For anyone considering
asking Circle F Horse Rescue to help them find a home for their horse, I can tell you that you can't do any better. The people at
Circle F are kind, compassionate, caring, and responsible. And from my experience in the animal rescue field, it is amazing that
they offer these qualities, not just to the horses, but also to the people they encounter. Of course Trica was the sole focus of
our dealings, as is right, but I also felt like the people of Circle F, especially Sandy, were understanding and considerate of
my situation and the difficulty of making such a heart-wrenching decision. At a time when I was being pretty hard on myself,
they went a long way toward easing my guilt. For that, and for the incredible care/love that they gave my beloved Trica in the
last stage of her life, I am forever thankful.
In 2009, I found myself in the very difficult position of having to find a new home for my horse, Trica.
Increasing financial pressures, combined with the possibility of changing circumstances at the barn where she was living, made me
realize that I may not be able to continue to give her the depth of care she needed. Trica had been in my life for a total
of 15 years - for the first five she was my favourite horse at a local riding school, after which I purchased her and was her
sole rider for the final 10. The first weekend after I bought her, Trica foundered, something we later realized she had battled
for years without proper medical attention. Over the years, with corrective shoeing and proper management, we got it under control,
or at least as much as it could ever be, and she was mostly sound and remained a great trail riding companion, and feisty too!
When the time came for us to consider a new home, my husband and I started placing online ads everywhere
we could think of. Having worked in animal rescue, I attempted to do everything right with regards to finding a good home.
Unfortunately, the people who came to look at Trica were flaky at best. We were beginning to give up hope of finding a responsible,
loving home, when I stumbled across the Circle F website. On a lark, I contacted them, asking about whether they would consider
taking Trica, or at least featuring her on the "other horses" section of their website. I fully expected to get an abrupt email
in reply - a sort of "yeah, you and everyone else" response to my question about finding a home for my wonderful horse. Boy was
Sandy got in touch with me right away, and was sympathetic and understanding from the get go. She
never once made any comment that seemed at all judgemental or critical. She was interested in Trica and arranged to come out to
visit her. I liked Sandy immediately, she was warm and friendly and an amazing horsewoman. After the meeting, Sandy let me know
that she'd discuss it with the rest of the Circle F board members, and they'd let me know if they could find a spot for Trica.
Thankfully, they said yes. They even referred me to a wonderful man Kevan Garecki who offered to pick Trica up and deliver
her to Circle F for free. Sandy assured me he would be the perfect person, as Trica had only been trailered once in her life,
and I didn't know how she would react to it. Still grappling with my own internal guilt at having to ask someone else to care
for my horse, I was shocked at the generosity being shown to Trica and myself. I couldn't believe that this man would make
his time and service available to Trica and I for free.
In the meantime, Sandy arranged for my husband and I to visit the Circle F property, and introduced
us to all of the current residents. She explained how they had decided to deal with Trica's laminitis, considering she couldn't
be on grass all day. I was thrilled and relieved with the effort they had put into this - they all were aware of how serious Trica's
medical condition was. Sandy also showed me the adoption contract they would ask any potential adopter to sign, and offered to
include a clause that stated the adopter must contact me if they ever wanted to give Trica up - that way I could be assured that
she wouldn't wind up getting passed from home to home, should something not work out. This was the ultimate reason that I wanted
Trica to go to Circle F. I knew they could uphold an adoption contract, with home visits before and after the adoption, to ensure
that she was going to a good home. This was something I couldn't really demand as a private citizen.
We trailered Trica to Circle F on the appointed day, and everything went smoothly. She adjusted to
her new surroundings well, and, I'm told, became a favourite of some of the volunteers. I was encouraged to come visit Trica after
she had settled in, which we did. And Sandy was kind enough to send me updates, where I found out that Trica was getting way more
attention from the wonderful and committed team of volunteers than I alone could have given her. When her health started to decline
only 6 months later, Sandy was again kind enough to call me and break the news over the phone. She filled me in on everything
they had done with their vet, and allowed me to make any suggestions I might have had. She explained that they had decided it
would be best to let Trica go peacefully. Sandy even asked if I would like to come see Trica one last time. I couldn't believe
they were being so accommodating to me when Trica wasn't technically my horse anymore. After it was over, Sandy sent me a beautiful
email, that I've kept to this day, to let me know that the end was peaceful. A few weeks later, I received a beautiful framed
photograph of Trica in the mail.