They called him, Blanco. His registered name was Secret Rendezvous. ‘Secret’ was about as smart, proud and majestic Arabian as any I’ve known. His life should not have ended this way . . . . This is his legacy.
Gelded, at age 12, with approximately 30 babies on the ground, this grey beauty had earned himself so many blue ribbons. He eventually ‘found’ his way to me at about age 14. I was determined to keep Secret forever, loving him through the end of his days; Giving him the best care on my ranch and rewarding him with a comfortable retirement. Oh, I have lots of heart warming and funny stories about Secret, but this is Secret’s legacy ……..
Life happens, I guess, and God had other plans for me. I kicked and screamed like an ornery colt when I had to give up my ranch and beloved horses to new, carefully selected owners. I lost track of Secret and a mare I had bred and tried desperately to find them for 3 years. Although I was living in Massachusetts, I kept posting on SLO Craigslist, determined to find them and assure they were being loved and cared for. After 3 years of tearing myself up, my family convinced me to give up. Well, just one more post! This time, I received replies from two wonderful ladies. One lady led me right to the mare, Zima Doll; doing well with the same girl I sold her to. Then, the gut wrenching response regarding Secret…
Yes, they called him Blanco, as he was so incredibly white. I knew by the first picture that it was my precious boy, though he was just skin and bones! Secret had been abandoned in a pasture by the woman I sold him to and the girl from the ranch next door was captivated by his beauty and charm. He was alone, old and thin; obviously hungry and not being cared for. She visited him daily and fed him bread; then took feed for him out of her mother’s feed room.
Well, of course, Mom did not need another horse. Although old and scruffy, Mom recognized he was a fine Arabian that had to have a story. Clearly, something was wrong here. Her daughter pled to keep him and once confirming his abandonment with the owner of the acreage; they took Secret home and nurtured him. Soon, however, the vet confirmed that he had to be put down due to severe arthritis, as he could not longer stand.
Too Late, But Perhaps On Time
That was just a few months before she saw my last post on Craigslist. I was too late and my heart felt like it was ripped out of my chest. I tried to find comfort in knowing that these wonderful people loved him and allowed him to leave this world with the pride and dignity that he deserved. They called him, Blanco, but without their awareness, Secret would have laid down in that field and died from…….well, we don’t want to speculate.
I think many of us may know of a story like Secret’s – or one similar? Let’s be aware of our equine friends around us and take note like that special girl. Do you sometimes question the well-being of a horse you see on the side of the road, in a pasture, or even in a paddock somewhere? Check it out. There IS neglect right here in SLO County. Let’s be a responsible horse community and notify the appropriate agencies to check it out.
Maybe this story can be Secret’s legacy and help save even one horse!
SLO County Sheriff Rural Department:
HEET (Horse Emergency Evacuation Team)
What a heart warming story about SECRET!!! It brought tears to my eyes .I hope this will help the horse community to be more aware of their care for horses.
I remember Secret from when Gloriann was my neighbor and I would see him everyday: tall, handsome with a graceful beauty. This is a heart wrenching story and I applaud Ms. Bellino for bringing the plight of neglected horses to light.
Bittersweet sad story. Well written article and looking forward to more. Anything we can do to help our forgotten four-legged friends is a worthy endeavor!