The Duncan Banner
When 11 horses were seized from a local woman pending allegations of animal cruelty, on Oct. 7, it gave Emily Schrick a chance to save and love her first gelding, Reese.
“I met Reese when I was fifteen and became the proud owner of my very first gelding,” she said. “I loved him from the very first day that my parents brought him to my as a gift during that warm summer and we soon grew a bond that only a few ever get to experience. I rode him around everywhere along with my sister Leah and her horse Possum.”
Growing up, Schrick spent many hours riding Reese around Marlow and on riding trips in Talahina. He would even let her ride bareback. Eventually, the time came that she felt she needed to sell him.
“The selling process happened like any, with many people coming and going to see him, and many people inquiring about his ad that I had posted,” Schrick said. “I was very reluctant to see him but soon enough, what seemed to be a decent buyer was ready to load him on a cold, winter day in 2009. I was very sad to see him go but I was under the impression that where my gelding was sent to was going to be a very loving and forever home. This impression could not have been more wrong.”
Schrick sold her horse with promises that he would be loved and taken care of. Schrick said she believed her horse was going to the best home.
A few weeks ago and nearly three years after she sold Reece, Schrick woke up to find a text message from her sister telling her to look at a link she had posted on Facebook.
“I hastily got on Facebook and checked the page,” Schrick said. “Suddenly, my heart drops. My sister had just happened, by a rare twist of fate, to be browsing through pictures of rescue horses the night before. There it was on Facebook, a large picture of my Reese with a link posted directly from a horse rescue center in Jones called Blaze’s Tribute-Equine Rescue. It was definitely my Reese but so very different from what I always remembered him looking like. Tears began to pour from my eyes as I looked at what was left of the big, beautiful gelding that I had known for so many years.”
The picture showed a nearly starved Reese. Schrick said Reese’s normal weight was about 1,200 pounds and when officials from Stephens County picked him up, he weighed only 706 pounds.
“I must have checked the page he was listed on 100 times, making sure all his markings were the same as well as his age, height and etceteras,” Schrick said. “All answers led to the fact that this was my Reese. I knew that I must bring him back home to me.”
Natalee Cross, owner of Blaze’s Tribute-Equine Rescue Center said that 11 horses from two different owners in Stephens Co. were seized and brought to here. She said the horses were emaciated on a scale of one to four with one being the worst. Cross said that Reese could be categorized as a one.
“Reese was the worst one of them all,” Cross said.
Schrick began working with the rescue center to gather the required information and fees for adoption. Her sister helped her with the money for the adoption fee and her parents supplied the gas money to be able to pick Reese up and bring him to the 17-acre plot that she lives on outside of Duncan.
“When I saw him, there are no words to describe the feelings that overwhelmed me. He quietly sniffed me and my sister and stuck his head straight into my chest,” she said. “I just laughed, trying my hardest to hold back the tears that I wanted to let out. The only way I could tell it was him, was by his face. I had studied that face for years. It was the face of my Reese. After much talking and planning with the rescue center, we soon had Reese loaded in the trailer and on his way back to his home, the home where he will continue to live out the rest of his long life with people who will always have a big heart to give for him. I will never let him go again.”
Reese is now on the path to health and now spends his days with three other horses that Schrick still had from when she had him before. He has already gained about 300 pounds in the few weeks that he has been home again.
“He is on the road to recovery and I thank God every day that I have with him again,” she said. “I came so close to losing the life of one of my very first best friends. There is only one way to describe these events: God allowed this to happen for him and me, to give us both another chance.”
Schrick said she is grateful to both Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue for the care of her horse and their cooperation when she adopted Reese from them.
“I cannot thank the rescue center enough and I hope that people can see the kind of hard work these people do for these animals every single day out of pure kindness and love. If it were not for these kinds of centers, I cannot say where my Reese might have been today.”
Schrick said she is hoping to put on a benefit trail ride for the center with her sister Leah Waggoner in the near future.
Schrick is also thankful for the work of the sheriff’s department for their part in her horse’s rescue.
“He was one of the best horses that I have ever come to know and not a day will go by that I do not feel appreciation towards all of the hard work you guys do every single day,” she said.
Schrick said that she hopes that one day the woman that neglected her horse will come to respect the animals
“I was not put on this earth to be judgmental towards my fellow man but I hope that she might understand that these kinds of acts do not go unpunished,” Schrick said. “One day, she will have to face the truths of what she has put these animals through. These animals are not just animals; they are best friends and companions. They are dearly loved.”
Schrick has chosen to focus on the return of her horse, however, than the acts that led to getting her horse back.
“I think he was meant to come back home,” she said. “I do not know how else my sister would have happened to find him and she just happened to have $300 for his adoption fee. It just worked out perfectly for him to come home. When he got home, he knew he was home. He knew all our other horses immediately.”
Note: The horses were picked up by the Stephens County Sheriff’s department under suspicion of animal cruelty. An investigation is continuing but official charges have not been filed against the unnamed woman who had the horses.