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Afraid of His Own Shadow

  • Gray Arabian Gelding
  • Entry Date – 6/2/2013 at approximately 9 years of age
  • Type of rescue – Surrendered by owners
  • Reason – Abused, fearful, and dangerous
  • Special needs – Confidence building with compassionate, careful, and cautious handling.

Nothing is known of Casper’s life prior to October of 2011 when he was purchased at an auction to spare him from a trip to Canada and the awful fate awaiting him there. Eager to leave the pen, Casper loaded easily but panicked when the trailer door was slammed loudly behind him. Rather than calm the clearly terrified animal, auction employees prevented his escape by slapping his face and encouraging their dog to bite at his legs. For Casper, it was just one more example of what he could expect from his human handlers.

Even though Casper’s new family gave him love and attention for the next two years, the Arab gelding had been so damaged emotionally by his past treatment that he frequently took fright, injuring himself several times a week.  Even eating could be scary for Casper, who would choke with anxiety. After numerous failures to provide vet care, hoof care (including a serious injury to a farrier), and training, Casper’s owners were advised to euthanize the beautiful gelding, who was deemed too dangerous to work with.

His owners loved him and could not bring themselves to take the “experts’” advice. But they also realized they could not keep a horse whose fearful reactions could injure both themselves and the horse. They also realized that giving Casper to another owner was out of the question, as he obviously needed special caregivers to help him become the kind and loving horse they believed him to be. Knowing that Casper dreaded horse trailers, his owners purchased a stock trailer and let the horse get familiar with it for a few days before loading him and traveling the five hours to the safety of the Equamore Foundation’s Sanctuary.  Following a period of knowledgeable rehabilitation, Casper will live the rest of his life free from horse trailers, biting dogs, and unfeeling handlers.

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