Local Woman Says Rescued Horse ‘Saved’ Her
“I rescued the horse, but she saved me.”
One year ago, Jenny Ross, who lives near the Audubon, was looking for a horse. The one she found, she never expected.
“I was looking online for a horse,” Ross said. “I’d been looking since I lost my last one and hadn’t been able to find one. Then, this one popped up in North Carolina.”
The horse she found and purchased online, Raja, is an Arabian mare believed to be about 16 years old.
Ross purchased the horse with a credit card. Raja was then placed in quarantine for two weeks and then transported from North Carolina to New York.
“She was extremely malnourished when she arrived,” Ross said. “There was no trust in her for anyone. We had a few run-abouts.”
Raja, Ross would later find out, was meant to be sent to the slaughter house had she not purchased her.
“Others kept telling me she’s dangerous, get rid of her,” Ross said. “But I said, no, something is wrong with her.”
It was not until later that Ross would figure out that the horse was partially blind and also had uveitis — an inflammation of the eye in horses and also the leading cause of blindness.
“Three different vets in four states looked at her, and no one said anything about blindness until the last one finally diagnosed her correctly,” Ross said.
Following an incident in a field where Raja was spooked, the pair began to gain an understanding of each other.
“I was having a panic attack and I knew she would spook so I got her back in the corral and then passed out,” Ross said. “When I woke up with the dog licking my face it was to find she had come down but had not touched me. We formed a pretty unbelievable bond after that.”
These days, Raja will let anyone lead her anywhere but will always come back to the corral.
“She looks a million times better than she did when I got her a year ago,” Ross said. “Now, she trusts me and I trust her. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but I probably got the worst of the worst. Now, she is just sweet and loving.”
These days, Raja has become a therapy horse.
“People can come and see her,” Ross said. “They can feed her minimal snacks. Her favorite is watermelon.”
Despite how terrible her condition was when Ross first got her, Raja is now extremely healthy, even with the uveitis and the need to have a fly mask on her constantly.
“She’s very special to me,” Ross said. “She’s an inspiration and I think she can inspire others. She also inspired me to open a rehab for animals, which is something I still want to do.”
Ross and her significant other also have six cats, a dog and dairy cows.