When I was a young girl, I adored horses. They were my favorite animal. I even remember playing in my backyard, pretending that I was a horse. Yes, I was an odd child. But I tried to watch all the horse races on TV. I don't know what it was that captivated me. Maybe I loved the thrill of it all, listening to the announcer as he became so excited when the horses turned into the final stretch.
As an adult, my preoccupation with horses has dwindled. I still love them, but I no longer avidly search the networks looking for horse races or horse jumping. However one horse had captivated me, even before he was injured. That horse was Barbaro.
This horse was an amazing young colt, set to win the Triple Crown. Who wouldn't get excited about that? But then, this powerhouse of a thoroughbred had a horrible accident, shattering his right hind leg so badly, the x-ray of his foot after surgery showed more pins than bones. His owners decided to try and save him rather than destroy him right there on the track, and thus Barbaro's long road to recovery began.
But because Barbaro was in a cast and couldn't put weight on his foot, he developed laminitis in his other hind leg.
Since Barbaro's injury, and I found myself once again interested in horses. I tried to find out all I could about his recovery, because I do still love horses, but also because he was a horse who seemed as if he would defy the odds. My prayers were with him.
I am an animal lover. So if you have a story with an animal, you will touch my heart 100% of the time. I was brought to tears when a cat, separated from her owner during Hurricane Katrina, was finally reunited after a long and hard search by the animal shelters who'd found her. I love stories of perserverance and hope, stories that touch the heartstrings and strengthen that connection between man and the animal kingdom.
Barbaro's saga was just such a story.
Even though I'm saddened at the thought that Barbaro has succumbed to his fate, it broke my heart to watch him walk. You could tell the poor thing was in so much pain, shuffling his hind legs so much I'm surprised he didn't trip over his own hooves. And his leg wasn't completely stable, either, since they had to remove much of his hoof due to the laminitis. In a way, I'm relieved Barbaro has passed, if only to ease his suffering.
Many people don't believe animals go to Heaven. But who are we to say they don't have souls? Only One knows for sure whether or not critters get to see the Glory. But I am of the assumption God doesn't just love us, but the whole of His creation. And somewhere up there, I believe Barbaro is running on the fields of the Lord.