As a longtime admirer of the fancy Friesian breed but not the fancy price tag, I was intrigued when one ended up in a Kentucky rescue on a national database. After speaking at length with his foster owner, she became convinced that “Midnight” was made for PEACE Ranch and she advocated for him to be place here permanently. I am so thankful to Pat Francis for the role she played in his life. (You can read Knight’s Story on our website at https://peaceranchtc.com/category/rescue/)
We named him ‘Knight” after George Knightly, a character in Jan Austin’s, Emma. In the story, “Mr. Knightly” is a kind and compassionate person, who portrays good judgment, high moral character and maturity in contrast to Emma’s adolescent personality. Knight became everything we envisioned him to be and more.
Knight’s rehabilitation process included chiropractic care, the re-angling of his hooves, strengthening his hind end, stretching his stride, supplying his neck, growing in trust and continuing his training. The healing process occurred as he was integrated into opportunities for him to help others. He emerged healthy, happy, and healed.
In life, Knight contributed much. He had a strong likable personality, was very handsome and a real jokester. He was the only herd member that could pull off the neon orange halter. He taught many of his herd members to play enticing them with sticks and toys. In session, Knight often had something in his mouth—a ball, a cone, a rope or my hat but also knew how to be the strength for those in need. The outpouring of love to him is a testimony of how he had touched many lives.
A foreshadowing of his death had occurred just two weeks before when he twisted his large intestine during a therapy session with a group of Veterans dealing with PTSD. He was rushed down to Michigan State University but the condition righted itself on the way down. Knight received a clean bill of health with honors for good behavior. We were thankful and very proud.
In the last days of his life, Knight was unable to lift his neck to go from the lying with head down position to the sternal or lying with the head lifted position. He required round the clock care for three days which was provided by the ranch volunteer community. People brought food and drink to help feed each other and shelter for the horse and people. People rolled him every three hours, fed, cleaned, fly sprayed, applied ointment to wounds (like bed sores), lifted his head to drink, administered medication, sang and read to him, prayed for him, comforted and sat with him 24 hours a day. This all occurred with little organization or direction but organically. The care and compassion demonstrated by all involved was both humbling and inspiring causing this executive director to be honored to serve in their midst.
May Knight’s story become our own: No matter what our history, may we find healing as we connect in community, may we develop an appreciation for our herd and others, may life be spiced with fun and laughter, and as we experience peace and compassion may we share it with others.