Canyon's story

Some time around the 1st of August, a truck and a horse trailer traveling through the Yakima River Canyon between Yakima and Ellensburg, stopped on a blind corner and unloaded Canyon. We don't know whether she was set loose by accident or on purpose, what we do know is she never got back into that trailer-that it drove away without her.

Canyon was afraid, she came close to being hit by cars several times. Traffic in the dark is treacherous. Hoofprints tell the story of her frantic search for a way off the road. Eventually she made her way through a narrow gap in a fence and traveled to the top of the hill. This is a area that is steep, rocky and has no access to water.

Canyon could be sighted every evening standing in silhouette on top of the hill. Maybe she was looking for her owner, maybe she was just watching for danger. Night after night she was there....

A rescue attempt was mounted, but it was complicated by the terrain and Canyon's wariness. This is where a community of individuals combined their efforts on behalf of a starving horse. This story spans a six week time period, it is a story of commitment and determination. Several people spent numerous hours walking the area, contacting authorities, doing what they could to help this bay mare.

Anna went every day and carried water buckets up the top of the hill so Canyon could drink. She also left her hay so she would have good food. Canyon would walk everyday, down the hill to the water buckets. A trail developed & became visible through the rough terrain, as each day she came to the water that was saving her life. Anna began moving the buckets down the side of the hill, in hopes that Canyon would learn to come closer to an area where she could captured. Canyon learned to trust that water and food would always be there for her. She would look for her, but she wouldn't let Anna too near her. Still Anna persisted in her daily trek to feed and water her. This was not an easy thing for Anna, she is older than the DOR, but she believed in what she was doing and wouldn't give up.

People were spending all of their spare time patrolling the hills. They searched for her. There was a gentleman and his 10 year old daughter who rode the hills for days, putting long hours in the saddle, just to figure out where Canyon was ranging and how to best save her. They erected a paddock around Canyon's water buckets. No easy task because of the fences and terrain. The man spent hours laying in the grass waiting for Canyon to enter the paddock while he was there. Finally, she was inside the corral and he was able to close the gate behind her. Canyon was now ready to be loaded up and taken to safety.

Now how do you get a frightened horse into a trailer on a blind corner? A chute was built, boards were laid over the ditch to back a trailer over, the fence was adjusted, and people posted to watch traffic. Canyon went into the trailer and waited quietly while the doors were shut. She never tried to leave, it was as if she knew the people were trying to help her.

Because she was technically an abandoned horse she had to be impounded by the state. After the mandated waiting period, giving an owner a chance to claim her, she had to go up for auction. The week of the auction, one of RCERs board members went and spent time with her at the auction yard. This person thought there was something about this horse, something that called for a second chance. Canyon went up for public auction on Saturday, Sept 12th. In the audience were two members of the RCER board. They were there to make sure Canyon went home to RCER. She was going home to an opportunity to be rehabbed and trained. Fate must have agreed, there were three bids and the DOR bought Canyon for $20.00.

Again Canyon went into the trailer, stood quietly while the doors closed. But this time she was heading to safety, to an opportunity to become whole again. A philosopher once said that freedom is taking advantage of all the opportunities we are given, using this
definition Canyon is truly free. She has taken every opportunity given to help herself. RCER is looking forward to seeing what she makes of her new opportunities.

Canyon is now working with members of RCER. The first and most important lesson Canyon will work on is learning to trust in humans. While she has trust, she does not trust in us yet and that is going to be the key to reaching her. From there she is going to be halter broke, or rebroke as the case maybe. Then she will be moved forward in her training at a pace she is able to handle.

Canyon's story is a long way from finished, in fact it has just begun. We will see what she makes of the freedom being given to her, I think it will be great things. To all of the people who played a part in getting her to safety THANK YOU!!

If you would like to help with Canyon's rehab please contact Rodeo City Equine Rescue.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing story! What wonderful people to give of themselves to make sure that this horse could be safe! Jack, sometimes people can do things that make us proud! Maisie, Dawn and Noble

Betty said...

That is an amazing story. I hope Canyon has a happy free life. How could any one do that ,just throw a horse away?
~~ Hugs and Smooches ~~

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Got a little teary reading that , just knowing the love and trust My horses and I share .I can't imagine the fear that a domestic mare like Canyon must have faced .So glad that people pulled together to give her a shot at a better life!

Unknown said...

Please give DOR a big ol hug from all of us. I hope Canyon continues to gain trust.

Desert Rose said...

truely amazing...would make a great short story!!! Everyone who helped must have a great feeling in their heart!!!

jc said...

My heart was in my mouth reading that tale. Canyon is now a very lucky horse. Thank goodness there are people willing to do so much to help.

Florida Beach Basics said...

A wonderful story - please keep us updated with Canyon's progress. marge

Dusty Devoe said...

What a beautiful and heart warming story. I can't wait to hear more of Canyon's progress and future!

Jackie said...

This is a wonderful story and I am so glad I stopped in. I am so happy for Canyon and can't wait to follow along and see how she does.

She certainly seems to have spirit and the will. Now she needs a lot of time and lots of love huh?

Thanks so much for this wonderful share with us. It helps all remember to be more kind to all animals!!

I love her name. I think she is really going to prove to be very special!!


Once Upon an Equine said...

What an incredible story. I'm so happy Canyon is getting a new chance. She sounds special.

I once had a German Shepherd puppy that was abandoned similarly. A woman was seen putting the puppy out of her car onto the side of a busy road. Dogs, horses...how can anyone do that to any animal?

Paint Girl said...

What an amazing story about Canyon!
I can't believe someone would just set her free. That is terrible.
So happy that Canyon is in good hands and will live a wonderful life from now on!!!


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