Horse adoption saved this gentle giant’s life in February 2017. His name was Landers when he caught our eye on Facebook. In the video shot by the kill pen, he was stiff and lanky; kind of a dork as he gaited in front of the trailer that would haul him to a Mexican slaughterhouse. Like Jake before him, it was Landers’ final day before his journey to hell. We didn’t plan to rescue more horses. Jake was our first and last, we told ourselves.
But Landers wasn’t getting any nibbles, and the clock kept ticking away. He looked like he could have some hip problems, and maybe he was lame. That’s probably why his owner dumped him at auction. Kill buyers swoop up auction horses no one else wants in order to sell them to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada where’ it’s legal to kill horses for their meat. Tami Marler, who had yet to even think about starting a horse rescue, couldn’t let the big lug die. So she paid his bail and arranged for transport to Coweta.
Landers Gets a New Name
Tami’s daughter, Kymbleri, a law student, had been afraid of horses her entire life. Tami tried to get her to ride as a child, but one traumatic experience left a permanent mark. For some reason, Kymberli really connected with Landers – so much so, she renamed him after her lifelong idol.
Elvis: (re)Birth of a King
She was saving the name Elvis for the perfect companion her whole life. When she saw the emaciated creature in need of a forever home, she knew she’d found her King. They worked through their fear together. Kymberli taught Elvis to trust humans again, and Elvis is teaching Kymberli patience, acceptance and unconditional love.
After a few months with us, we learned Elvis had EPM, a neurological disorder believed to be caused by possum feces in hay. Kym had Elvis treated for months with expensive medications. He’s still stiff, but he’s happy, healthy and comfortable.
Horse adoption was the answer for Elvis. He was dumped at auction and left for dead… Maybe because his human couldn’t afford his vet bills; maybe because he can’t work as hard as he used to. Whatever the reason isn’t good enough to slaughter such a beautiful soul.
Today, our gentle giant – 17.3 hands and gentle as a kitten – is second in command of the herd. He brings us joy and laughter every day, and Kymberli couldn’t ask for a better friend.
Horse Adoption is the Answer
If you’re considering getting a horse, we hope Elvis’ story will inspire you to consider horse adoption. Week after week, we see mature adult horses, as well trained as Elvis, set for slaughter. The more we save these precious creatures instead of buying from breeders, the more we can make the name “unwanted horse” a distant memory.