Lillie is the Naturally Healthy Horse of the Month for April. The aged dun mare came to Serendipity Horse Rescue several years ago in very poor shape. She was malnourished, depressed, and angry. At first, Lillie did not adapt well to her new home. She stood alone and would refuse to interact with people or other animals. She also refused to eat. The owner of the rescue, Margo Malone, desperately wanted to help Lillie though. And with the help of two other women—Susan Kilgore and Kathy Merrell—Lillie began to come around. Through Reiki (an Oriental form of hands-on healing), acupressure, nutritional management, and loving care, Lillie has gained a new lease on life and is finally getting the well-earned retirement home she deserves.
A Reiki practitioner, Margo works on all the rescue horses at her farm. She became concerned when Lillie wasn’t responsive to her treatments though. It was then, that Kathy, an acupressure practitioner who volunteers at the rescue, stepped in to see what she could do. Upon examination, Kathy noticed that Lillie was very emaciated with a sunken back. She had a ‘sickly smell’ with dull eyes and a dull coat as well. Kathy proceeded to assess Lillie for imbalances and then chose several acu-points which she believed would help to balance Lillie physically and perhaps more importantly, emotionally.
“When I switched sides, I noticed small beads of sticky clear fluid sitting at the end of every hair on her body! We continued the session and as I rubbed Lung 1 on her left side, she gave a tremendous sigh and started licking and chewing. She gave a small reaction to each of the other points and as I finished, the owner doing Reiki reported that she felt her let go of a grief that was very powerful and hurtful. We (humans) all felt exhausted, but better,” said Kathy.
It was then that Lillie, who had previously been despondent, turned around and appeared to suddenly notice that there were three people in the stall. “She then went calmly over to her feed bucket and started to eat,” said Kathy.
Kathy returned to the farm to perform acupressure on Lillie one month later and found the mare greatly improved. Margo said the change in the mare had been nothing short of amazing. Lillie had now bonded with the barn manager, Susan Kilgore (who has since adopted Lillie), was gaining weight, and was showing interest in being a part of the horse herd at the rescue facility.
Today, Lillie lives on Susan’s farm in a large pasture with her best friend—a donkey named Daisy.
Because of Lillie’s advanced age, she still has a few problems though. “Lillie is missing some teeth and has TMJ, both of which complicate her caloric intake. Plus, she has a compromised spine which prevents her from being ridden so she doesn’t get a lot of exercise which may lower her appetite,” said Susan.
Kathy still does frequent acupressure sessions on Lillie to help with her TMJ problems. Susan is grateful to Kathy and Margo for helping Lillie to overcome her emotional issues. “Lillie is a different horse. She is happy, spunky, healthy and carefree,” Susan said.
I’m honored to feature Lillie as TNHH of the Month, and I’m in awe of people like Susan, Kathy, and Margo who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of horses. Don’t forget that you can make a difference for rescue horses as well–you can donate money, supplies, feed and hay, or even your time or services!