Debbie’s article in today’s edition of Galveston Daily News is lovely. Choctaw really has come a long way and is ready for a loving home. You can find out more about adopting Choctaw by clicking here. Choctaw is the featured horse in our current newsletter as well. Email me if you wish to receive the Habitat for Horses’ Newsletter- be sure to put in the subject line that you want to sign up for Habitat for Horses Newsletter, send me your name and email address. My email address is email@example.com ~ HfH
From: Galveston Daily News
By Debbie Stoutamire
While driving to Habitat for Horses on Oct. 1, I took a trip down memory lane. As I drove down Teichman Road, I saw mists rising off the fields of green. I had traveled this road so many times, but this time it was different.
When I pulled into the Habitat I was greeted by Thom, the ranch manager, and his dog, Uma. Thom said, “Carol is waiting in the barn, and she will escort you back to rehab.”
Carol Anne is the volunteer coordinator at the Habitat and the nurse to those who have been wounded in body, mind or spirit.
Carol Anne and I strolled together back to rehab, and I got the carrots out of my back pack to give to the horses. On Sept. 9, my first trip back since I lost Old Blue, I had experienced a déjà vu moment when I saw a horse in what had been Cowboy’s pen. I sponsored Cowboy years ago. Cowboy had such sad eyes and was always in pain because of arthritis, but also because he had been dumped by a previous owner.
The arthritis crippled him, and he was eventually euthanized. I asked Carol Anne who this new handsome horse was and was told that his name was Choctaw, and when he arrived at the Habitat, he weighed 800 pounds. Today, he weighs in at 955.
Being of Indian ancestry myself, I was intrigued by his name. The name “Choctaw,” from Choctaw Chahta, is said to be from Spanish chato “flattened” for the tribe’s custom of flattening the heads of male infants. While Choctaw’s magnificent head was not flattened, his spirit definitely was. Choctaw was seized along with four other horses in January from a stable in Texas City. As reported by The Daily News, all five horses came in severely malnourished. Two of the horses eventually died and the owner of the stables paid a fine, got probation and was seen crying in the courtroom.
But who will cry for Choctaw? Most likely, it will be Carol Anne, who cares for him and feels his anguish. Like me, she is drawn to the elders and those who are in pain. And who will cry for the horses who had to be turned away because the Habitat recently lost a lease?
While Choctaw has grown and flourished in rehab, he will never be free of the memories of that stable and knowing that his friends died. While his pain may be lessening, the scar tissue remains.
Debbie Stoutamire lives in Galveston.