Back in November 2012, Schneiders ran a Facebook contest for a free bucket of Cosequin goodies. Little did we know when we randomly chose our winner, Stephanie Fitkin, that we would be introduced to one of the most inspiring horses who has beaten the odds, all thanks to the care of a passer-by.
Zorro is a happy camper with a coat full of fluff and a tubby little tummy, but things weren’t always this way. After Stephanie sent us this photo when thanking us for her prize, she proceeded to tell us Zorro’s story.
“I was told he was in a traveling circus for the first 2 years of his life as the ‘World’s Smallest Horse’. He was a mini foal, so of course he was small. They were in western Washington when he escaped into a field with other horses and they could not catch him before having to leave town, so they left him. He lived out there for 3 years trying to breed the mares. I have no idea if he succeeded, haha.
“He was then sold to some people who thought he would be perfect for their little kids to ride. They would put their kids on him and of course he would buck them off….no training, barely halter broke and still a stud. They would beat him for it to the point he could not stand up (the guy would brag about that)! When I found him, he was tied to a tree having eaten the bark to stay alive with a too tight halter digging into his face.
“The first time I walked up to him (circumventing the pit bull dogs tied to various trees on the property) he looked at me with dead eyes and no hope. With a little mumble from him, my heart was his. The Sheriff said there was nothing he could do because they did have a bale of hay on the property. Even though it was moldy straw, he said it was not his job to judge the quality of hay people feed their horses. Long story short, I ended up buying him.
“They said he was a mini stallion and worth at least $1000.00. What could I do but beg, borrow and sell some tack? I knew that on top of the purchase price I was looking at a lot of vet and farrier bills. He came to me scared and very defensive of himself, and for good reason. He would run from you or, if cornered, attack you.
“It took a lot of patience and time. I would spend hours just sitting with him and reading to him, just so he could get to know my voice and not feel threatened by me. I now can let him loose on my property and he has free range and will come when I call him. My sister nick named him ‘puppy’ because he will always come and check on me if he can’t see me.”
We couldn’t believe what we were hearing, and the before-and-after photos are night and day. Stephanie posted more photos of Zorro on our Facebook and it looks like we’re not the only ones in love!
This gave us an idea. We hadn’t shot any new photos of miniature turnout sheets in awhile, and we couldn’t get over how adorable Zorro is and his incredible story. We contacted Stephanie and sent her a Tekno-Fleece Mini Warmer and StormShield Miniature Turnout Sheet to try. Unfortunately we sent the wrong size in the Tekno-Fleece Warmer…
But the StormShield Turnout Sheet fit great! Zorro will now star in our Spring 2013 catalog. Be sure to check him out on page 33!