Katie was a pony who spent her life giving rides to small children. She wore a saddle that did not fit, so her back was sore. They did not trim her feet, so her legs got arthritic and stiff. And she wore a bridle that was too tight and was never taken off, so she had scar tissue on her face. When Katie came to The Gentle Barn she would not tolerate human contact at all. You could not get anywhere near her. She was very defensive and would kick if you even looked at her. We gave her space and over time she began to relax. We hired a deep tissue message therapist for Katie who found her riddled with scar tissue and evidence of old injuries. As her body began to heal, so did her heart, she started to realize that she was safe in her new home.
Katie eventually allowed people to stand around her, and would even put her ears forward in greeting, however she was still a little shy. We gave her treats and kind words, and the promises of hugs and kisses when she was ready.
By the end of her life, Katie would let children, who she feared the most, hug and pet her. She forgave her past and accepted that she was lovable.
Her body started deteriorating about 3 years after she had been here. The vet guessed that she was at least 35. It became very difficult for her to walk, eat, or breathe. She tried to stay strong for us, but it came time for her to go.
Katie did a great job with the kids, and helped a lot of people learn about what goes on in petting zoos. We thank her for touching our lives and teaching us how to be brave.
On the afternoon of September the 8th, 2002, Katie went out of her body very peacefully. It felt like she said thanks and then ran off jumping and bucking. We miss her so much it is hard to see the barnyard without her.
Katie had been here from the beginning; it is strange that she is not here. But, her spirit and her love are here with us always. She had a great 3 years, and grew a lot. She forgave people, accepted that she is loved, and taught us to do the same; her work was done.
Thank you Katie, we love you!!!!
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