mustang in Wyoming, that at a young age he was taken from his home, his herd, and his mother. We can guess by his aversion to human touch he was abused. We respect that he doesn’t want to be touched, he’s allowed to tell us that.
As a growing baby horse Kai was put into an inmate program, forced to carry the weight of a saddle and rider at far too young of an age. He carries trauma from his early experiences that we are trying to help him heal from. Kai has met many people at our rescue. These people have all understood his boundaries, and never forced him to be touched unwillingly. All of those people led him to not only be brave in this moment, but to also be curious.
Fred is a 90 year old veteran with Parkinson’s who has trouble walking. Fred visits the farm and horses in a golf cart. Kai saw something in Fred, or maybe Fred saw something in Kai, and for once in Kai’s life he initiated an interaction with a human. Without his ears pinned, without fear, he approached Fred and made a gentle connection. It’s moments like this that build and build, allowing our horses to find healing. We can’t thank veterans like Fred enough - for sharing time, kindness, and patient understanding with rescue horses like Kai.