MoZ: A horse on the way to recovery

MoZ: A horse on the road to recovery

By Debbie Stoutamire
Published August 14, 2012

“He jests at a scar that never left a wound” — William Shakespeare.


MoZ is doing well in rehabilitation at Habitat for Horses in Hitchcock.
Photo by Stoutamire

In April, 2011, a call was made to the Habitat for Horses about six horses. Their names were Enya, a black Arab mare; Regal, a gray Arab; Robert Redford, another gray Arab; Smitty, a black gelding; Xander, a dapple; and finally, MoZ, a paint stud with an undescended testicle.

Habitat folks were told they had until May 5 to get the horses, but the woman called to say she had no water and demanded that habitat come pick them up. The woman had adopted Enya, Robert Redford and Regal. The remainder of the horses were being fostered by her.

The ranch manager’s son made the trip to Lubbock, but on his way back to the Habitat, a tire blew on the trailer and he called Larry Neaves at Eternus Domus to rescue him and the horses. Upon arrival at Eternus Domus, the horses were unloaded and checked over by Peggy and Larry Neaves. All were fine except for scratches and bites, mostly on their faces. They looked like they had been well-fed. But what about the other scars, the hidden ones to their souls and to their hearts?

Physical pain is felt immediately, but emotional pain waits years, then smacks you when everything seems OK. So many horses at the Habitat have been adopted out, only to be returned again and some of them have gone through several homes. They are like foster children or orphans who can’t seem to find their place in this world.

Rick Warren once said: “I think everybody has brokenness. There is no doubt about that. We live in a fallen world. This is not heaven. Everybody has scars. Everybody is hurting somewhere. I guarantee you that. Everyone has a hidden hurt.”

MoZ was put into rehab and did well physically, but those hidden scars eventually caused real ones. I remember how lost he looked and how lonely he seemed. When I would go back to rehab to give the horses their treats, he would follow me around aimlessly, but he did love his treats — all of them.

That stopped a few months ago. MoZ started losing weight. His coat became dull, and his eyes were lifeless. Vicki, the ranch manager, ordered a sonogram to be done on MoZ by Doc Jenkins. He was taken to the front — the big red barn that serves as the hospital at the Habitat — and awaited his diagnosis.

What the sonogram revealed was not surprising, considering what MoZ had been through. His hidden scars had become real ones. His intestines had adhesions on them and he was not absorbing his nutrients. He was put on steroids and given many meals during the day, so that he could gain back the weight he had lost.

MoZ made a friend at the front, a horse named Maddox, before he was given the steroids. I remember visiting him in rehab and he looked at me as if to say: “Aren’t you proud of me? I have a friend now. I have something to live for.”

MoZ is another wounded warrior who might have fallen through the cracks had it not been for the Habitat for Horses. The good news is that MoZ is on his way to a full recovery. He has been taken off the steroids and put on Prilosec instead. These days, you can see him meandering around the barn and hanging out with Adelle, another miracle horse I wrote about earlier. His eyes are bright now and he nickers to me softly when I give him his carrots. MoZ definitely has his mojo back now — so much so that he, Adelle and Dawny, a sweet, very undernourished mare, broke into a feed stall in front of the barn.

His physical scars are healing. The wounds to his heart will take longer to heal. But MoZ has finally found what he has been searching for all of his life. He has found his place in this world.

Debbie Stoutamire lives in Galveston.


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