Luna (The Second)
Rescued: March 10, 2012
We’ve never before encountered a horse quite like Luna.
We were contacted in March 2012 by a man who said his girlfriend had returned to the UK and taken her horse with her, leaving Luna all alone. This man said he knew nothing about horses and was worried he couldn’t care adequately for Luna, who he described as a handful. Concerned for her safety, we agreed to take her.
How on earth this man managed to get this mare onto a horse trailer to bring her to us, we will never know. It was immediately obvious that Luna suffers severe psychological issues and is very aggressive, likely as a result of past abuse.
Worse yet, we discovered that Luna, who was only about seven years old when rescued, was showing signs of leg and tendon issues. We believe this is a genetic condition, a fault in her suspensory system that is causing her tendons to slowly, slowly collapse. It’s like if the elasticity goes in a pair of braces, the trousers will fall down – that’s essentially what’s happening with Luna’s legs.
Obviously she was just a complete misfit, which is why she was likely given away as a companion horse and possibly ignored or, worse yet, very badly mistreated.
We couldn’t touch Luna, couldn’t even go near her without the risk of being badly bitten or kicked. We actually had to sedate her to get close enough to deal with her extremely knotted mane and tail.
Hoping to slowly build a connection with this young mare, we at first stabled her for six weeks. Sue would stop by the stable each day, standing quietly and offering the occasional carrot, allowing Luna space to reach out if she desired. But nothing could get through to her.
We then turned Luna out in a field with Mimosa and Blanca, hoping the companionship of other horses might help to break down her mental barriers. It worked wonders.
Mimosa and Luna hit it off straight away and have been inseparable ever since. On the odd occasion that we’ve had to temporarily remove Mimosa to treat ongoing problems with her hooves, Luna has called out non-stop and is simply inconsolable until her best friend returns.
Luna is still defensively aggressive with most humans and, because of her strength, we carefully monitor who is allowed to approach her, as she is possibly quite dangerous.
Perhaps, one day, we will see her drop her guard as she finally realises she is now in a safe place. We have witnessed this beautiful moment happen many times with some of our other rescued horses in the past.
For now, Luna doesn’t want any contact. She watches from afar as Sue goes into her field and makes a fuss of the other horses. She may even very tentatively grab a treat and then run off, which is a big step forward for this complicated mare.
But we are certain that Luna is happy here with her best friend. She eats well, is comfortable and enjoys a good life with plenty of companionship. We believe she’s found her perfect home, as it’s difficult to imagine anyone else wanting to care for such a mentally scarred mare. We love her, warts and all.
(By the way, we sometimes call her ‘Luna The Second’ as we already had a mare named Luna when this second one arrived. Luna The First was a beautiful 28-year-old mare we saved back in 2008, one of our first ever rescues in our first year as a rescue centre. She passed away in 2016.)
As a non-profit foundation staffed almost entirely by volunteers, we rely on your donations to continue our work to save horses like Luna, and to cover their ongoing feeding and care costs. Find out how you can help here.
– Story written by Koren Helbig.