Rescued: May 19, 2013
Crystal came to us during one of our Sunday afternoon open days and was so terribly thin that several visitors cried just at the sight of her.
She had been spotted at Guadalest, near Benidorm, by a German woman who saved her life by buying her then transporting her to the safety of our rescue centre. She was probably aged around 20 years old.
Crystal actually arrived with her official horse passport and we soon discovered that she is royalty – she has excellent bloodlines and must have once been worth a fortune as a broodmare, but her owners stopped feeding her as the Spanish economic crisis hit.
At first, Crystal was very antisocial. It was like she had shut herself off from the world, which we've seen countless times in rescued horses. When they’ve been so hungry and so badly abused, they seem to engage a survival mechanism. It’s like the curtains are drawn and they shut you out.
We gave her space and just let her be a horse, on her own terms, without forcing anything. And we watched with joy as, over the course of about a year, she gradually opened up into the wonderful character she is now.
Crystal very quickly formed a relationship with Arisco and the two were inseparable until Arisco’s death in April 2014.
Crystal was distraught by Arisco’s death and became terribly depressed – until we put her with Captain. Now the pair are inseparable. Captain and Crystal wander the laneways between our fields by day and come in to the stables together at night. They’re never apart, which shows the deep relationships these animals are capable of forming.
In early 2016, Crystal had to twice undergo surgery for cancer and was also given chemotherapy treatment. We were deeply relieved to see her given the all clear in April 2016.
Crystal now considers herself very important on our open days and wants to meet everybody. She absolutely loves her life and it has been wonderful to witness her transformation from the sad, skeletal creature that arrived on an open day a few years ago.
As a non-profit foundation staffed almost entirely by volunteers, we rely on your donations to continue our work to save horses like Crystal, and to cover their ongoing feeding and care costs. Find out how you can help here.