A Love for Horses

Carol Miller’s passion for horses recently led her to adopt a rescued horse through Hooves and Paws.

Her love began as a young person. At 14 years of age, Carol received her first horse as a gift from her dad. She learned how to ride and show jump on Hurry Sundown, a quarter horse and American Saddlebred mix, and has fond memories of her time with him.

One particular moment stands out to Carol. “My dad would haul our horses up to Chimney Rock to ride. On one ride, we were heading up the ridge and Sundown stopped. He wouldn’t move. My dad rode over to me and said there was a nest of rattlesnakes ahead. Thankfully, Sundown had sensed it and knew better than to walk straight into the snake pit.”

I love the gaited horses. I own a Tennessee Walking Horse and a Missouri Fox Trotter.  Their gaits are super smooth and they’re awesome to ride.

As an adult, Carol now owns three horses, and much of her life is dedicated to them. “Every morning I go to the barn, put my boys in their turnout pasture, clean the stalls, put clean shavings in the stalls, empty and clean the water buckets, refill the water buckets, put alfalfa pellets in the buckets, put hay in their stalls for the evening and hay outside their stalls for the morning.” In the evening, Carol places alfalfa pellets and apples in “the horse’s stalls before retrieving them from the pasture. She then brushes them and cleans their feet. If time allows, she’ll also do some training with her colt. Carol follows this routine every day, seven days a week, year to year.

I love going to the barn and hearing the horses whinny at me when they see me. They’re very loving animals and get attached to their human quickly.

One of her horses is a rescue from Hooves and Paws, a rescue group which works to rehabilitate abused, starved, neglected, or unwanted horses and other animals. It was one of 30 malnourished horses rescued from a Seward County farm in Nebraska. The horses were brought to a foster barn west of Lincoln, which happens to be the facility where Carol boards her horses.

“Six yearlings were part of the group that came in,” Carol shared, “and none of them had ever been handled by humans.” Right then, she decided her heart had room for one of the stud colts, and she chose to adopt one with an infected hole in his neck. According to Carol, “The vet suspected he had run into a pole and it sliced into his neck.”

On September 24, 2017, Carol adopted D’artagna. She reports that he’s been growing and putting on weight since the adoption. “He is beautiful, healthy, smart, sweet, and very loving.  He is my baby and my heart!”

In this article is a photo of what D’artagna looked like the day that Carol adopted him and a second photo that showed what he looks like in 2018. About the photos, she said, “It’s amazing what a little care can do!”

Because of Carol’s love for D’artagna, she now encourages others to support horse rescue organizations with their donations. Many horses would be doomed to slow, unpleasant deaths without these organizations, Carol said, as horses are often abandoned or allowed to starve to death when their owners can no longer afford to care for them.

“Rescues need funds to save horses’ lives,” Carol said.  “D’artagnan is living proof of that. I’m thankful for the Hooves & Paws rescue.  Without them, D’artagnan wouldn’t have survived this winter, and I wouldn’t have had the privilege to become part of his life.”


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