They arrived at the Swingin’ D on a cold misty night in January of 2018. From the moment they stepped off the trailer, an ethereal glow emanating from their weary bodies, they were inseparable. “The Ghosts” moved in tandem everywhere they went; side by side they ambled to the trough, to the hay bale, to their grain buckets. They were so in sync, it was hard to tell who was the alpha at first (it later became clear, Romeo was the brains and Everest was the brawn). You never know if what you’re being told about a horse is true, but the kill pen said Everest and Romeo came from the same ranch, which didn’t surprise us at all. We wondered if they were a driving team because of the way they moved together.
They were bonded, loyal best friends forever, and we vowed to do everything within our power to keep them together.
You hear about horses being buddy sour, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned after saving dozens of horses from kill pens, it’s that formerly doomed horses form deeper bonds than you could begin to fathom. It’s like they know no one else could empathize with what they’ve been through but another horse that’s been through the same thing. You wonder if they share stories about their experience at the kill pen, or compare war stories on how close they came to being slaughtered. You wonder if they’ve already lost so much, the fear of losing one more thing is just too much to bear. That was the Ghosts. They were each other’s anchor and rock, so we vowed to keep them together forever – no matter what it took. If we couldn’t find an adopter that wanted both of them, we would happily use them for PTSD or Alzheimer’s therapy.
The Ghosts loved their grooming days with the volunteers, who came to the rescue to braid their manes and tails and spoil them rotten. these big, buff working horses went from toiling away on the ranch, to having spa days with the girls.
We didn’t market the Ghosts beyond a couple of paragraphs on the website, and the volunteers were perfectly happy with the idea of keeping them here forever.
Then one day, out of the blue, we got a message from a family that was interested in two of our horses that had just been adopted. They said they were really interested in the Ghosts, but that there wasn’t much information on the website.
When they told me they were a family of five daughters and that, “13 years ago when we got married, it was our hope to own horses and raise our kids around them,” I suspected they were exactly what the Ghosts needed.
When the whole family came to visit and I saw how happy the little girls were with the Ghosts, and how settled and content the Ghosts were with them, I knew it was a match made in heaven. Everest and Romeo now live on a 4.5-acre neighborhood ranch, with stables and creeks and woods and fields to romp and play.
We enjoyed every moment caring for the Ghosts. They were the perfect gentlemen the entire year they were with us. Now they’re living their Happily Ever After with a home full of little girls who will shower them with the love and attention they deserve.