Not every story is a crazy rush to save a poor creature from the clutches of death. Many of our rescues come in to the center with a special reason all of their own. Bea is just one simple case of life taking a wrong turn and for some reason ending up on a road that leads to God knows where.  Sometimes its just a case of a round about of misery going round and round and round in a circle game!

Bea began her life as a race horse running at top class tracks in both Ireland & England. Bea chalked up many races and was then retired as a brood mare to a racing yard in Southern Ireland. Life then took a new direction for Bea and she was sold to a private owner in the West of Ireland. Poor Bea went from stabling and having a rub on a harsh winter’s day to spending her days on a bog in Ireland. Rough, cold, miserable weather and Bea in foal didn’t help. Bea was bought by an older man whose intention was to breed her as he wanted to get into racing stock.  All went OK for a little while; she was covered by a thoroughbred and all seemed well.  That was until the man’s father took very ill and needed 24hr attention. After many months of trying to balance caring for his father and his horses the pressure became too much and he just had to admit he couldn’t cope with both.

A solution had to be found to his dilemma. In the meantime, poor Bea found herself out in the open elements of a cold, wet miserable Irish winter; one of the worst we have seen in many years.  With no rug, no stable, just cold harsh unrelenting rain Bea’s life got as miserable as the weather. With both elements and the arrival of a wee filly foal born into the harsh bleak unforgiving sleet only an Irish bog can condemn any living creature to, Bea struggled on. Not surprisingly Bea learned how to adopt to scavenging for any morsel of food nature had sneaked in between the ravaging elements and circumstance, but in this God forsaken place Bea had one main attribute that dominated all else ‘maternal instinct’.  To protect her baby was all that mattered.

Luckily for Bea life was about to take a change of direction.  Fate had taken pity on Bea and her baby.  Powers directed her life to us here at the center  bringing her a ray of light as she was gathered up and guided into the safe secure arms of Holly’s Horse Haven.  Bea arrived mentally broken, exhausted and in the most appalling state.  Open weeping sores covered her entire back from rain scald (left untreated), she had no fat on her body at all and most of the seeping sores were infected. Her foal was also extremely underweight and had never had human contact from the day she was born!

Joe thought Bea’s problems could be fixed with TLC but his biggest concern was her state of mind. Bea could not trust anyone.  If ever a horse needed an ‘enter at your own risk’ it was Bea.  Bea was out to sort out the whole entire world with just one bite. Stamping, biting, rearing and kicking with front hooves were just her level; Bea was on protective mode. Level two included lifting her feeding dish to throw it at the feeder, kicking her stable walls (just for practice,) throwing herself against the front gate and this was all part of Bea’s normal daily routine. No-one had a chance of getting her on a lead rope.  Complete destruction of the entire human population was Bea’s ultimate mental focus. But we had to do something. It was too cold for either of them to be outside so Bea with the strategic placement of both horse box and large chain link panels was herded with foal at foot into a warm, clean comfortable stable. There she was left to settle her head. How we were going to work with Bea, no one knew. A large 12ft gate system seemed to be the answer to keep her in her comfortable secure stable.  This gate would also give us a chance to clean her out and keep her bedding fresh, daily feeding, cleaning her cuts with a sponge on a long stick, spraying her from a distance with antibiotic spray for her wounds.  With these small steps and loads of TLC Bea very slowly began to come round; she stopped throwing bowls, she began to kick the stable wall less, she snapped at people less and slowly she allowed Joe to enter into her space…but just Joe and only on her terms.  No book existed that contained the kind of information we required to sort Bea, only one strategy – “UNCONDITIONAL LOVE” – loads and loads and loads of unconditional love!