Horse Orphanage

On the outskirts of Florence, Italy, there is an orphanage specifically for old police horses that have been abused or damaged in some way.  Some are very very old, some very young, but they all share in their bad abuse.  Never have I seen horses in such poor condition!  Horses respect us as man, but here it is very evident that man does not respect these poor brutes.  Some had been abandoned in stables where glass and nails peppered the floor, and they were left to stand in their own faeces for days with no food or water.  Others had been whipped so violently that large scars marked their hair as if they had been branded.

But the horse that sticks out most firmly in my mind was a little dappled grey that was missing an ear and had a long white scar down his nose.  There had been a riot some years before where the police horses had been caught right in the middle of it, and at a large disadvantage.  One of the rebels had taken out a long penknife to try to scare the police away.  He slashed at them without thinking, and cut deep into the horses nose.  With this, the police horses stepped back somewhat and tried to escape.  Looking down at himself, the protester had seen blood on the knife and saw what he had done.  Seeing the police scare and back off a little, he reached up to the horse and in one fierce sweep he slashed the dappled grey ear off, causing the horse to fly up and the policeman to come out of the saddle.

The policeman survived, and set up this home for poorly treated and retired police horses, and to this day he swears he will dedicate the rest of his life to these horses.

Be sure to check out Equestrian Escapes’ chosen horse charity, The Brooke.

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