Arthur, a Belgian draft, spent the majority of his life as a work horse in a New England farming community. However, once he reached the age of 30, he was no longer required.
He then moved from auction to auction and from dealer to dealer. During his journey, he met another horse named Max, with whom he became very close. Cindy Daigre, founder of Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary in Tennessee, rescued them as they were on their way to a high-kill auction in New Holland.
Daigre came across the two horses on a website where they were being brokenred out. She saw how emaciated and in poor condition these horses were and knew she had to do something to help them. “I was told that Arthur was purposefully starved while waiting to go to the next auction, and the man who had him frequently sold thin old horses to the ‘cat man’ with exotic cats for meat,” Daigre told The Dodo. “I was shocked.” So, thankfully, Daigre was able to hire a transporter and get both horses to her sanctuary with the help of others.
Even though the horses were now safe, Daigre knew they had a long road to recovery ahead of them. Arthur was so frail and skinny that he couldn’t even stand on his own. He was exhausted and would simply lie on the ground, with no desire for food or entertainment.
Arthur eventually settled into the sanctuary and began to eat. He began to get stronger by the day. But his best friend Max’s recovery would be more difficult.
“Max has a back injury, neurological issues, and foot issues,” Daigre explained. He also has scars from previous abuse all over his body. “When he arrived, he had been physically abused, was terrified, and had no use for people.” He was actually risky to work with.”
Daigre never gave up on working with these horses, despite the fact that it was a challenge. Within a year of the rescue, she began to notice significant improvements with Max. Two years after their rescue, both horses are extremely healthy, strong, and incredibly sweet.
Arthur has also grown a long, beautiful mane that they braid in the summer to keep him cool. Arthur and Max are still best friends who enjoy spending time together. “They’ve formed a friendship through tragedy and then compassion,” Daigre explained.