Since January 2010, I've photographed well over 3,000 horses in need at rescues, private farms, and the auction. All the horses, donkeys, and mules are special, but some of them have that extra-special "something". Georgia is one of those extra-special horses.
In February of 2012, I took a ride to a farm with Lisa Post, Co-Founder and President of Helping Hearts Equine Rescue. Lisa remembers the day and our trailer ride home very well:
"Sarah and I picked up Georgia on Feb 2, 2012. She was an NJ SPCA neglect case that needed direct intake. The lack of sufficient feed and hay at the premises was quite evident and I was happy that we could help this girl.
The defining moment of the situation was watching Georgia's eyes light up when she saw my straw-bedded trailer. I quietly told her that there was better than that in the hay net inside. I doubt my words meant anything to her, but she loaded right up and dove into the net.
We didn't hear a peep during the hour-plus ride until we were almost home, when she started pawing. Upon arrival, we noted that the net was nearly empty, except for the last bit that she couldn't reach. The pawing was explained.
All Georgia needed for the next several weeks was frequent feedings and affection. She received both from all who met her. Georgia, even severely emaciated, had a "shine" to her- a glimmer of what she was and would be again, and despite the neglect she had endured, she was a happy and personable mare.
Kathy, who had previously adopted another mare, Sweetie, from Helping Hearts, saw that shine as well. She came and spent time and groomed her and soon offered to foster Georgia, subsequently adopting her. Under Kathy's fantastic care, Georgia has come into her full glory and I wish these two ladies a long and pleasurable partnership.
Georgia is just one example of what rescue can accomplish. But rescue can't happen in a vacuum. It really does take a village. Working together, we can accomplish a lot for horses in need."
Over the next few weeks, I took a series of photos of Georgia's progress. The dates are on the photos so you can follow the time lapse.
This August, I visited Georgia in her new home. The horse who stood before me was a gorgeous, glorious, picture-perfect Quarter Horse. She was her same friendly self that she was the day I met her, but her body finally matched her bright expression.
These photos tell the story better than I can...
Horses and Hope 2013 Calendar
Georgia is one of the many horses featured in my 2013 Horses and Hope calendar. With the help of Gina Keesling of HoofPrints, my 2012 debut calendar contained over 100 photos of auction horses. Thanks to the support of horse lovers all over, it raised nearly $40,000 for One Horse At A Time, helping hundreds of horses in need directly, and untold others indirectly through increased public awareness. Now that we have one calendar's worth of experience to draw upon, the 2013 version promises to be even more exciting, even more creative, and as always, inspirational and positive.