Smokies Hot N Sassi aka “Sassi” saved my daughter’s life. Sassi came to us via a rescue situation. She was skin and bones. No life left to live in her heart. At the farm where we were trying to rehabilitate her, she wouldn’t respond, she wouldn’t eat, drink, or whinny. She just stood in a corner, sad and giving up.

One day I brought my daughter Hailey to the barn to brighten her day. Hailey was in a new school, trying to make friends, dealing with bullies and past trauma. I was hesitant to introduce her to the “rescue horse”.

[READ MORE: Denver’s urban youth find healing through horses.]

[READ MORE: Rescued horses rescue at-risk youth at Charis Ranch.]

It turned out to be the best decision I ever made! Both Hailey and Sassi lit up when they saw each, it was almost as if they were meant to find each other while they were at their lowest points. Sassi perked up and whinned, and for the first time since being at the barn, she actually left her corner, leaning toward Hailey to love her. It was truly magical!

Every day, three times a day, Hailey came and feed Sassi. Sassi would only eat if Hailey was feeding her. After a while, Hailey was able to lead Sassi, groom her, and turn her out. Their bond was something special, like from a storybook.

Sassi gave my daughter a purpose, she gave her love and a reason to push through her trauma. Without her, I don’t know where my daughter would be. These two went on to show and win many competitions. As Sassi aged, she loved teaching children to ride. Her love was children. Not only did she return every ounce of love to our family but she brought the love of riding to kids who could not otherwise ride. Sassi was kind and safe. Every kid she encountered, regardless of their abilities, she treated with love. We lost our sweet girl Nov. 8th, 2019. We lost the best horse a girl could ever have but we celebrate the love and life we shared.

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