I find it easy to practice generosity through caring for discarded and forgotten animals. My mom believes when God created horses, He expectantly created them knowing how I would delight in rubbing my hands down their coat and feeling the soft touch of their fur. God knew I would enjoy cozying up to horses muzzles while enjoying the feel of the warmth of their nostrils. He knew my heart would leap at the sound of their hooves thundering the ground under me. He was right. He knew my heart’s response to horses. My parents practice generosity towards people who are unseen, uncared for, and unloved. I find this to be my practice concerning caring for horses.

It was on my heart to adopt a miniature pony for some time. This dream became a reality in August 2019 when my family met a malnourished black and white miniature pony. Little Hooves Rescue had shipped the pony from a slaughterhouse in Texas to San Diego, California. Here we met. Spine and ribs exposed, this pony’s little legs could barely support his scrawny frame. He had an engorged, swollen belly from starvation. The joints in his legs buckled underneath him frequently. It was unbelievably heart wrenching witnessing this lifeless, boney pony. We knew there was a long road to recovery. I brought him home and named him Dreamer, all the while hoping he would eventually find a forever home, never to be forgotten again.

After two agonizing months, Dreamer began to gain weight, and a slight sparkle was noticeable in his eyes. The green puss that dripped from his once glazed over eyes subsided due to several rounds of medication battling the worms and infection that had overtaken his body. Now, when I run my hand along Dreamer’s back, I no longer feel the scabs and scars from dermatitis. From slow and unsure to a spunky handful, Dreamer is on his way to becoming a healthy tame partner for a young rider.

Working with Durango Farms, I have been able to teach Dreamer how to lunge and carry a saddle. Due to my small frame and lightweight, I can walk and trot around on his back with help. Every so often, Dreamer will leap into the air and play when I am still on him. He is now healthy. Though he still has more to learn, I am confident Dreamer will find his forever home and teach another little girl how to be loving and caring towards the people and animals around her.

Jacquie Cheikha

Written at age 13