Maple Valley, wash. - Patrick the horse made the long journey from a rescue near Spokane to Serenity Equine Rescue in Maple Valley Friday. The horse is only 15 years old but has already had a hard life.
"He’s had several encounters with people that aren’t very kind to him," said Patricia Clark with Serenity Equine Rescue. "He was purchased by some people that sent him to a backyard trainer, and this trainer was incredibly cruel. He used a harsh bit on him, maybe a twisted wire bit. If I were to open his mouth…you’d see his tongue is almost cut off."
Serenity Equine Rescue promises horses like Patrick a soft landing in Western Washington.
The rescue offers sanctuary to around 20 horses at a time. The horses Serenity takes in often need healing or rehabilitation following instances of abuse or neglect.
In addition to an old tongue injury, Patrick also has a leg injury, which is noticeable when he walks.
"He has a bad injury in one of his back legs from being tripped," said Clark, pointing to Patrick’s back leg. "It’s chasing horses around maybe a corral, or something, and roping their back leg and stopping so the horse trips and falls. He has a fairly serious injury to his back leg."
Clark says at one time, his ear was also nearly lost due to abuse.
"He also almost cut his ear off, and he’s been stabbed. He went through an incredible amount of trauma and those types of traumas become permanent memories for horses," she said.
Patrick was staying at a rescue in Eastern Washington that had to close due to unforeseen circumstances. Despite his history, Clark said that Patrick was already settling into life at the sanctuary in Maple Valley after just a few hours.
"I can tell already he’s just one of those horses that’s really laid back, and he seems to adjust pretty easy to his environment and is not upset about anything, which is a really good thing," said Clark. "
She says she and her team of 70 volunteers will manage his old injuries and show him love and kindness.
"His injuries are pretty much healed. There is probably not much we can do to help him with his back leg, he’s fairly crippled. He’s fairly stiff. We will put him on medicines that will help that," said Clark. "He’s very, very calm for a horse that’s just coming in."
Clark says with costs rising dramatically this year for feed, supplements and medical care for the horses, the rescue is always looking for donations to help new intakes like Patrick. You can find out more information on the rescue's Facebook page and website.
New volunteers are also always welcome and needed. Clark says it takes a lot of loving care to get the horses on the path to healing and peace.
"Serenity is all volunteer run. We do not have any paid employees, including me, so we are always looking for volunteers to come," said Clark.