To wild horses, family is everything. The bonds that they form are so precious and so deep, and there’s no doubt that they don’t know or love each other.
This is the story of Phoenix, who belonged to a family of wild horses who had been sadly captured and mistreated. He had managed to escape from his confined pen by jumping over a gate, but touchingly, the brave horse turned back to look for his family.
Skydog Ranch heard about Phoenix’s story and were determined to rescue him. Their ranch provides a forever home for wild mustangs and burros who have ended up in horrible and dangerous situations – at kill pens, at auctions, in unloving homes where they have often been starved and neglected.
A year after they heard about his story, the sanctuary were finally able to adopt Phoenix. However, he was leaving without one very important part of his life: a glossy white mare. Sanctuary volunteers decided that the best thing to do was to get Phoenix to safety, while they continued to search for his mare.
The first week that Phoenix was home, volunteers brought in a handful of other horses for him to make friends with. Phoenix tolerated the other horses, but he was always a little stand-offish with them. You could tell that he really missed his old family.
And amazingly, it seemed that Phoneix had not been wrong for still holding onto his hope. A few years down the line, the sanctuary were surprised to receive a picture of a white horse who was in need of a home- and she looked the spitting image of Phoenix’s mare.
Clare and the other volunteers put the two photos side-by-side, and it wasn’t long before they realized that this horse was in fact Phoenix’s mare- the horse that nobody had ever expected to see ever again. Volunteers decided to name the horse Ghost- named after her vanishing and reappearing act- and instantly arranged for the horse to be brought to the field where Phoenix hung out.
Since the day that Ghost came back into Phoneix’s life, his whole attitude has changed. The once-lonely horse now walks with confidence, and all of his prior sadness has disappeared. Thanks to all those at Skydog sanctuary for never giving up, the pair can now live out the rest of their days together, as they deserve to.
The minute they opened the gate, Phoenix heard Ghost come into his field and quickly rushed over the hill towards her.
The two horses both bent their necks towards each other and breathed in each of their familiar scents. It’s as if they were making sure that they weren’t just imagining this moment, and it was so beautiful to be a part of.