Shadow arrived with a body condition score of 1 on a scale of 1 to 9 — vet Janelle had to make a decision as to whether he was strong enough for the one-hour trailer ride here: he was that weak. We’re so glad she gave him the benefit of the doubt. His companion, Ella, was in better shape; we quickly realized that Shadow had allowed her to have what little food had been available to them.

First order of the day: help Shadow’s body re-adapt to eating again. His gut still struggled from time to time, having developed weaknesses in his digestive system, probably from eating things that aren’t food when he was starved. So Shadow became a permanent resident on an NLHR member farm, where we could be sure to get the care and support he would always need.

In December, 2016, Shadow lost his battle with health, losing interest in food, activity, and having difficulty staying warm no matter how many blankets we put on him. His heart had weakened, and it was time. We gathered together and supported and celebrated Shadow as he left this world, so deeply grateful for his having come. Shadow will always be with us. It was his great spirit that inspired us to form NLHR. Now many other horses will benefit from his strength, determination, and kindness.

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