I pride myself on being logical, rational, able to keep my emotions in check at the sale. Most of the time I do a pretty good job even though seeing so many faces week in and week out knowing what their fate is wears on me. I reach out and pet the broken down standardbreds, I tell the worn out draft horses I'm sorry, because people failed them. These aren't crazy or dangerous horses, they are horses that people used up and threw away. And there are a LOT of them.
Copper Horse Crusade was founded on principles of sustainability, doing the most good for the greatest number of horses, pulling the horses that were sound, sane, and serviceable. This allows a lot of good horses to be saved, most of them are in need of riding / training but they go on to be trail mounts, 4-H partners, therapy horses and so on. People want usable horses. I've always said that I can't pull what I can't place. Unfortunately, that means leaving behind the older horses that have been used up and discarded, the lame, the old, the broken. I HATE that. They deserve a better ending. A dignified ending, someone there to tell them 'well done' and be there while they pass peacefully.
I want to do that for Leo. In honor of all of the broken horses I have had to leave behind. Something in his eyes, the fact that he came up to me at the gate of his corral. It may very well be the case that he comes to Copper Horse Crusade only to have the dignified ending that all of the broken horses deserve. I know he is not sound. Perhaps he can be made comfortable enough to be a pasture companion. That will have to be determined. I know he deserves a better ending than a ride on a semi to a Canadian slaughterhouse.
Several people have stepped forward offering to help save Leo and give him a better ending. We will need to have funds to pull him and possibly put him down or vet him and care for him if he can be comfortable. This one got to me and I have not been able to put him out of my mind. The saying about 'saving one horse will not change the world, but it will change the world for one horse' is so true. Let's change Leo's ending, in honor of all of the broken horses that deserved a better fate.
*UPDATE: Leo was pulled and made it safely back to Copper Horse Crusade.