In early July 2019, a long-time friend of ours invited us to visit the place she volunteers, Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue in Afton, VA. She had invited us there to look at a few horses she thought would be a good fit for Risen Ridge Ministry. This same day, we fell in love with Maple! As we neared the end of our tour of the facility, Chris felt that God was calling him to an out-of-the-way barn area but he didn't understand why. As we got closer, we could see a very thin, brown horse standing in a stall. As I took in the gravity of what I was seeing, I broke down. I just can't believe that there are people in this world who think there is nothing wrong with allowing something in their care to get like that. Chris felt the Lord telling him that she would be coming to Risen Ridge.
We learned that Dezi was seized by Amherst County Animal Control on May 31st along with a pony and a few miniature horses. Dezi was found locked in a stall with no access to food or water. Upon her arrival at Hope's Legacy, the vet graded her a body condition score of 1 and was uncertain if she would survive rehabilitation. The range for the body condition scale is 1-9 with 9 being obese. Dezi looked like a skeleton with fur.
As she quickly progressed back to physical health, Courtney became her person and kept the director of Hope's Legacy in the loop as to our interest in her. We were anxious to hear what she was like once she became physically strong enough to fully evaluate. On October 27th, we decided to go visit her. Courtney had just started riding her so we were curious to see what, if anything, she knew under saddle. To our pleasant surprise, she was just lovely under saddle. She has some emotional recovery to go through, but there was no indication - at all - of her not wanting to be ridden. She was so relaxed, in fact, that we let 5-year-old Fizzy get on and walk her around. When Fizzy got off, another volunteer caught one of the sweetest moments I have ever witnessed. Fizzy went up to Dezi, Dezi dropped her head and Fizzy hugged her face. They both closed their eyes and it was like heaven touched earth for a minute. It was in that moment that I knew she was meant to come to Risen Ridge, too.
The next few days happened quickly! Unbeknownst to Courtney, Dezi was leaving in a few days for a trial adoption. I quickly emailed the director and begged for a change of plans. God is good, communication happened and Dezi was ours. She came home on Monday, November 4th and became part of our newly formed 3 horse herd. The introduction couldn't have gone any smoother and they are all getting along just fine.
Dezi is a 15h Quarter Horse mare. She is about 18 year old and was an English and Western 4H show horse. She is very gentle, especially with children, and has no trouble standing her ground in the herd.
The services at Risen Ridge will be offered free of charge to those whom God brings. If you would like to help with the care and upkeep of Maple and the rest of the herd so that they may be used by God please follow the link below.
Click through the pictures below to see more of Dezi...