Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society

Meet Moonshine

BEHS 008 - Moonshine
2005 Adoptions
Rainbow Bridge
2009 Rainbow Bridge
Date of Birth
1 January 1987
Arrived at BEHS
22 May 2005
5 October 2005
Rainbow Bridge
1 September 2009

In 2005, shortly after BEHS was formed, we were contacted and asked to take an older Appaloosa in. A very nice couple from Houston had rescued him, half-starved, from a pasture in East Texas. They rehabbed him up to a good weight, and loved him dearly, but they only had a couple of acres and had horses of their own. Would we take him? I raised my email hand and said “yes” then immediately wondered why I had done so. You see, I didn’t like Appaloosas - or so I thought.

Moonshine arrived, and he was a true gentleman - my first BEHS foster horse. A pleasure to foster, he never gave any person or horse any trouble. He was reserved with me, but respectful.

When it was time to try him under saddle, I brought out a curb bit and headstall. My logic, you see, was that since he was an Appy, he surely had been ridden Western. This was Texas, right? Everyone rode Western. I placed the bit in his mouth, and tested the reins to see if he would respond to rein aids. Nothing. He turned his head and gave me a disgusted look - a look, as I would learn, only an Appy can give. Humbled, I retreated into the tack room and emerged a moment later with one of my English bridles and a snaffle bit.

Moonshine audibly sighed, and accepted the bit. He responded to rein aids well from the ground, so I mounted him. He was rusty, but willing, and a pleasure to ride.

A few weeks later I helped with the BEHS booth at the Equestrian Market Day in Bryan. A tiny girl came up to the table with her mother. Together they leafed through the notebook of available horses. I asked the little girl if she was looking for a horse. They responded together, explaining how they were looking for a horse for Kaye for Pony Club - to ride English. They had been looking for months, but found nothing suitable within their budget.

I found myself telling them about Moonshine. He was rusty, I warned, and although good under saddle, had never really clicked with me. He never acted like he was enjoying himself. They decided to come see him, and a few days later, we were all in my round pen. I rode Moonshine first, in the round pen and then down the driveway. He wasn’t being very cooperative, and I sighed. This was not going to work out, I thought.

Then Kelly put Kaye on Moonshine’s back. This tiny 7 y/o girl sat there - and magic happened. Moonshine was a new horse. With every step they took, it became so crystal clear to me - he had once been the beloved mount for a little girl. I swear he winked at me once as they rode by. He held his head high and there was pride in his every stride. Moonshine’s new name was to be Moonshadow, they announced, as it would be more appropriate for Pony Club.

Shortly after, Kelly and Kaye came to pick up Moonshine with their trailer. We opened the door, and I went to lead him inside. He stopped - dead in his tracks - just outside the door. “Come ON, Moonshine,” I pleaded, “Please don’t start now. Please don’t blow the chance to have a terrific forever home.” He gave me one of those Appy looks, sighed, and obediently walked beside me. I turned to him inside the trailer - and saw the huge nest of yellow jackets on the trailer wall, right next to him.

Slowly, I asked him to back out. He eased back out of the trailer, and this time we both sighed in relief. I apologized to him, realizing I should have listened to this wise horse. Once the yellow jackets were sprayed and the nest knocked down, Moonshine eagerly loaded. He gave me one last wise Appy look before the trailer moved off.

Moonshine and Kaye were wonderful together in Pony Club. No matter what chaos was going on, Moonshine carried his little girl safely through it. They excelled in Pony Club camp, and he loved jumping. The old horse that others on their fancy, expensive horses had sneered at became the favorite of all. I did all the adoption follow up visits myself, so I could see him. He was happy and loved his new home.

Then one day, I learned Moonshine had EPM. Treatment would be expensive - with no guarantee of success. We contacted the manufacturer of a drug used to treat EPM, explained Moonshine’s story, and they so very generously donated enough medicine for a course of treatment. It was hard on the old Appy. He lost weight and looked terrible, the next time I saw him. But then he started to come around, and eventually, Kaye was able to ride him again. But not for long - he had a relapse, and it was a sad decision that it was no longer safe for Kaye to ride him. So Moonshine retired, and spent his last few months being loved on by his little girl.

He became weaker and more unsteady, and this past week, he was sent across the Rainbow Bridge. A little girl is very sad, and misses him very much - and so do I.

You were a great horse, Moonshine. I will always wonder what happened to your first little girl - did she outgrow her love for horses, and you were simply turned out in the pasture? Why did no one apparently care that you were getting thin, or that you missed your little girl? I am so happy that you found your little girl again.


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