In April SOULS AND STARS SANCTUARY was contacted about a horse who needed a new home, and asked if we could let him join our herd of wild ponies.
He was described as difficult in regards to his separation anxiety, but otherwise friendly and sweet, from breed half Thorough bred, half Gypsy horse.
With the request the owner send me a photo of Harvey, the horse, and it was easy to communicate with him right from the start.
The very first thing he told me was that he would like a new name. Harvey reminded him of his upbringing, a time he didn’t enjoy at all, as it was full of trauma and pain for him.
I was surprised how polite Harvey requested his concern, and when I told the owner about our communication, she confirmed that the description “polite” suits this horse to a t.
When people ask our sanctuary to provide a home for their animals, we normally ask them to first come for a visit, to make sure they feel our environment is suited for the animal’s requirements.
In Harvey’s case this didn’t happen, as his case took a sudden spin of urgency.
Having only one day left to put Harvey on a float and transport him to our sanctuary, the owner ended up in a state where she was unable to float him, and was so overwhelmed with the situation and Harvey’s anxious behaviour, that she ordered the vet to come out and euthanise him.
At this point the Universe send out a rescue angel 👼 in the form of an experienced horse lady, who managed to load Harvey and bring him over to us, dropping him of in the middle of 82 curious ponies.
For the first weeks it looked as if he was happy integrating in the herd, but in my conversations with him I felt a sadness, and so I asked him if he would like to stay around the house with our main horses instead. At this point he couldn’t decide, so we agreed to wait two more weeks and see.
It was exactly two weeks later, when we came back from our weekly feed shopping, that I saw Harvey standing at the side of the drive way all by himself. He was looking out for us, and told me that he would now like to meet the other herd.
So Kristin took over the job of leading Harvey from the pony paddocks to the house, and although he was nervous about this change, he slowly eased into his new place amongst our eight horse girls.
The first days Harvey was chased away a lot by the big girls, but especially Coco, our pony, took a liking of him straight away and showed him around in his new environment.
Soon he was allowed to join the girls, from a respectful distance, at feeding time, and even earned a spot as number 5 🐎 in the chain.
Now it was time to attend to his very first request : to find the name that really was him.
Given his heritage, we decided to choose a name common in the Roma culture, and everyone liked the one Kristin found and suggested: LUKA.
It sounded gentle and way more suited for a boy who turned out to be one of the sweetest horses I have ever met 💖.
And yes, we got his ok straight away!