The Colorado Humane Society (CHS) works to prevent and investigate animal neglect and mistreatment and promote animal welfare throughout Colorado, and, together, with the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, the two organizations make an impact far and wide.
The Harmony Equine Center is a private rehabilitation and adoption facility for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that have been removed from owners’ care by law enforcement authorities. It was a law enforcement case that brought Pie to Harmony when the sweet horse was impounded from an owner who was not caring for him properly.
In July, an anonymous caller reported several thin horses on a property in Park County, and CHS investigators and Park County Animal Control went to look at the bunch. What they found was shocking—30 horses from very young foals to senior horses. Several horses had overgrown hooves, many had medical issues that had not been treated, and all had compromised body conditions.
“Our primary focus when the horses arrived at Harmony was getting them up to weight, treating injuries and getting them healthy,” said Director, Field and Equine Services Colorado Humane Society and Harmony Equine Center Bobbi Priestly. “Once they started to get healthy, we treated them with sand clear as many had sand in their bellies, along with starting the process of deworming and vaccinating them. The majority of the horses were not halter broke, so training started with that and learning to pick up their feet and continued to progress to riding for those we could. Several needed extreme care at the beginning, and they have all been adopted.”
One of those foals was Pie.
As a teenager, Robin bought a horse halter and two brushes and kept them on her dresser. She didn’t have a horse at the time, but looking at them was enough to dream. “I had a friend who owned a horse and spent as much time as I could with her,” remembered Robin. “The stable manager came across a 17 hand high abused gelding and said I could have him if I got him healthy and up to the right weight. Within a year, I turned that horse into a beautiful, healthy, slightly chubby palomino who was the love of my life.”
Due to circumstances, Robin and her horse sadly parted ways, and while she married and raised a family, she never stopped wanting another horse. Sometimes, life is funny with its twists and turns that turn into serendipitous encounters. Robin’s daughter adopted a dog from the League, and she was casually browsing the website when she learned about Harmony. “I saw Pie and knew I was going to help this precious baby,” said Robin. “During my appointment, I fell in love with this timid baby horse, and I knew I could give him the care and love he so badly needed.”
Pie, who is now 9-months old, lives at a beautiful stable close to Robin’s home and spends his days playing and running in the pasture with other horses. “My son and I work with Pie every day,” said Robin. “He now backs on command, is easily haltered and led anywhere, walks into a horse trailer like a champ with no hesitation, has his blanket put on and taken off every day and comes when he's called from the pasture. Pie is allowed to be a baby, and as he grows and gets older, we'll teach him more every day, but for now, he's living the good life.”
Sweet Pie just had a check-up, and he’s growing and in perfect health—and is turning into quite the character. Pie loves attention and would rather stand at the fence and be brushed and talked to than run in the field. “Pie loves people ... whether it’s walking with him, training him or just sitting with him in his stall,” said Robin. “He's playful but so very gentle in everything he does. He has never bitten or kicked, even if he's gotten afraid of something. He just stops and takes a long look at it and goes on. Our entire family makes sure Pie knows how much he is loved. He has a habit of putting his face very gently next to mine and resting his head on my shoulder.” Ohhhh, Pie!!
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“I can't say enough about the wonderful work the people at the Harmony Equine Center do,” said Robin. “They gave this precious baby horse his life back, and in turn, fulfilled my lifelong dream. Sometimes, I look at Pie and can't believe he's mine ... and then he'll walk over to me, put his head on my shoulder and lean his face on mine, and I know he's home ... forever. Our family loves Pie dearly, and I can absolutely promise you that this baby who had such a hard start will have a wonderful loving home for the rest of his life.”
Click here to learn more about the facility, including horses for adoption.