This is the story of rescued horse Gregory with some before and after pictures.
Countdown to recovery
As the weeks passed Gregory became really attached to me, walking everywhere with me in the field, watching me all the time when I was busy fixing the fence. He still had bad days when he was so angry I had to leave him alone. We had a new volunteer who wanted to meet all the horses. I took her to see Saahi and Sully then we walked over to look at Gregory. He took no notice as we approached, then he suddenly burst forward angrily to attack the girl, she ran behind me then ducked under the fence to safety. With a very angry Gregory hot on her tail.
I was stunned. Never seen him do that before. He turned and ran back to me, rubbing his head on my coat he put his head on my shoulder. Wow, I realised Gregory was jealous of anyone being near me. This was not so good; he was a danger to other people. I had to warn everyone that he didn’t want anyone near me when I was in the field. He did chase a few people away in the passing months, but slowly I begin to calm him down until he stopped doing that. One day I took him across the field to meet the other horses, but they still didn’t want him there.
Gregory was an outcast as far as they were concerned. So my plan was to get a horse near to Gregory so that he may just groom with it. I did this by covering the horses eyes so he couldn’t see Gregory. With his neck outstretched Gregory sniffed the horse, this was the first time he been near another horse in many months.
Slowly I took the hood of the horses eyes, holding him very tight on the lead rope. Now they could both see each other, snorting they moved closer sniffing each other, but gladly not getting angry. For Gregory this was a huge breakthrough, for me it was months of hard work paying off for the first time.
As time passed Gregory became much more of a herd animal sometimes grooming with the other horses. Lots of his anxiety had gone, no longer did he rub himself on the tree, he was getting calmer day by day not needing to be with me so much now. I was happy and sad at the same time. Was he now becoming their friend and not mine? I was soon to find out the answer to that question.
Weeks later I met someone who once owned Gregory before he was treated so badly, but she had heard about his problems and was glad she did not have him anymore. I explained to her how different he was now but she didn’t believe me. I invited her to come along and see for herself. Getting to the field we walked along the fence. All the horses were busy grazing in the afternoon sun. Gregory was almost out of site at the end on the field.I called to him loudly, he looked up staring for a few seconds then, took off as fast as he could towards us. I could almost feel the ground shaking as he thundered across the field. No longer was he charging at me, now he was running to me. I ducked under the fence to meet him. My friend looked on as he got closer; she was saying to move back quickly to safety as he will probably attack me.
I told her this Gregory is not the one she knew but a happy, safe, contented horse. Greg ran almost into my arms, puffing loudly his nostrils snorting, then plonked his head on my shoulder, Gregory was back with me for ever. I felt that my tears would burst out as I hugged him, feeling him tucked into his very own safe comfort zone. His previous owner gasped in disbelief as she saw the relationship between us and how much Gregory had changed.
He is big and wild I know most people say they don’t like him because he can be so scary at times, but he is Gregory the rescued and now recovering horse, living safely in the hands of our sanctuary. I will love him dearly for ever. For over fifteen years Gregory was always at my side when I was at the fields.
Since writing this story, sadly, Gregory my wonderful friend has passed away. I will love him always. Without Gregory I could not have learnt so much about working with horses. He was and still is my total inspiration. It’s not something I will get over, but something I will get through in time.