Rising from the Ashes….

“I went out to the paddock and apologized to the horses. I promised them that as long as I was here it would never happen again.”  With those words, that apology and that promise she released the sad souls of the horses that had perished on that land. Now they could be at peace and life could start anew.

Last May the OSPCA ( Ontario Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals) revealed that a stable in the Stouffville area had horses that were emaciated and severely neglected and as many as 13 had died and were buried on the property. The Small family, who had been renting the property, were charged with animal cruelty. It was subsequently  discovered that the Smalls have done this before, more than once, at other locations.

Despite having been charged by the OSPCA with a criminal offence, the Smalls don’t appear to be willing to appear for their day in court and this has prompted horse and animal lovers to start a petition and also prepare an impact statement to put pressure on the courts to get these people to court and have justice served upon them.

That is the sad history that Krista Pollock was faced with when she decided to set up her business, KP Dressage, at this property. This is why she went to the paddock to apologize and give peace to the horses who had died there.

I went to see Krista at the farm in early September. I walked around the stable and spoke with some of Krista’s students who had horses there. Was there still any feelings of the horrible past? How had the horses reacted when they moved in? I was told that the horses had arrived and settled into the new stalls easily. They were happy in their turn out paddocks.

Krista had set the tortured souls of the dead horses free. Now they can rejoice in the new arrivals and the new life at the stable.

Krista and her students , with the help of her husband and some other “horse husbands”, have completely renovated the stable; new stalls, new footing in the arena, new fencing , new wash stalls. Now all the stalls are light and airy.

KP (3 of 9)

The horses here are never in want of feed or water or…..carrot treats.

KP (2 of 9)

All the horses, including this handsome fellow, are calm and enjoying life.

KP (5 of 9)

The doors to the barn are open and welcoming.

KP (1 of 9)

Krista told me that when she was a child, long before the Smalls rented the property, she used to come to this barn for a summer riding camp. She hopes that now this barn can recover and not be a victim of what took place there. She feels that the past has been laid to rest and even when she is there, alone at night, there is only a feeling of calm and peace.

Krista brought her students with her and has room for more in the new barn. She is a coach who is amateur friendly and has plans for a forest trail ride and pancake breakfast in the early fall. I thought that sounded like a really fun idea.  Several years ago I trained with Krista and I can remember going to shows as a big group and supporting one another and having a lot of fun. This is the spirit she has brought to this stable now.

In the renovated viewing room there is a wonderful artwork on the wall. Looking closer I could see it was made up of dozens of pictures of horses. Look closely. You will be able to see each square is a picture of a horse.

KP (9 of 9)

Then when you stand back you can see a horse galloping forward. This is how I see this stable. All of the horses, from the good times past, all the riders young and old and in between are represented here. They all come together to show us a beautiful horse, powerful and strong with his gaze on the future. I believe this represents the redemption of this stable and this property. It has risen from the ashes of the past. Krista Pollock and KP Dressage are taking it to a happy future.

KP (7 of 9)

 

27 Comments Add yours

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for reading and for this comment.

      Like

  1. Such a valiant labor of love, beauty and (he)art…bringing this place back to where it was always intended to be: a refuge; nurturing horse haven…
    Having worked/lived in the past doing animal rescue on acreage in the desert southwest (mainly horses, goats and dogs), this post is music to my ears.
    Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Laura! Interesting to know you have worked with rescued animals. That is such important work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful story, Anne. So glad that someone like Krista took over and breathed literal fresh life into it. Love the artwork. The horses look beautiful and happy.

    Scout came from an individual like the Smalls. I don’t need to add depressing details. Suffice to say that I don’t understand how people can live with their abusive treatment of animals. I don’t understand how it can’t gnaw at their insides.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      To be honest I hope it does gnaw at their insides. The court date has been put back to Oct.28 here and there is a push to get jail time for this family of multiple animal abuse charges. I’m glad to heat Scout now has a home with you.

      Like

  3. iScriblr says:

    I never understood how anyone can be cruel to an animal! How in-human! 😦
    But I am glad about the new beginnings!❤

    PS – That art work is super AMAZING!❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree. They are sick people. I also agree about the artwork. I love it
      Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful new beginning for the stable Anne, may all the horses who suffered here run free on the other side of the rainbow 💜🌈 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this lovely comment. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Emma Cownie says:

    Good for Krista! I love the horse collage too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yeah! She has turned the place around. I’m glad you like the collage.

      Like

  6. geekkat says:

    I never understood how anyone can be cruel to an animal. They are innocent. They have no hate or bias to anything or anyone. That was just so sad.
    I’m glad that the place is being used for good purposes and good vibes will be brought back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree. Domesticated animals depend on us and it is horrific when we make them suffer. However there is a new lease on life at the stable now and that is so good to see. As Krista says the place will not be a victim of the past. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Frank Prem says:

    A fine (sad) story Anne. I wish her well in their endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Juli Hoffman says:

    So sad! I’m glad they’re living a better life in their new home!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sandyjwhite says:

    It seems that people who abuse animals often do so repeatedly. That has been the case in my area, be it cats and dogs or farm animals. I hope the Smalls are brought to justice.
    The transformation of this stable is inspirational and gives justice to all the horses who suffered there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Sandy. It is beyond my comprehension but you are right there are people who abuse animals over and over again. I am hoping the Small family will be brought to justice. In the meantime it is heartening to see happy and healthy horses thriving in the renovated barn. Also I know Krista from many years ago and she looks after horses very well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. sandyjwhite says:

        A great new beginning.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Irene says:

    Makes me sad to think of any animal begin mistreated. Grateful for people who care enough to make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      We are still hoping that the Small family will receive justice and will never be allowed to have any animals again

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Irene says:

        Absolutely should be punished.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          So far they have not turned up on their court dates. But there is a movement in the horse community and one criminal lawyer ar the helm of this movement that are pressing hard to get the courts to give the animals who suffered and died some justice

          Liked by 2 people

  11. Zoolon says:

    I can’t describe just how much I hate people who abuse animals. I get a bit ‘eye for an eye’ when I hear about cruelty. Glad you raised the subject though. Best regards ~ George

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I am in complete agreement with you

      Liked by 1 person

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