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By: Fidget

Age: 13


The bay stallion screamed in a mixture of terror, anger and confusion. The whip sliced his flesh, grabbing at his legs. Pressure applied to the heavy chain halter on his slender, once elegant head. The lead rope jerked in an uncomfortable way. Rough, tight rope hobbled his hind legs so he couldn't kick out or rear or buck without falling over. The stallion lunged forward aggressively, teeth bared ready to attack. But his reward was a smack on the nose with an electric cattle prod. One of the men had assembled a cruel twitch. The stallion screamed in agonizing pain. The two men abused him ignored it. The tall muscular man yanked viciously at the lead rope and twitch, urging the traumatized stallion forcefully into a dark, non-welcoming horse trailer.


After several thwacks on the hindquarter with a crop and electric cattle prod, the stallion was finally forced into the trailer and the short skinny man slammed the door shut, scraping the horse's nose.


"Let's get this beast outta here," said the tall man.

"Ok," said the short man as the stallion kicked out of the trailer structure.



I walked around the auction yard. I was looking for a horse to foster. A horse that was abused. I would buy it, regain its trust in humans, retrain it and sell it to make a profit. I glanced tearfully at all the frightened, abused horses. My heart went out to them. They looked as if they had endured so much pain and agony, which they would have felt. Most of these horses would probably end up at the slaughterhouse. A sorry ending for innocent horses.


We walked past a pen with a sorry sight of  a bay horse, trembling with his head down. Most people took one glance at the horse and sauntered off. I felt that he was the horse I had to buy. I paused at the fence and examined the poor horse. He was a bay stallion with a very matted mane and nearly no mane and an extraordinary long forelock which covered his forehead and eyes. I could tell without seeing his eyes, he was frightened and scared.


Two men were standing beside him, looking nervous and bored. The tall man held his lead rope and the twitch. The short man was trying to attract buyers. Also on the stallion's hind legs were some rope hobbles.


"Why he like that?" I asked them.

"Vicious stallion," said the tall man. His partner, the short man agreed.

"I don't know Fidget," Mum cautioned. "If he's like that, he has to be dangerous."


"Dangerous," repeated the short man. "He dangerous. He eat you up if he had chance."

"Why the twitch and hobbles!" I cried out. "That's what's making him upset and frightened."

Mum looked thoughtful. "How much do you want for him?"

"150 bucks," said the tall man.


"Sold!" I exclaimed. "Let's get him outta here."


While Mum and the men finished the deal, I climbed into the pen.

"Kid! Whatcha doing!" shouted the tall man. "You'll get yourself killed!"

"Fidget!" called Mum frantically. "Be careful."

I ignored them all. I pulled a slice of carrot out of the pocket and offered it to the bay stallion.


He bared his teeth at me.


"It's okay," I cooed him in a soft gentle voice. "I'm one of the nice guys. But you probably wouldn't understand that."


I spent an hour, just standing at the horse's shoulder, petting him and feeding him carrot slices. The two men had already given up ages ago and left. Mum watched patiently.


Before the men left, I had them take off the twitch, hobbles and chain halter. The stallion now wore a soft nylon turquoise halter and lead rope. He had seemed to calm down that the painful devices were off him and soft, welcoming ones.

Now that the stallion seemed calm, I could try the big test. Leading him.


Taking the lead rope, I stepped at his shoulder. Taking a step forward, I encouraged him to walk with me. The stallion froze on the spot and kept tossing his head uneasily around.

"It's okay,"  I told him. "There's no one around here to hurt you."

The stallion trusted this girl for a hour she'd been with him. She hadn't hit him at all. This girl had lightly touched him. It was this girl that took the painful twitch, chain halter and hobbles off. He knew that if she cared for him, she must be one of the good people.

The stallion took one reluctant step forward and another. He walked calming beside her for a few circuits of the pen, through a loud throng of people and out into the car park.


That's when the trouble began.

He reared and screamed in terror at the sight of the horse float.

"Fidget!" cautioned Mum.

"It's alright," I said soothingly.

The stallion reared up again and tried to bolt.